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Downloader

I've been playing with the Uploader and it's great to be able to drag and drop files and even entire folders into a browser and have them upload and appear on the server. While demoing this to someone we were thinking, wouldn't it be great to drag them out and drop them on the desktop?

I haven't thought about this in detail and I have to leave for a flight shortly, but I think there would be some way to activate a link or an image (or any draggable DOM element) and associate it with a file or folder. Ideally you wouldn't need to describe the (potentially recursive) contents up front. Instead a Javascript request would be made from the plugin to get the full folder listing (using nested objects to represent hierarchy), each with a download URL. The application Javascript might require a call to the server to get this listing, so it would need to be an asynchronous request (with a callback when the listing were available). Then the plugin would download all of the files, building up the contents on disk, and drop them into the location in explorer / finder or onto the desktop.

This could also be done by requesting a single ZIP file from the server and expanding it on drop.

Then instead of dragging an image of a folder into the Finder, you actually drag the folder and it's contents right out of the webpage onto your computer. Same idea with files.

It would be great for web-based document sharing, where unfortunately WebDAV has fallen short.

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4 Replies
  • Not sure if you actually noticed it ...
    Right now...You can actually drag and drop images from your browser to desktop or any folder..

    But dragging and dropping actual files might be helpful..

    QUOTE (pulazzo @ Nov 26 2008, 12:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I've been playing with the Uploader and it's great to be able to drag and drop files and even entire folders into a browser and have them upload and appear on the server. While demoing this to someone we were thinking, wouldn't it be great to drag them out and drop them on the desktop?

    I haven't thought about this in detail and I have to leave for a flight shortly, but I think there would be some way to activate a link or an image (or any draggable DOM element) and associate it with a file or folder. Ideally you wouldn't need to describe the (potentially recursive) contents up front. Instead a Javascript request would be made from the plugin to get the full folder listing (using nested objects to represent hierarchy), each with a download URL. The application Javascript might require a call to the server to get this listing, so it would need to be an asynchronous request (with a callback when the listing were available). Then the plugin would download all of the files, building up the contents on disk, and drop them into the location in explorer / finder or onto the desktop.

    This could also be done by requesting a single ZIP file from the server and expanding it on drop.

    Then instead of dragging an image of a folder into the Finder, you actually drag the folder and it's contents right out of the webpage onto your computer. Same idea with files.

    It would be great for web-based document sharing, where unfortunately WebDAV has fallen short.
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  • QUOTE (Uday @ Nov 27 2008, 06:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Not sure if you actually noticed it ...
    Right now...You can actually drag and drop images from your browser to desktop or any folder..

    But dragging and dropping actual files might be helpful..


    Of course, but that's pretty limited. What if you could drag and drop PDF files, DOC files, ZIP files, or folders with nested folder structures? That's when it gets interesting.
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  • QUOTE (pulazzo @ Nov 26 2008, 12:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I've been playing with the Uploader and it's great to be able to drag and drop files and even entire folders into a browser and have them upload and appear on the server. While demoing this to someone we were thinking, wouldn't it be great to drag them out and drop them on the desktop?


    Hi pulazzo,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Drag-out is a feature that's been talked about from time to time. I agree it could be pretty powerful. Drag out contacts, zipfiles, documents, downloads...

    This would require new platform support - namely we'd have to expand the DragAndDrop service so that you could specify a node id which can be dragged out. The correct plumbing is then interesting to figure out. Use cases!

    1. Drag out a vcard onto your desktop or ical.
    2. Drag out an application (!) out of a page and drop it onto your desktop. (a bit scary)
    3. Drag an image or link representing a file onto your desktop, that file shall materialize on your desktop after being downloaded via some (perhaps peer to peer) means

    This all suggests to me that a page should be able to suggest a filename, and provide contents either as a javascript string, or as a BrowserPlus FileHandle,

    How is all of this sounding? What use cases am I missing?

    lloyd
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  • QUOTE (Lloyd Hilaiel @ Dec 1 2008, 10:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Hi pulazzo,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Drag-out is a feature that's been talked about from time to time. I agree it could be pretty powerful. Drag out contacts, zipfiles, documents, downloads...

    This would require new platform support - namely we'd have to expand the DragAndDrop service so that you could specify a node id which can be dragged out. The correct plumbing is then interesting to figure out. Use cases!

    1. Drag out a vcard onto your desktop or ical.
    2. Drag out an application (!) out of a page and drop it onto your desktop. (a bit scary)
    3. Drag an image or link representing a file onto your desktop, that file shall materialize on your desktop after being downloaded via some (perhaps peer to peer) means

    This all suggests to me that a page should be able to suggest a filename, and provide contents either as a javascript string, or as a BrowserPlus FileHandle,

    How is all of this sounding? What use cases am I missing?

    lloyd


    Those use cases all sound great. I would just add that support for folders would be cool, so modify #3 to say "file or folder". What I'm envisioning for #3 is creating something that looks like Window Explorer / Mac Finder and allows drag and drop of both files and folders into and out of the browser. The application wouldn't want to present a recursive listing of all folders at DragAndDrop registration time, so there should be a callback to handle the drop and get the folder listing from the server (I described this in my original post).

    I'm not too worried about #2, but it might be appropriate to have the BrowserPlus plugin confirm on drop of .exe, etc to make sure the drag and drop wasn't accidental (though it's hard to do it accidentally).

    I'm not sure about the plumbing, but ideally it would work the same as dragging a file from the filesystem. So if I drag a .doc and drop it on the Word icon, it opens in Word. Or if I drop it on Mail, it should create a new message with the file(s) attached. I'm a Mac user, so I'm not sure how this particular behavior translates to the Windows world.
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