05/05/2012 @15:24:47 ^15:58:05

Paste bins

Features I look for in a paste bin, roughly in descending order of desirability

  1. command line interface
  2. finite expiry time
  3. clean interface

The first is absolutely essential; if I have to faff with a web interface, I'm not going to use it. A clean interface is necessary so you can paste patches at people and they can just pipe the url into patch or git apply or whatever. As for finite expiry time, the nature of the medium for which the paste bin concept was invented is inherently ephemeral, so too should be the pastes.


Has (1) if you bother to figure out the necessary scripting. Great at (2), you can even have things that expire after 10 minutes.

Fails (3) completely, the page you get back is covered in garbage, flash applets, social networking, you name it, you get back 12k+ of html+javascript (not including page requisites - images, css, adverts, etc.) for a 4 byte paste (although you can stick "?raw=" into the URL you get back in an appropriate place)


Almost perfect, (1) is implicit and the main page tells you how to use curl to do it in one line, for (3) it couldn't be cleaner (you get plain text by default but it will do syntax highlighting if you append things to the url)

Unfortunately though it has no support for (2) and I hate the idea of my random pastes hanging around for ever.