[whatwg] embedding meta data for copy/paste usages - possible use case for RDF-in-HTML?

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Mon Jan 19 11:21:25 PST 2009

Hallvord R M Steen wrote:
> I'd like some way to add meta data to a page that could be integrated
> with the UA's copy/paste commands.

These use cases are a good start, but the problem is that you've begun 
with the assumption that copy and paste would be a part of the solution.

> For example, if I copy a sentence from Wikipedia and paste it in some
> word processor, it would be great if the word processor offered to
> automatically create a bibliographic entry.

Do you mean a bibliographic entry that references the source web site, 
and included information such as the URL, title, publication date and 
author names?  That could be a useful feature, even if it could only 
obtain the URL and title easily.

Often, when writing an article that quotes several websites, it's a time 
consuming process to copy and paste the quote, then the page or article 
title and then the URL to link to it.  An editor with a Paste as 
Quotation feature which helped automate that would be useful.

HTML5 already contains elements that can be used to help obtain this 
information, such as the <title>, <article> and it's associated heading 
<h1> to <h6> and <time>.  Obtaining author names might be a little more 
difficult, though perhaps hCard might help.

> If I copy the name of one of my Facebook "friends" and paste it into
> my OS address book, it would be cool if the contact information was
> imported automatically. Or maybe I pasted it in my webmail's address
> book feature, and the same import operation happened..

I believe this problem is adequately addressed by the hCard microformat 
and various browser extensions that are available for some browsers, 
like Firefox.  The solution doesn't need to involve a copy and paste 
operation.  It just needs a way to select contact info on the page and 
export it to an address book.  There are even web services that will 
parse an HTML page and output a vCard file that can be imported directly 
into address book programs.

> If I select an E-mail in my webmail and copy it, it would be awesome
> if my desktop mail client would just import the full E-mail with
> complete headers and different parts if I just switch to the mail
> client app and paste.

Couldn't this be solved by the web mail server providing an export 
feature which let the user download the email as an .eml file and open 
it with their mail client?  Again, I don't believe the solution to this 
requires a copy and paste operation.  However, I'm not sure what problem 
you're trying to solve.  Why would a user want to do this?  Why can't 
users who want to access their email using a mail client use POP or IMAP?

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software

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