Re: Idea for new form input type (Lou Montulli)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 10:43:18 --100
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From: (Lou Montulli)
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Idea for new form input type
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> Lou,
> > In order to support the posting of large files using form based
> > machanisms I suggest that a new input type "include-file" (or
> > something similar) be added.  This new type would be a file
> > that exists on the local machine whose data would be posted
> > to the forms server during form submission.  This method
> > would require the file to be posted using a MIME multipart
> > message.
> How do you imagine this appearing to users? Do they see an input field
> for typing (pasting) a file name into? Or is it a button which pops up
> the file dialog, then when closed changes its name to that of the
> selected file?

That would of course be at the discretion of the browser writer, but
I was visualizing it as a button with a changing label.

> > The reasons this will be useful are as follows:
> > * large text files can be sent without having to cut and paste
> >   them into a textarea window as they are now.
> > * no memory limits on the size of the file.  (currently all input
> >   data is held in memory)
> > * arbitrary binary files can be sent 
> Seems good to me, I guess smart browser could also support drag 'n drop.
> Tim Berners-Lee suggested a while back now, that you should be able to
> paste (or drag 'n drop) arbitary data into a TEXTAREA field with the
> browser being responsible for managing the encapsulation when sending
> it to the server, and also how to present the pasted data to the user.
> The browser could default to showing the file name and size if it doesn't
> have any other way of displaying the file/object in the widget.
> One way of combining the two ideas is for the TEXTAREA widget to show
> a file menu in addition to the vertical and horizontal scrollbars.
> Surely this more general approach would be better than a simple file
> name widget?
Are you really comfortable with dragging an executable or image file
into a TEXTAREA window.  The conception of dropping binary data into
a text window seems very odd.  Not to mention the fact that the
implementation would be very difficult.  What do you do if someone
has typed in data and then drops in a binary file?  Also, all current
implementations of TEXTAREA would have to be completely rewritten.
(you can't simply use a standard text widget anymore)

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