W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > November 2004

[whatwg] Submission progress

From: Afternoon <afternoon@uk2.net>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 18:34:45 +0000
Message-ID: <B299A285-30EB-11D9-9F1E-000A957E8988@uk2.net>

Submission progress
-------------------

Not sure if this would come under Web Controls or Web Forms, suspect 
the former.

Modern browsers feature useful rich interfaces for monitoring the 
progress of file downloads, but are not symmetrical, uploads are second 
class citizens.

The browser UI should be extended so that similar information is 
provided while transmitting large requests:

      * Total size of data to be transmitted
      * Percentage/amount of data sent so far, preferably with graphical
        status bar
      * Estimated time remaining
      * Average rate of data transmission

Etc. The exact selection of information displayed would be 
implementation defined.

This information should be displayed in a modal popup window, as the 
browser window or tab is locked during submission.

The popup should only appear for form submissions where the total 
quantity of data to be uploaded exceeds some relatively small 
threshold, e.g. 1mb. This should be implementation defined.

Benefits:

Many application types would benefit from this ability:

      * Webmail applications would be able to give the user an estimated
        time until mail attachments are uploaded to the server

      * Photo galleries often involve the uploading of many files at
        once, potentially running to hundreds of megabytes

      * Use of web-based groupware applications by less web-savvy users
        is sometimes mandated in larger organisations, these users
        require greater interface support

The key benefit, achieved across all application types, is to eliminate 
upload fear. Users do not commonly understand upload times and rates 
and thus often do not understand that a form submission is in progress 
but not yet complete when they attach large files to a request. 
Browsers currently offer _no feedback whatsoever_ regarding large form 
upload times, which is appallingly bad interface design. The status 
window would provide a feedback mechanism to the user, managing their 
expectations about how long the submission will take. This increases 
users' trust of web-based applications and improves usability greatly.

In addition, the option to cancel a submission could be added, allowing 
the user to return to the completed form, so that they can reduce the 
size of the attached data. Another option would be to produce an 
earlier popup that informs the user of the quantity of data they are 
uploading (this could also be displayed by a file control) and check 
that they wish to begin. This would not be a complete solution, but 
could be a useful addition to the above solution.

Ben


((Ben Godfrey) (Software) (see "http://www.cohack.com/?src=eval"))
Received on Sunday, 7 November 2004 10:34:45 UTC

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