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A drag-and-drop, multi-streaming, strictly-HTML5 file uploader for Rails apps
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README.md

MultiUploader

A Ruby on Rails engine that adds drag-and-drop streaming multi-file uploader that uses strictly modern standard Web technologies.

Author Tim Morgan
Version 1.0 (Apr 20, 2012)
License Released under the MIT license.

About

This gem adds a JavaScript library that draws a drag-and-drop target. When a file is dragged to this target, it is queued for upload. Files are uploaded to an endpoint with a configured amount of maximum parallel uploads. JavaScript callbacks are used to track file progress.

In addition to the uploader itself, a higher-level abstraction, called "EasyUploader", is also included. EasyUploader is powered by MultiUploader, but also includes a quick-'n'-ugly™ user interface. You can use EasyUploader to quickly start testing MultiUploader in your app, or you can even use it in production if you really hate rolling your own designs. It also makes for excellent example code for learning MultiUploader!

Requirements

  • Rails 3.1: This gem uses Rails engines.
  • jQuery: The carousel and lightbox is rendered and managed using jQuery.
  • Sass: The carousel layout is written using SCSS.

Client Requirements

For people to use this gem, they will need support for XmlHttpRequest level 2 and the JavaScript drag-and-drop API. If you use the theme that ships with this gem, your clients will also need CSS level 3. All of these are supported on recent versions of Safari and Google Chrome.

Installation

To use this gem, add to your Gemfile:

gem 'multiuploader'

To your application.js file (or some other JavaScript manifest file), add:

//= require multiuploader

You may also need to add the following if it is not already there:

 //= require jquery

EasyUploader

If you wish to additionally use EasyUploader, you must add the following to your application.css file (or some other CSS manifest file);

 /*
  *= require easyuploader
  */

To your application.js file (or some other JavaScript manifest file), add:

//= require easyuploader

Usage

We'll get started with EasyUploader first, since that's the ... easiest. If you want to skip the baby stuff and get right into hot hot adult uploading, flip to the next subsection.

EasyUploader

All you need to do to start using EasyUploader is create a DIV element and call the easyUploader jQuery method on it:

$('#easyuploader').easyUploader("http://some/endpoint", 'file');

The first parameter is the URL to upload the files to, and the second is the name of the form field to associate the file data with. The encoding will always be application/x-www-form-urlencoded.

If you use the easyuploader ID, the styles in the easyuploader.css.scss.erb file will kick in and you should get an instant drag-and-drop target. Drag one or more files in there and you should start seeing the magic happen on your server.

There is a third parameter, not used above, that allows you to pass in additional options to the underlying MultiUploader:

$('#easyuploader').easyUploader("http://some/endpoint", 'file', {
    maxSimultaneousUploads: 4
});

Read the MultiUploader documentation for a full list of options.

MultiUploader

For more low-level control of the upload process, you'll need to use MultiUploader directly. The signature is the same as EasyUploader:

$('#easyuploader').multiUploader("http://some/endpoint", 'file');

The only difference is, this time you need to implement the callbacks yourself. There are four: startHandler, progressHandler, loadHandler, and errorHandler. Their method signatures are as follows:

$('#easyuploader').multiUploader("http://some/endpoint", 'file', {
    startHandler: function(file_unique_id, file) {
        // called when a file begins uploading
    },
    progressHandler: function(file_unique_id, state, position, total) {
        // called periodically as a file is uploaded
        // (position/total)*100 gives the percent complete
    },
    loadHandler: function(file_unique_id, xhr) {
        // called when the upload is complete and the response has been received
        // use the xhr (an XmlHttpRequest instance) to get response data
    },
    errorHandler: function(file_unique_id, xhr) {
        // called when the upload fails or an error response is received
        // same arguments as loadHandler
    }
});

Notice that each callback receives a unique ID for the file. These are randomly generated and have no meaningful information. They're just used to keep track of your files. You should associate each upload's unique ID with the page element that displays its progress.

Also note that the startHandler will not necessarily be called the moment the user releases his mouse button. If the maxSimultaneousUploads option is set, additional uploads beyond this number will be queued and put into a pending state until an "upload slot" is vacated.

The progressHandler method receives a state parameter. The value will be "upload" when the file is uploading, and "download" when the upload has completed and the client is downloading the server's response.

For more information, and a list of additional options, see the MultiUploader class documentation.

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