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Re: Spec review request: CSV on the Web

From: Yakov Shafranovich <yakov-ietf@shaftek.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:00:59 -0400
Message-ID: <CAPQd5oSAUKvAY0ySETKhU2BsX2fp7qZ5Li+68qDYZ740ZQMi8w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>, Paul Libbrecht <paul@hoplahup.net>, Jeni Tennison <jeni@jenitennison.com>, Public TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>, "public-csv-wg@w3.org" <public-csv-wg@w3.org>
It appears that at least on Chrome, Safari and partially on FireFox,
you can use MIME media types with the clipboard in Javascript:

On FireFox, that appears to be limited to copy from the web, and not to paste:

There is some other work here but not a lot:


On Sun, Apr 19, 2015 at 8:03 PM, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> wrote:
> Interesting.  I would like to get up to date in clipboard formats -- they
> are an interesting and powerful part of these systems, especially when there
> is set of smart coercions between them.  We we just discussing in the team
> the pasting of HTML into a spreadsheet as a very useful case.  It can be
> very frustrating to have an over-cute system too, like one which won't let
> you paste a plain URI into a HTML document without pasting the remembered
> link contents.  Where is there a good summary of the pasteboard formats in
> the various OSs?
> timbl
> On 2015-04 -19, at 05:01, Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com> wrote:
> On 19 April 2015 at 12:51, Paul Libbrecht <paul@hoplahup.net> wrote:
> Dear Jeni and all,
> do I mistake or there is nothing about clipboard formats in this set of
> specs?
> Ideally, such would be in a media-type-declaration but it seems like the
> one here would also be suited.
> Basically: it would be clipboard flavour names for windows and UTI for OSX).
> The lack of such a convention  has made it that HTML tables are sniffed
> and partially successfully copy and pasted from some browsers to some
> spreadsheets (thus far: Firefox + Excel only)... This seems to be the
> only way thus far and, indeed, xls or csv exports are pretty common as
> an extra service of web applications whereas a selection, copy, and
> paste would widely more intuitive.
> Interesting. I don't recall the topic coming up (although I may have missed
> it).
> How would we go about getting official clipboard flavour names for
> Windows and OSX UTI?
> Dan
> thanks in advance.
> Paul
> On 18/04/15 12:24, Jeni Tennison wrote:
> Hello TAG,
> The CSV on the Web Working Group would like to request that the TAG review
> the following Working Drafts:
>  Model for Tabular Data and Metadata on the Web -
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-data-model-20150416/
>  Metadata Vocabulary for Tabular Data -
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-metadata-20150416/
>  Generating JSON from Tabular Data on the Web -
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-csv2json-20150416/
>  Generating RDF from Tabular Data on the Web -
>    http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-csv2rdf-20150416/
> There are three things in particular that I'd like to draw the TAG's
> attention to, where we have adopted a "pragmatic" rather than "correct"
> design:
> 1. We have a facility to enable transformations over tabular data using
> templates or scripts [1], to provide for transformations beyond those we've
> defined for JSON and RDF. In doing this we need to be able to indicate the
> format of both the result of the transformation and the format of the
> template or script that is being used.
> We think that the "correct" way of doing this would be to use media types.
> However, it's quite rare for templating syntaxes (such as Mustache) to have
> a registered media type, so instead we have opted to use URLs to name those
> formats and encourage users to use URLs in the form
> http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/{mediatype} when there is a
> registered media type. Is this the right approach to take or should we be
> more insistent on the use of a media type?
> 2. In the conversion to RDF, we want to use the 'describes' link relation
> defined in [2] to say that a particular row in the tabular data describes a
> particular thing (such as a person or event). Because this is RDF, the
> relationship has to have a URL.
> However, as has been discussed elsewhere [3], IANA registered link relations
> do not have individual URLs and
> http://www.iana.org/assignments/link-relations/describes doesn't resolve.
> Similarly, the link relation wiki doesn't have individual URLs for link
> relations. We decided to create a URL for this relationship in our own
> namespace, with a reference to the proper definition (see discussion at
> [4]), but hope that this case might prompt the TAG to try to get some
> movement on this issue.
> 3. The model of access that we're assuming for CSV and other tabular data
> files is that someone will link directly to the CSV file (as currently) and
> that processors will need to retrieve a metadata file about that CSV based
> on the location of the CSV file. Note that metadata files are file-specific;
> we wouldn't expect a single metadata file that includes information about
> every CSV file on a particular site.
> We think that the "correct" way of getting this pointer to a metadata file
> (given that there is no scope for embedding information within the CSV file
> itself) is to use a Link header that points to the metadata file, and we
> have specified that here [5].
> However, we recognise that there are many publishing environments in which
> it is impossible for users to set HTTP headers, particularly on an
> individual file basis. We have therefore specified two other mechanisms to
> retrieve metadata files, used only if the URL of the original CSV file
> doesn't include a query string:
>  * appending '-metadata.json' to the end of the URL to get file-specific
> metadata [6]
>  * resolving the URL '../metadata.json' against the URL to get
> directory-level metadata [7]
> Neither of these feels great: they require users who can't use Link headers
> to structure their URL space in particular ways, and they use string
> concatenation on URLs which is horrible. However, we can't see any better
> alternative to meet our requirement for what is in effect a file-specific
> well known URI.
> We'd obviously welcome wider review of the documents if you have time, but
> these are the three issues on which we'd particularly like your opinion.
> Thanks,
> Jeni
> [1]
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-metadata-20150416/#transformation-definitions
> [2] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6892
> [3] https://github.com/mnot/I-D/issues/39
> [4] https://github.com/w3c/csvw/issues/297
> [5] http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-data-model-20150416/#link-header
> [6]
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-data-model-20150416/#standard-file-metadata
> [7]
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2015/WD-tabular-data-model-20150416/#standard-directory-metadata
> --
> Jeni Tennison
> http://www.jenitennison.com/
Received on Monday, 20 April 2015 03:01:57 UTC

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