I was doing a little work on the Design Guidelines document tonight and I noticed this section that we added recently.   I thought I'd post it here for your comments.    Where are you using ICloneable today?  Do you agree with this suggestion?


1.1 Implementing ICloneable

The ICloneable interface contains a single Clone method, which is used to create a copy of the current object.

public interface ICloneable {

    object Clone();


?      Do not implement ICloneable

There are two general ways to implement ICloneable, either as a deep, or non-deep copy. Deep-copy copies the cloned object and all objects referenced by the object, recursively until all objects in the graph are copied. A non-deep copy (referred to as ‘shallow’ if only the top level references are copied) may do none, or part of a deep copy.

Because the interface contract does not specify the type of clone performed, different classes have different implementations. A consumer cannot rely on ICloneable to let them know whether an object is deep-cloned or not.

Note: If you need a cloning mechanism, define your own Clone, or Copy methodology, and ensure that you document clearly whether it is a deep or shallow copy. An appropriate pattern is:

public <type> Copy();

?      Do not use ICloneable in public APIs