Working with Copies

  • saving things "to the side" - or just being able to freely, non-destructively work on things
  • idea came from watching Eric Anderson build a game scene where he duplicates items, and messes with them while still having the original untouched
  • also how in Figma it's easy to have multiple versions of the same UI "laid out"
  • why is this so hard to do when writing code? - or with notes? - is the best that we can do just duplicating the whole document?
    • the previous examples operate on items within the document, instead of duplicating the whole document to try something
    • the freedom of recombination aspect is important - Epistemic Actions of Tetris players
    • did I just re-invent Muse here? - I want to do this on my desktop, while gardening these notes
  • infinite History wouldn't help here much in a basic sense, since the value is in being able to compare the multiple versions
    • maybe some UI primitive for "splitting the view" and "going backwards" in one is needed - so the user can see multiple versions at the same time, while not having to explicitly duplicate the one that's being worked on

Developing programs involves the exploration of alternative designs. But most programming environments provide little support for switching between alternative designs or comparing their similarities and differences. They do not allow alternative definitions of procedures and data structures to exist simultaneously in the programming environment; nor do they provide a representation for the evolution of a particular set of definitions across time.

— An Experimental Description-Based Programming Environment - Ira Goldstein, Daniel Bobrow

I'm experimenting with copy paste in Figma just like people do alternative design versions but for project management. Alternative feature lists, evolving goal mind maps, parallel timelines and inspirational references sprinkled all over the place.

— Marcin Ignac -

  • applications of this technique are not only useful for graphical explorations, but even, as Marcin shows, for charting different paths in project management