Microsoft is determined to make PWAs first-class applications on Windows and their latest effort is improving support for the system clipboard for websites and web apps.
Microsoft and Google are currently working on a new Pickle Clipboard API which lets websites read and write arbitrary unsanitized payloads using a standardized pickling format, as well as read and write a limited subset of OS-specific formats (for supporting legacy apps).
Microsoft says the existing Web Platform has an API that supports the most popular standardized data types (text, image, rich text) across all platforms, however, this API does not scale to the long tail of specialized formats. In particular, custom formats, non-web-standard formats like TIFF (a large image format), and proprietary formats like .docx (a document format), are not supported by the current Web Platform.
With web apps becoming more prevalent, some powerful web applications would like to exchange data payloads with web and native applications via the OS clipboard (copy-paste).
The Pickle Clipboard API would see the name of the clipboard format is managed by the browser in a standardized way to indicate that the content is from the web, which allows native applications to opt-in to accepting the unsanitized content.
Microsoft says the new API will allow:
- Allow copy/paste between web and native apps using the system clipboard.
- Developers can create custom clipboard formats.
- Preserve security/privacy.
- Provide fine-grained control over the clipboard.
- Built on existing Async Clipboard API.
The work has already begun to implement Pickling into Chromium, and will hopefully proceed without the controversy caused by Microsoft’s Enhanced URL copy and paste.