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13 April 2011, 15:10

W3C releases draft for clipboard API

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W3C Logo After releasing the previous draft for a clipboard API in 2006, the W3C has now published an updated version. Currently, Microsoft's Internet Explorer offers the clipboardData object; while Firefox only allows the clipboard to be used via JavaScript once a configuration change has been made; Opera requires an add-on; and Google is working on a currently experimental extension for Chrome. The W3C's API could bring order to this chaos, but it is still at a very early stage in its development.

The draft defines three events, copy, cut and paste. For accessing the clipboard, it uses the setData, getData and clearData methods that are defined in the forthcoming HTML5 standard's DataTransfer interface. It remains an open question whether there will be an official list of permitted data types for clipboard operations, and who could maintain such a list. Other topics in need of clarification are the handling of composite objects and the processing of copy/paste operations across web sites.


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