W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webapi@w3.org > March 2006

Re: Safe copy and paste with scripts

From: Mihai Sucan <mihai.sucan@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 11:47:35 +0200
To: paul@activemath.org
Cc: "Web API WG" <public-webapi@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.s5435la0mcpsjg@localhost.localdomain>

Le Thu, 09 Mar 2006 10:25:39 +0200, Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org> a  

> Mihai Sucan wrote:
>> Take a look at: http://www.mozilla.org/editor/midasdemo/
>> That's a pretty old WYSIWYG editor demo for Gecko. They do allow web  
>> pages to cut/copy/paste only if the user grants access. They don't  
>> currently provide an UI for enabling the feature, but the capability is  
>> in place.
> Thanks for that... I wasn't aware of it indeed.

No problem. AFAIK it's not the only example, but this is the smallest and  
quickest I've found.

> However, as we know... no-one wants to enable clipboard access for all  
> sites!
> So this is a kind of no-go.


> How would you go with trust-giving ?
> At least in java, trust can only be given to signed things... and that's  
> where the painful things start.

Just pitching here ...

We already have in place HTTPS, with secured certificates, blah blah.  
There are strict policies that apply to such sites.

Clipboard access could be given only to sites over secured connections. It  
doesn't make much sense if you think of it, but this way you'd weed out a  
huge number of n00bs trying to screw-up the clipboard of the visitor just  
for fun.

I'll take Opera as an example: if the secured certificate is "dodgy",  
Opera asks you if you accept it or not. This is a good thing. Also, IE has  
the policy level of "trusted site" for secured sites, etc.

There's no need for a new complex way of making clipboard access secured.

Yes, this would be painful for authors, but not for implementors. They  
already have this in place and they can easily enable clipboard access to  
secured sites.

The "painful for authors" problem shouldn't of too much concern, at least  
in regards to clipboard access. If it's easy, too many will feel the  
"urge" to have "fun" with somebodys clipboard.

There's a risk in doing so, the entire usefulness would be simply rendered  
useless by having it constrained to secured sites only.

Maybe after reading this somebody can come up with a better idea.

I'm still for "user confirmation" (no matter how) when a site wants  
clipboard access. It's easy, it's not complex, etc.

As far as I've learned, a spec does not have to define UI stuff and  
related. Then, simply define the clipboard access and ... provide a big  
fat informative warning for implementors along these lines: "it's up to  
you to make it secure, maybe provide a way for the user to confirm access  
to the clipboard data".

What would you suggest?

P.S. Off-topic: email address changed.

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Received on Thursday, 9 March 2006 10:02:09 UTC

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