Flash Clipboard Utility

Blogging tools are getting smarter. I upgraded to MoveableType to 3.2 over the weekend. While their internal spam controls doesn’t hold a candle to my French Canadian comments SWF + 3 lines of Perl code, the trackback auto-discovery is pretty cool. It’s not new, it just came turned on by default so I just found out about it. Basically, if my blog entry links to another blog with a trackback URL, MoveableType will automatically ping it when you post. Pimp!

However, for those who manually copy trackback URL’s, they are still unweidly. You can’t link to them because they are meant for blogging tools, not a web browser. As hyperlinks are unbroken text, they don’t always wrap correctly; I put mine in a scrolling div. You therefore have to highlight and select it. Not an overtly hard task mind you, but requires more than your average amount of hand-eye coordination merely for the sake of citing someone elses discussion.

So, I immediately thought of a Flash solution. Then, I immediately felt bad for bashing AJAX the other day (12305848’th time in 2 days), so I went looking for a JavaScript solution instead. It turns out the first 10 results for google are sites that think IE is the only browser in the world that matters, a blog that wrote 2 entries on how insecure IE’s ability is to read your clipboard is, and a security company’s report on the exploit. There are 2 ways, one for IE4 and one for IE5… never went to page 2 in search of a Moz way. While I managed to get the IE code to work for her majesty (her work is IE5, hardcore), I realized, in the time spent I could of been done with my Flash idea. Still, I owe it to myself to get out of my comfort zone.

…and of course upon returning to said comfort zone, I actually, you know, accomplished something. Imagine that.

I created a text hyperlink in Flash that uses the same CSS as my site. When you click it, it copies the trackback URL to your clipboard. Small, but helpful I think. Secure, and so far works on IE6 & Firefox 1.5 for PC, and Safari on Mac. The trackback URL is passed to the SWF via flashvars, and the SWF merely goes System.setClipboard(trackback_url) when you click it. It’s at the bottom of this entry, “Copy to Clipboard”.

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