> Copy > paste > [re]publish

I was somewhat disappointed last year at Etech and wasn’t able to justify the cost in time or money this year to myself.   However, it would seem I’ve missed something potentially massive, but massive in an unassuming, quiet revolution sort of way:  The "Live Clipboard" [via Ben].

Microsoft’s dev team [at the instigation of Ray Ozzie] have worked on the basic principles of web publishing and higher level ‘scripting’ mashups using structured data to think through how you could create a schema for the common user to create their own ‘mash-up’.  It’s a very simple idea based around the idea of the ‘clipboard’, arguably the most useful yet overlooked function of windows based environments.  Creating a standard data format around copying data and pasting it into different browsers / applications you have the potential to make things anew.  It’s about applying the concept of the clipboard to the web, things like calendar events, lists, shopping items etc.  Of course some of this data is available in a transferable format already as xml, but much isn’t.

I like this development, not because it’s particularly technically radical – it isn’t – the innovation is in the concept and the way it’s deployed, but particularly because it extends a lot of what have up-until-now been standards and platforms for the developer to develop with and applied these same principles to the end-end user, you, me, my mum in a way that is enormously beneficial and yet quite humble, quite ‘ordinary’. As Ray states:

as the flexibility and potential of “mashing up” and recombining
application components gets closer to someone who understands the
user’s needs, the value to that user increases.

Damn right.  And you can’t get much cloer to the user than the user themselves.

They’ve released the code as an attribution share-alike licence, which of course they’d have to in order to get people to actually use and develop with it and make it a standard to give it currency.  Nice one Microsoft – standing up for the ordinary folk and innovating a move from proprietary apps [and it goes some way toward forgiving Ray for giving us Lotus Notes]

An example of Live Clipboard to play with

Walk throughs of Live Clipboard