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Form-based File Upload in HTML (RFC1867)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004123D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 11 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

E. Nebel: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Currently, HTML forms allow the producer of the form to request information from the user reading the form. These forms have proven useful in a wide variety of applications in which input from the user is necessary. However, this capability is limited because HTML forms don't provide a way to ask the user to submit files of data. Service providers who need to get files from the user have had to implement custom user applications. (Examples of these custom browsers have appeared on the www-talk mailing list.) Since file-upload is a feature that will benefit many applications, this proposes an extension to HTML to allow information providers to express file upload requests uniformly, and a MIME compatible representation for file upload responses. This also includes a description of a backward compatibility strategy that allows new servers to interact with the current HTML user agents.

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Network Working Group E. Nebel

Request For Comments: 1867 L. Masinter

Category: Experimental Xerox Corporation

November 1995

Form-based File Upload in HTML

Status of this Memo

This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet

community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any

kind. Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.

Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Abstract

Currently, HTML forms allow the producer of the form to request

information from the user reading the form. These forms have proven

useful in a wide variety of applications in which input from the user

is necessary. However, this capability is limited because HTML forms

don't provide a way to ask the user to submit files of data. Service

providers who need to get files from the user have had to implement

custom user applications. (Examples of these custom browsers have

appeared on the www-talk mailing list.) Since file-upload is a

feature that will benefit many applications, this proposes an

extension to HTML to allow information providers to express file

upload requests uniformly, and a MIME compatible representation for

file upload responses. This also includes a description of a

backward compatibility strategy that allows new servers to interact

with the current HTML user agents.

The proposal is independent of which version of HTML it becomes a

part.

2. HTML forms with file submission

The current HTML specification defines eight possible values for the

attribute TYPE of an INPUT element: CHECKBOX, HIDDEN, IMAGE,

PASSWORD, RADIO, RESET, SUBMIT, TEXT.

In addition, it defines the default ENCTYPE attribute of the FORM

element using the POST METHOD to have the default value

"application/x-www-form-urlencoded".

This proposal makes two changes to HTML:

1) Add a FILE option for the TYPE attribute of INPUT.

2) Allow an ACCEPT attribute for INPUT tag, which is a list of

media types or type patterns allowed for the input.

In addition, it defines a new MIME media type, multipart/form-data,

and specifies the behavior of HTML user agents when interpreting a

form with ENCTYPE="multipart/form-data" and/or

tags.

These changes might be considered independently, but are all

necessary for reasonable file upload.

The author of an HTML form who wants to request one or more files

from a user would write (for example):

...