Re: input type=file
Thu, 30 Mar 95 09:45:44 EST

John R. R. Leavitt writes:
> I'm puzzled about something. This is more an HTTP question than an
> HTML question, but it is pertinent, given the push to get HTML 2.1
> finalized (seemingly before 2.0). If I use an <input type=file>, what
> does the query string contain?
> The file name or path? This would not be terribly useful in most
> cases.
> A URL for the file? If this is the case, it strikes me as a very
> harsh restriction to only be able to upload web-accessible files.
> The whole file? Some (most? all?) OSs will probably have limits on
> environment variable lengths that would would rule out using the GET
> method.

It will/should include the whole file. Limitations using GET are already
hit with even moderately complex forms. I believe the limit they ran into
was the # of chars able to be passed on the command line to a script.

> The same question suggests itself for type=scribble and type=sound
> (although I didn't see this one in the latest 3.0 spec; did it die?
> did I dream it?). Designing this stuff into HTML is great, but if
> browsers and servers are going to support it, the HTTP issues have to
> be addressed as well. If this IS already addressed somewhere, I offer
> my apologies and ask only that someone hurl me the URL. Thanks.

Seems that scribble is at least still there (page 124 of the latest html
3 draft).

I think that the best way to tackle the large submissions is with the
multipart/form-data content type. Emacs-w3 and AIR Mosaic already support
this (does netscape 1.1b2? - haven't had time to check), and I believe
larry masinter has hacked an XMosaic to do it as part of the file upload
proposal, as well as a cgi-bin decoder.

-Bill P.