i hate web uploads

2007-09-04 @ 12:12#

i just *hate* dealing with uploading files using web browsers. imho, the pattern is seriously broken.

first, the whole experience of uploading files usually involves other data (description, user info, etc.) and adding both text data and file data is a kludge in the browser model (note the need for different enctype settings to work around this issue.). second, once on the server, you basically have a transaction process - deal with the file, deal with the data. if one of these goes sour, then both tasks must be cleaned up. we all know how dicey transactional work is on the web.

third, dealing with *multiple* files on the same task is a nightmare. the idea of a coleltion of files is poorly implemented (at least in ASP.NET). i can get the collection of files just fine, but sorting out which upload control was used for each file is missing[!]. nad then you have the whole idea of transacting all those files against the passed-in data...

finally, the whole feedback model for the upload process (progress bar, whirling icon, dancing bears, etc.) is a hack. giving users solid feedback on the process involves lots of specialized traffic between client and server that should really not be needed. the *browser* should do a better job of reporting progress against the server - it already *knows* the data (hence the weak progress bars most browsers sport at the bottom of the screen).

like the poor support for HTTP authentication, web browsers are really falling far behind in functionality. i wonder what it's going to take to move browser providers to the next level?