RFC 1867 (rfc1867) - Page 1 of 13

Form-based File Upload in HTML

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Network Working Group                                           E. Nebel
Request For Comments: 1867                                   L. Masinter
Category: Experimental                                 Xerox Corporation
                                                           November 1995

                     Form-based File Upload in HTML

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any
   kind.  Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

1. Abstract

   Currently, HTML forms allow the producer of the form to request
   information from the user reading the form.  These forms have proven
   useful in a wide variety of applications in which input from the user
   is necessary.  However, this capability is limited because HTML forms
   don't provide a way to ask the user to submit files of data.  Service
   providers who need to get files from the user have had to implement
   custom user applications.  (Examples of these custom browsers have
   appeared on the www-talk mailing list.)  Since file-upload is a
   feature that will benefit many applications, this proposes an
   extension to HTML to allow information providers to express file
   upload requests uniformly, and a MIME compatible representation for
   file upload responses.  This also includes a description of a
   backward compatibility strategy that allows new servers to interact
   with the current HTML user agents.

   The proposal is independent of which version of HTML it becomes a

2.  HTML forms with file submission

   The current HTML specification defines eight possible values for the
   attribute TYPE of an INPUT element: CHECKBOX, HIDDEN, IMAGE,

   In addition, it defines the default ENCTYPE attribute of the FORM
   element using the POST METHOD to have the default value

Nebel & Masinter              Experimental

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