Re: Idea for new form input type

David Parker (
Fri, 25 Feb 1994 23:38:27 --100

>>> In order to support the posting of large files using form based
>>> machanisms I suggest that a new input type "include-file" (or
>>> 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?
>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?
>Should the form allow the specification of a desired/required MIME content
>type for the file to be named?
>Should there be a mechanism for specifying the MIME content type of the
>file to be sent?

I agree that there is a urgent need for an 'include-file' feature. As an
example, I have been beating my head to find a way to reference and
download self-extracting files. I _do not_ want to open it or filter it
in any way - only save it locally from a file server. At this time, I know
of no way to do it. I think include-file feature would cover this.

This does not have to 'smart.' It could be as simple as a reference to the
file like the existing URL.

One possible script for this could look like, <A HREF=includefile://...> and
<A HREF=includehttp://...>

There should NOT be a MIME content type for the file: it is too complicated
and defeats the nature of the transfer one is trying to achieve (anonymous
file types).


David Parker 408/285-7718
Database Specialist
Tandem Computers. Inc.