POSTing (from mosaic for X)

Jay C. Weber (weber@eit.COM)
Sat, 30 Jul 1994 06:10:29 +0200

Speaking of CHECKIN/CHECKOUT, there is a huge space of applications
that would be enabled if the popular web browsers had some way of
grabbing a local file and POSTing it to a server.

So after waiting over a year for it to magically appear, I just
built a variation of Mosaic for X 2.4 that can post local files.
The diffs are really pretty minor, and all #ifdef'd. If the
interest in this outweights the flames, I'll post 'em. I'd
love for this mod to catch on (I can't imagine I'm the only one
dying for this capability.)

The easiest way would have been to add a "Post Local File..."
option to the File menu, but in an attempt to head off all those
pages saying "Now, choose the Post Local File option and type
the following URL into the box..." I did it by adding POSTing ability
to anchors.

That is, the <A> tag in my version can take a method=POST
attribute ala the <FORM> tag. The semantics of this is that the
browser is supposed to determine an appropriate body and POST it
to the HREF instead of doing a GET. My version gets the body by
popping up a file-system-browsing dialog box, and reading the
selected file.

Of course, the server side already supports such POSTing in the
sense that it is straightforward to write CGI programs that handle

With this in hand, I prototyped a document translation service that
solicits such POSTing of word-processed documents, and returns an
HTML version. (Please don't ask to see/use it yet!)

Data processing services, they're the future!


Jay C. Weber Director, R&D
Enterprise Integration Technologies
800 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025 (415)617-8002 fax: (415)617-8019