Re: Idea for new form input type

Dave_Raggett (
Fri, 25 Feb 1994 10:46:57 --100

Robert C. Pettengill writes in response to Dave Raggett

>> 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?

> This approach would not address the problem of non text files very well.
> Should a CGI script have to be prepared to handle a MS Word document as
> well as ASCII text from a text area field?

As you go on to suggest the content type of the TEXTAREA field would be
encoded using MIME. This also allows the same field to include multiple
objects of varying types. The CGI script would be able to break apart
and process the objects accordingly.

This entails switching to a MIME encapsulation for form contents as
suggested by Lou.

Lou comments:

> 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)

The idea here is to generalise the window to handle arbitrary objects
and to exploit MIME for encapsulation. Yes the implementation would be
harder but much of the work is in switching to a MIME encapsulation of
form contents which is needed anyway for the simpler file name field.
Object level embedding is an issue we need to think about and my idea
is a step in this direction.