OpenClip, she is dead

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Learning a language the Web 2.0 way

For those of you who do not remember – or do not care to remember – OpenClip was supposed to be an open framework for implementing the Cocoa NSPasteboard functionality to the iPhone. While I’m thinking that if Apple wanted to implement copy/paste into the iPhone they would have done it already or will do it soon, OpenClip was a noble effort to work around the limitations of OS X on the iPhone.

As Herr Gruber pointed out, OpenClip used a loophole that made it possible for applications to read each other’s sandboxes, thereby creating a temporary repository for paste data. This, however, brings up a fairly big problem – in order to find pasted information, the “paster” has to search the home directories of each application in series and, besides, the 2.1 firmware will no longer allow that.

Apps that use OpenClip will no longer be able to copy and paste between applications. However, applications can still utilize a persistent way to store data inside the application, meaning that copy and paste within the app will still work fine. And on top of that, apps that utilize only one form (either copy or paste) can disable interface elements when Apple axes OpenClip.

So that’s the end of that. Clearly OpenClip was a cry for help rather than a viable tool. Apple knows we want cut and paste – even the abhorrent Windows Mobile has that little feature – and they’ll probably roll it out as soon as they damn well feel like it. It would also be swell if we had that background messaging platform they promised way back at WWDC but who are we to judge the whims of our overlords?

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