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Will we ever get a computing environment where all selection-related behaviours are predictable and easy to absorb and get accustomed to? By the looks of it, it won’t happen in my lifetime.

Betalogue » Blog Archive » Shrinking and expanding selections in Mac OS X

It will happen if you switch to GNOME or Windows, where all selections are anchored like a sane selection model should be. I do wish that Apple would standardize, though— pick a model and enforce it across all first-party apps and provide a good enough selection interface in the Cocoa API that no one would bother to write their own unanchored version.