File upload design lunch

Uploading to web sites is a pain.

  • You have to navigate through your file system hierarchy to select the file, even if it's "right there" in another application, a Terminal window, or a Finder window.
  • If you want to upload a bunch of files, you have to go through these steps to each file.
  • If you want to upload a screenshot or a blob of text, you have to use another application to save it, navigate Firefox's file picker to the same folder to upload it, and finally delete the file.

Firefox 2 contained a shortcut that helped with some of these cases: you could type or paste a complete path instead of clicking the "Browse" button. This helped if you started in a terminal window, or if you wanted to upload a bunch of files with similar names. It didn't do tab-completion, it wouldn't notify you if the file didn't exist, and it was a significant security hole. But when we removed it from Firefox 3, counter bug 374011 gathered 42 votes and 99 comments.

How can Firefox make uploads take fewer steps? Join the brainstorming right now on Air Mozilla or #airmozilla, or add your comments below.

For inspiration, see:

6 Responses to “File upload design lunch”

  1. David Baron Says:

    I started a thread about this a few months ago on dev-tech-layout.

  2. Daniel Says:

    You can just drag a file on to the browse button in Safari to upload a file. It’s pretty convenient.

  3. Minh Nguyễn Says:

    On the Mac, you can drag any proxy icon or file to the file chooser that comes up, because Firefox uses the standard OS dialog.

  4. Timendum Says:

    1) Drag’n drop
    2) if i “copied” the file, i would like to “paste” it on the input box
    3) as above, but even if is a screenshot or a text and i didn’t save it

  5. Funtomas Says:

    Addon Dragdropupload (http://www.teslacore.it/wiki/index.php?title=DragDropUpload) brings the Drag’n’drop technique to Win based Firefox. Should be implemented in FF itself.
    Copy’n’paste technique would make sense too.

  6. nemo Says:

    This whole area has got me very cross with Firefox 3.

    We have a local Javascript application that runs inside a browser. It’s a binary file editor (yes, really).

    Now can someone explain to me why FF3 prevents LOCAL files from opening popups? I now have to disable popup repression in FF3.

    Can someone explain why my LOCAL javascript can no longer get at the full pathname from a form file input?

    Grrrrrr… having to go back to Firefox 2. Thanks a bunch.