Methods of editor<%> that use the clipboard -- including copy, cut, paste, and do-edit-operation -- consume a time stamp argument. This time stamp is generally extracted from the mouse-event% or key-event% object that triggered the clipboard action. X uses the time stamp to synchronize clipboard operations among the clipboard clients.
All instances of event% include a time stamp, which can be obtained using get-time-stamp.
If the time stamp is 0, it defauls to the current time. Using 0 as the time stamp almost always works fine, but it is considered bad manners under X.