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When managing lists or objects, what are the advantages of a "clone" action over "copy & paste", if any? What are the disadvantages? Or when should you use one pattern over another?

I assume a clone action would: 1. Automatically duplication an object in a list 2. Increment the name to something like "Object 1 copy" 3. Automatically enter the edit state/mode for the object in the list to allow the user to make changes. From there a user can cancel or save the changed object?

Thanks.

  • I have yet to see the action terminology "Clone" used in a website. "Create Copy" or simply "Copy" should suffice for most people. Are you trying to appease regular users or is this a very technical application where people would be more apt to understand clone in the given context? – MonkeyZeus Aug 25 '15 at 18:31
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    @MonkeyZeus makes a good point - I have seen clone before, but most often the term in UI is Duplicate (clone is more popular in programming - you clone an object). – Izhaki Aug 25 '15 at 21:13
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Copy and paste were originally intended to act between two containers (folder A, folder B).

Clone, on the other hand, is within-container.

Copy and paste are two actions, clone is one action. So if the user intention is to clone, why make this a two-action process when you can do with one?

Then:

  1. Automatically duplication an object in a list

Indeed

  1. Increment the name to something like "Object 1 copy"

This depends - in some systems the label is unique, in others it isn't (all TODO lists I know of allow you to put milk twice).

  1. Automatically enter the edit state/mode for the object in the list to allow the user to make changes.

This is nearly always useful with textual items (not always so for graphical ones); it all depends what the list is for and what the user needs are.

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The advantage of copy/paste, as I see it, is that I've been trained to type cmd-C cmd-V to make a copy of something. The only way Clone would be more efficient than that would be if it had its own keyboard shortcut and if I memorized it.

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