HTML File Drag-and-drop
December 17, 2008 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I currently am using plain-jane HTML form "browse" file input fields to allow uploading on several sites. I want to move forward. I think "thinfile" will work for me, but before forking out the bux, do you have any recommendations?

I would like to do is replace the browse input on the form with a multiple file drag-and-drop applet or other tool--I can handle the post-upload processing.

The sites where this would be installed are on shared hosts -- Apache, PHP, MySQL -- and in addition to the convenience of multiple files at once, getting around my favored host's 2-4MB practical limit for file sizes would be a bonus.

I have a PHP handler for the back end, which I can adapt to multiple files.

It looks like thinfile, specifically, "thin slice," would work for me, with a bit of monkeying around. The cost isn't outrageous but also isn't insubstantial.

Do you have any alternatives you would recommend, or have you had direct experience with these products?

Here are my requirements:

1) I need to be able to redirect after upload;
2) Progress bar;
3) The software will skirt the max upload limit for individual files on the host (thin slice does this by splitting the files into chunks and reassembling them on the server);
4) I cannot access the "put" method;
5) I absolutely, positively need to strip directory information from the uploaded files, I just want them dumped into the root of my holding directory;
6) I need to be able to access at least the file name(s) after upload via PHP;
7) Multiple users of the site need to be able to use the tool simultaneously, passing the PHP handler only the information on the files that user just uploaded;
8) Needs to be able to handle a variety of file types;
9) Don't want post-upload file management as part of the tool, or a way to disable them if the tool has them.


1) Ability to filter out file types on client side first;
2) Some level of customization of the appearance of the tool;
3) Free or low cost, but I'm happy to pay a reasonable amount.

I can also create an FTP account for the tool to use if it called for it--but I still need to be able to grab file info with my PHP handler when the upload is finished.

In an ideal universe, I'd avoid a java applet but I'm not sure what other solutions might be out there. I understand Flash-based solutions have been used but judging from the broken flash upload in my wordpress blogs, I'm not sure how robust they are.

I can code in javascript, PHP, Flash, and some other basic languages, so I'm open to code snippets or libraries that might accomplish the same thing if they're straightforward to implement.

Thank you for your ideas.
posted by maxwelton to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Well, I personally can't stand it when people overload basic browser functionality with various plugins, applets, javascript or whatever. If you want to make it easy for people to upload multiple files, you could expose a WebDAV or FTP folder for them. Windows users could open explorer windows directly to them, with no extra software needed.
posted by delmoi at 1:01 AM on December 18, 2008

flash has a brilliant class called FileReference that you can use to upload/download(/load into memory, as of V10) files. it automatically triggers the native browse dialog and tracks transfer progress. you can build a pretty clean and intuitive interface and style it however you like. you can display progress on individual files, as well as cumulative progress and give users the option to cancel individual transfers. the list goes on, but it doesn't include drag/drop.

but it is flash, so...
posted by klanawa at 3:27 PM on December 18, 2008

I'm not 100% sure this one does everything you want, but you might want to take a look at SWFUpload. Seems pretty decent for Flash.
posted by webmutant at 7:41 PM on December 20, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, webmutant, I'll take a look. Incidentally, it looks like thinslice and other "thin" products are based on radupload, which does the same stuff and is somewhat cheaper.
posted by maxwelton at 12:07 PM on December 21, 2008

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