[Pmwiki-users] upload feature

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at sci.tamucc.edu
Thu Apr 17 19:25:39 CDT 2003

On Thu, 17 Apr 2003, Dawn Green wrote:

> I like the upload so far.  Here are some questions/thoughts.
> Is there a way to set the image tags in terms of dimensions, alt tags, or
> alignment?  

Alignment is already implemented--it's dependent on where you put
the image on a line of text.  At the beginning of a line is left-aligned,
at the end of a line is right-aligned, and in the middle of a line is

The others might be doable as WikiStyles.  Alt tags might be a bit 
tough because they commonly have spaces in them.  Another option might 
be to have PmWiki be smart enough to put in width/height tags for files
it knows about (i.e., that are on the local server).

WikiPedia has a nice feature where every uploaded file gets a one-line
description of the file.  If I had something like this it could
potentially be used to specify alt tag contents...

> Do you think a delete feature will ever be implemented?

Could be done w/o too much difficulty.  The problem is that it'd be
too easy to delete an upload that is actually being used by other pages,
and it'd be tough to recover from malicious or accidental deletes.

What I may implement is a delete option where before doing the deletion
the user is given a list of pages referencing that file.  But that's
some distance in the future unless I get really high demand for it.

> I like the file attributes under Existing Attachments.  Since some sites will
> be adding a lot of images, I can see some concerns ahead. I once heard a wise
> man named Patrick once say that people will use whatever disk space you give
> them so limits must be imposed.  I'd like to see the total size of all files
> at the top of the list converted to megabytes.  

Likely to be implemented as an extension or in a later version.

> I'd also like to see a limit
> on total disk space used for uploads with perhaps a warning when file limits
> are being approached or even a lock if it reaches that limit.  

I'll probably come up with per-group (per upload-directory) quotas as 
opposed to an overall quota for all attachments.  It just takes too
long to compute the disk space used for lots of files spread over
many directories.

> And finally, these lists could get very long.  Culling files could be very
> tedious.  

Indeed, they could.  This is why I've been avoiding the upload feature
as long as I have--I'm afraid that by implementing it I'm going to be 
leading WikiAdministrators down a path towards some real nasty server
and management issues.  I fear that many people will erroneously think 
that they *have* to upload files to the server, instead of just linking
to them on existing servers.

Ultimately, there is pain and work involved in managing and organizing
files for download, and I haven't come up with a magic bullet to reduce
the pain.  All I've been able do thus far is move the pain and work from 
one group to another--instead of users having to know how to manage files,
the WikiAdmins now have to do it.

Along these lines, however, the upload feature is capable of having uploaded
files organized by individual pages instead of by WikiGroups.  It's even 
possible to have all uploads from all pages put into a single directory.  
And a creative WikiAdministrator can come up with all sorts of organizational
schemes by just modifying a few key variables.  As with all things PmWiki,
customizability is a core feature.

> It would seem useful to have some sort of category arrangement or a
> marker of some sort to show files that would be periodically replaced.  
> I think that the over write would help here.  What about an 
> alphabetized list? 

Ummm, I don't quite understand what you mean here.  

> I realize that without a delete feature, the admins would be performing that
> function and the users would have to be able to tell which files can be
> removed.  

..for which we can create specialized tools or scripts (much like the
refcount.php script) to help administrators find the files that
ought to be deleted and remove them.

So far, uploads are just plain ugly.  Unlike a lot of other PmWiki
features, uploads will require a bit more setup on the part of a WikiAdmin to
set up and run properly--they have to be able to tell PmWiki where
files should go and what the URLs should be.  PmWiki can't reliably
figure all of that out on its own (although I have it making some 
pretty good guesses :-).


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