Better File-Upload Plugin

Paul Buchheit’s idea for a browser plugin that does much better file uploads.

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add-on browser file plugin upload
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Project details

Paul Buchheit had a nice idea for way better type="file" form uploads. From his blog entry:

“I want to create a small, reliable browser plugin that does for file uploads what flash does for audio and video. It should work with all the modern browser/os combinations, and install with minimal effort and fuss (browser restarts avoided if possible). It would be free and open source, but hosted in a common location for easy install.”

And he adds, “I’m serious about this, and willing to pay quite a bit of money to make it happen.”

See his better file upload blog entry for more details on what he’s after.

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7 comments (oldest first)

rnc000 14 years ago link

Does Paul know about this project ?

tarwin 14 years ago link

There is already a lot better way of doing file uploads, Flash. It does everything you’d want and is degradable if you use some good JavaScript.

angelogladding 14 years ago link

Flash, Java, Silverlight, etc. all rely on proprietary software. They’re heavy, os-specific, crash all the time, need signing, etc..

The HTML input type=”file” has never once crashed for me ever. Nor has it ever been ill-formatted or misrepresented on my screen. It is universally used and thus universally understood. This is the purpose of standards and standards have made the web what it is today.

Both Box.net’s Java AND Flash implementations have crashed on me more times than they’ve worked. An open source UploadSW looked awesome but crashed at the final stage every time.

The biggest problem we face is no way for multiple files to be selected (IMO). If all the first version did was to fix this I would be happy. In other words, provide a file input dialog with the ability to select multiple files. Then either allow JS to access them as objects and pass them on using AJAX or spawn multiple inputs from the selection to pass on to the server.

angelogladding 14 years ago link

Furthermore, if the plugin/addon is enabled, the user gets the abilities. If it doesn’t exist, they see a normal input. The installation of the plugin is as easy as clicking a link (for at least Firefox and IE? and I’m sure Opera as well).

In other words, Upload multiple files at once.

wlievens 14 years ago link

Graceful degradation would be essential for such a plugin/extension/script. It should require very little (preferrably none at all) effort of the script integrator to include a fallback mechanism.

natea 14 years ago link

Do you know about SWFUpload? It’s Flash-based, lets you select multiple files and is skinnable with CSS. Best of all - it’s free! (donationware). swfupload.mammon.se/

Ben 14 years ago link

Yeah, SWFUpload looks pretty good, but if you look at Paul Buchheit’s original article on it, Flash is kinda out for him. I often don’t have Flash installed on PCs I use – SWFUpload degrades gracefully, which is cool. It’s not perfect, but maybe it’s the best we’ve got for now. :-)

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