Data painting from the Clipboard?

The clipboard is a useful way to recycle data structures in Gramps. But it is inherently a flat & forgetful functionality.

By ‘forgetful’, it means that Gramps only pays attention to one piece of data & then only during the actual drag’n’drop. Once you drop the object, you have to pick up the object again to use it again.

By flat, Gramps mostly ignores that objects have underlying connections. Like a Place is a Hierarchical Tree of Enclosing places & a family is a hierarchy of parents & siblings.

It would be useful if you could use the Clipboard hierarchically. So, with a Place (like a building), you have a Expand Nodes that showed the Enclosing City, County, State, Nation. (To save save space, this might expand a Place node horizontally as a text-wrapping string of individual comma separated breadcrumbs.) Or, with a Family, expanding would show all the Parents & Sibs. Or, with a Person. Expanding would show the Families where they are offspring or a Parent… and those Families could be expanded.

Once expanded, any object in the Hierarchy could be dragged as though that object had been clipboarded individually.

(I sometimes Clipboard People as containers/pallettes of reusable objects. I can double-click a clipboarded person so any object attached to that Person can be drag’n’drop’d to another object. All the Places, text, Events, Notes, Sources, Citations are accessible for Grabbing or clipboarding.)

As for being forgetful… it would be useful to have Eyedropper and Paintbrush tool options to extend the power of clipboarding.

  1. an Eyedropper could be used to pickup a Place from the Events view without having to open the Event Editor. Or a Family from the Relationship view, or any object from the References tab. Then use the Paintbrush. (It would also be useful for an eventual migration to touchscreens… where drag’n’drop can be cumbersome.)

  2. a paintbrush might be used to add a Place or Citation to a series of rows in the list mode of the Events view or in the Edit Person dialog. Each addition completed without having to drill down into an Edit Event dialog.

It would be wonderful if the painting extended into the Note Editor for creating links. Right now, you cannot drag’n’drop to the Link Editor. So EVERY definition has a lengthy drill down to find the object to be linked.