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Re: Copy to Clipboard - ambush and abuse by javascript

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 20:58:53 +0100
Message-ID: <4C06B7FD.7050800@webr3.org>
To: Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>
CC: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>
Does this in anyway tie in with what John Kemp is working on with 
CORS/UMP etc?

On reflection it seems a bit odd a spec is being made that allows sites 
to transfer personal information to each other, but doesn't give any 
control to the user over what they want to send to those sites.

Best,

Nathan

Noah Mendelsohn wrote:
> Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
> 
>  > This I think seriously violates the function
>  > of Copy, and the user's rights.
> 
> Yes, I agree completely.  It's obnoxious, unhelpful, and contrary to the 
> spirit of the platform specifications for copy/paste.
> 
>  > Should browsers ensure that Copy is always a
>  > read-only operation, unless they have INSTALLED code to do something
>  > different?
> 
> I agree with the spirit of what you're asking for, but I'm not sure the 
> words "read-only" capture the essence of what's needed.  Copy is, of 
> course, an operation that identifies data for transfer, and the 
> corresponding paste is necessarily an update operation on the target 
> document or system.
> 
> My deeper concern is that in fact certain sorts of data manipulation are 
> expected and useful, particularly when doing format conversions as part 
> of copy/paste.  So, for example, if I am reading an HTML document and I 
> select multiple paragraphs of text, it might well be appropriate for a 
> copy operation to put at least two versions on the clipboard:
> 
> HTML Clipboard format:
> <p>Text of para1</p>
> <p>Text of para2</p>
> 
> Text Clipboard format:
> Text of Para 1\n
> \n\n
> Text of Para 2
> 
> I think it's important that whatever rules we set for browsers not 
> prohibit such helpful re-expression of the same information using 
> different formats.  We need to find a formulation that encourages such 
> useful reformatting, but prohibits the sort of inappropriate updates 
> that are described in the Daring Fireball posting. In any case, it 
> doesn't seem to me that the term "read-only" quite captures what we 
> want.  Thank you.
> 
> Noah
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>> Example on MSNBC:
>> http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/29875493/ns/today-green/
>> Very frustrating -- but a violation of the user interface.
>>
>> It is discussed by John Gruber on:
>> http://daringfireball.net/2010/05/tynt_copy_paste_jerks
>>
>> "the site uses JavaScript to report what you’ve copied to an analytics 
>> server" when you perform a copy.
>> This I think seriously violates the function of Copy, and the user's 
>> rights.
>>
>> Should browsers ensure that Copy is always a read-only operation, 
>> unless they have INSTALLED code to do something different?
>>
>> Tim
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
> 
Received on Wednesday, 2 June 2010 19:59:56 GMT

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