[whatwg] Directory upload via <input type="file" directory>

John Gregg johnnyg at google.com
Tue Apr 6 12:53:52 PDT 2010

That's a fair question, but how is it clear today whether an input can
accept multiple files vs. a single file using drag-and-drop?  Currently if I
drag multiple files onto an input that doesn't have 'multiple', I get only
the first one.  (In Chrome.)

Some good default text from the UA, like "Choose folder..." instead of
"Choose file...", would go far to solve that, I think.


On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 12:38 PM, Ojan Vafai <ojan at chromium.org> wrote:

> What about drag-drop? I should be able to drag a directory, a file, or a
> list of files onto an input, no? If not, how is this distinction shown to
> users? How will it be clear to users when they can do one or the other?
> Ojan
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 3:53 PM, John Gregg <johnnyg at google.com> wrote:
>> For context, Ian Fette started a thread about uploading directories of
>> files in December:
>> http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-December/024455.html
>> At that time, it was thought that directory upload could be implemented by
>> a UA in response to a <input type="file" multiple> tag using different UI
>> only, and modifying the FileAPI spec to allow path information in the form
>> input.files[0].name="1.jpg"
>> input.files[0].path="a"
>> input.files[1].name="2.jpg"
>> input.files[1].path="a/b"
>> input.files[2].name="3.jpg"
>> input.files[2].path="a/c"
>> I've started developing a prototype of this in WebKit/Chromium.  Based on
>> what I've encountered so far, I would like to propose adding directory
>> upload functionality using an explicit new 'directory' attribute on the file
>> input element.
>> The existing behavior of <input type="file" multiple> would not change,
>> but when processing <input type="file" directory>, the UA would display a
>> directory selection UI and store the path information, and *not* allow
>> individual files to be selected.  It would allow multiple files to have the
>> same leaf name (.name attribute), as long as the paths were different.  The
>> path attributes would include the name of the chosen directory
>> This would be preferable for several reasons:
>>  - Most built-in file system UI on major platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux)
>> have distinct dialogs for choosing files and choosing directories.  Allowing
>> the UA to use these directly makes sense rather than creating hybrids.
>>  - Avoiding "leaf name" conflicts in a directory tree is not feasible in
>> many applications -- asking a user to ensure unique photo names in a large
>> set of albums before uploading would fail to meet that use case.  Therefore
>> HTML documents should know in advance whether the path information will be
>> relevant in the eventual storage of the files.  Sites currently using <input
>> type="file" multiple> would have compatibility problems with an
>> implementation which allowed conflicting file names along different paths.
>> What are your thoughts about adding the 'directory' attribute?
>> Thanks,
>>  -John
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