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Re: [Orgmode] Quick note about subtree copy and paste

From: Robert Goldman
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Quick note about subtree copy and paste
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 08:32:34 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101207 Thunderbird/3.1.7

On 1/11/11 Jan 11 -8:03 AM, Giovanni Ridolfi wrote:
> Robert Goldman <address@hidden> writes:
>> I just did a copy and paste and noticed that when I did so the copied
>> properties included the ID which, after being copied, meant that the
>> unique identifier became a non-unique identifier.
> Well, you shouldn't ! ;-)
> If you have to copy/paste a subtree, please... *clone* it.
> manual: Structure editing:
> `C-c C-x c' (`org-clone-subtree-with-time-shift')
> (then the :ID: is changed)
> Giovanni

I get the point, but the current presentation is unnecessarily
confusing.  I was just /copying/ --- there was no time shifting
involved, so when I look at them menu and see "copy" and "clone with
time shift," it is "copy" that's what I naturally do.

Actually, as I look at the manual I see:

`C-c C-x c'     (`org-clone-subtree-with-time-shift')
     Clone a subtree by making a number of sibling copies of it.  You
     will be prompted for the number of copies to make, and you can
     also specify if any timestamps in the entry should be shifted.
     This can be useful, for example, to create a number of tasks
     related to a series of lectures to prepare.  For more details, see
     the docstring of the command `org-clone-subtree-with-time-shift'.

There's nothing there to even remotely suggest to me that this is going
to Do The Right Thing about properties.  It's all about dates and
time-shifting.  It may /happen/ to do the right thing with properties,
but it sure doesn't /say/ that it will.  The ID property is mentioned
only in the interactive docstring, and pretty deeply down.

I'd like to make a somewhat radical suggestion:

If cloning is the primary option, and more safe than copy --- i.e., if
copy is "this is the primitive operation that you should only do if you
know what you are doing, because it might corrupt data," then I would
argue that it's CLONE that should be bound to C-c C-x M-y --- the
standard emacs keybinding I'm going to go to first --- and COPY should
be demoted to the less-familiar alternative.

This assumes that the answer to "Is there any case where I should do
copy and /not/ prefer clone?" is "no."

But I'm not sure that's the case.  They clone doesn't do the same thing
to the cut buffer as copy, does it?  e.g., I don't use clone to make a
copy of a subtree from file A into file B.

Even more radical suggestion:

So maybe the right answer is not to ask us to use clone all the time,
but that COPY and PASTE should be fixed to Do The Right Thing with the
ID property.


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