Ray Ozzie: ‘extend the clipboard user model to the web’

Ray Ozzie had an idea he's taking further:

"The idea was based on using a simple and consistent user model to wire-the-web that would assist individuals in creating their own mesh of interconnections - both web-to-web and web-to-PC.

...Simply stated, I’d like to extend the clipboard user model to the web.

...I call this new concept Live Clipboard, because we view “live” efforts as those providing users with seamless end-to-end scenarios that “just work” by weaving together the best of software and the best of services."


Live Clipboard Demo


Earlier in the post Ray provides some insight into his thought process behind the arrival of the idea. He explains:

"I believe RSS has the potential to be the “UNIX pipe of the internet”, and that one of the simplest and most pervasive “mesh” needs that many of us have is to provide connections for things such as contacts, calendar entries, messages, files and the like."

Dave Winer provides an example scenario showing what this means to the user:

"Let’s say you have two sites both of which understand calendar data. I want to move an appointment from one site to another. In Ray’s scheme, there’s now an icon on each site, next to each piece of data that can be transported. The icon is a picture of a scissor. Bring site A to the front, click on the scissor and choose Copy, then bring site B to the front, click on the scissor and choose Paste.

At first, you’d think it has to be some terrible ActiveX hack, but it’s not — it’s a hidden text field and a bit of JavaScript that moves the data around."

Very cool.

Here's a screencast of a Live Clipboard demo and a web based demo to play with.


Update: Reactions starting to trickle through:

Ross Rader:

"Here's why I'm excited about it - it lets me leverage standard operating system conventions for accessing data on the clipboard. Ray’s proposal is remarkable in its simplicity and brilliant in its execution. While it might seem like a small development to some, it really deals quite effectively with a massive usability issue that a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to address using much more complicated and less useful mechanisms."

Marc Canter:

"It’s so simple - it’s one of those smack your forehead and say “why didn’t I think of that!” kind of idea!"



Anil Dash:

"In a development that's clearly been brewing for some time, Ray responds to the demand for better data interoperability"

More discussions at Memeorandum.

Update II

Here's a draft transcript of Ray Ozzie's presentation dicussing Live Clipboard at ETech today.

Geek News Central:

"Imagine going over to your Flickr account, grabbing a picture you have their and dragging it with all of it's metadata attached into your blog and have your blog automatically update and allow your comments plus update the flickr page to tell it where the picture is being displayed."

Update III:

A comment left on Robert Scoble's blog, posted by the author of the Folknology blog

"Actually I think this is sheer brilliance, particularly the live linking with RSS underneath. But the best thing is you guys have not spoilt the idea by making it proprietary and Microsoft only. I love the way it uses Microformats, pure gold."


"For micro-ISV’s, I can see this opening up a whole slew of possibilities"

Inside Microsoft:

"I love the idea of being able to move data as you please, and getting websites to act a little less like individual islands. Obviously, there are some issues, like getting websites to use the system, making sure it works in most browsers, various security issues (like sites accessing the data without your permission) and making it work with as many types of data as possible. Still, I think its a great start."



Comments (8)
  1. Stewart says:

    It’d be interesting to render some structured data that originated on a users machine like an OPML list and then take it between different applications…

  2. BillyG says:

    Nice post Alex, no wonder I can never get dugg! lol


  3. Al says:

    Great roundup of this idea as it spreads accross the blogosphere Alex.

    I actually posted on it as wells as commenting on Roberts blog 😉


    Al (Folknology author)

  4. 曾登高 says:

    微软在扩展RSS标准为SSE以后,最近又有新的动作,CTO Ray Ozzie在O’Reilly的Emerging Technology Conference上演示了一种新的数据交换技术,他们把这个称作Live Clipboard。

    微软的这些想法确实非常棒,如果说SSE只是微软在RSS上迈出的一小步,Live Clipboard已经全面超越了RSS。从信息流转本质开始考虑解决方案,看来微软在Web上的野心不小。

  5. I’ve put together a demo here: http://microtemplates.org/2006/05/14/ray-ozzie-clipboard-example/ that illustrates how microtemplates can be used to control how pasted data is presented on a web site.

  6. sky says:

    Swift Paste is a powerful clipboard software. Windows clipboard can only store one data when you cut/copy data. Swift Paste can store multiple clipboard datas and easy paste these datas to active window. Otherwise, you can also store your E-Mail, website, address, password, product info, etc to Swift Paste then paste them at anytime.


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