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Enhancement request: Edit Attachments User Interface

The current attachment table looks like this:

Attachment Sort Action Size Date Who Comment
Microsoft Word file Stuff.doc manage 11.5 K 15 Apr 2004 - 21:32 PeterThoeny comment text

This does not give any clue how to update an attachment; the download / save locally / edit / save locally / manage / browse / upload cycle is not very obvious and intuitive. For better usability some hints are needed. With the WebDAVPlugin you can edit and save in place, but nevertheless we need also a way of distinguishing between view mode and edit mode.

To address both points we should add an edit link to the attachment table.

Option 1:

Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Microsoft Word file Stuff.doc edit, manage 11.5 K 15 Apr 2004 - 21:32 PeterThoeny comment text

Option 2:

Edit Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
edit Microsoft Word file Stuff.doc manage 11.5 K 15 Apr 2004 - 21:32 PeterThoeny comment text

Without a WebDAV enabled server, the edit link would lead to an edit attachment dialog explaining the steps:

Follow these steps to edit an attachment:
  1. Save Stuff.doc locally (right click & save)
  2. Change the file with your favorite application
  3. Save the file locally
  4. Upload file:
    Previous upload: C:\temp\Stuff.doc (PeterThoeny)
    Local file: _______________________ [Browse...]
    Comment: _______________________
    Link: [x] Create a link to the attached file at the end of the topic
    Hide file: [ ] Hide attachment in normal topic view
      [Upload file]

With a WebDAV enabled server, the edit link would open up the file directly. The DAV magic is updating the attached file on a PUT action (e.g. when the file is saved). Or, should we still show above dialog in a different form?

The edit attachment dialog enables one additional feature: Edit lock of attachments. An attachment gets locked for one hour when you open up this dialog. The lock goes away when you cancel out or when you re-attach the file.

I am interesting in feedback on the usability.

-- PeterThoeny - 15 Apr 2004

Note that AFAICT there is no way to achieve a consistent edit link approach to launching an application to edit a DAV resource in current browsers (I've tried Konqueror, Opera, Mozilla and IE). There is a workaround for IE using JavaScript and OLE, but that won't work on the other browsers, and has major scurity issues (though see here for a secure though complex solution). IE also provides the <A FOLDER= link syntax to enable browsing to a WebFolder, but again it's IE specific. Konqueror uses the "webdav:" specifier which works for accessing webfolders, but I have been unable to get it to launch an application on an individual file without downloading it first.

The only way I have found that works fairly consistently is to drag the link from the browser and drop it into the application. That causes the application to try to open the URL, kicking in it's WebDAV mechanisms. This works nicely on KDE, I have been unable to test with any MS applications on Windows, however.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 15 Apr 2004

I would definitely put Edit and Manage together. These links tell you what you can do with the attachment. And while we're at it, add a help link at the place that is the most visible for the person wanting to do something. This can come into the place of the current link under Attachment. An example:

Table layout example with edit and help

-- ArthurClemens - 15 Apr 2004

The JavaPasteAddOn might help - it provides an applet that can be used to paste pictures or files in as attachments into the attachment table. Quite besides it being a standalone way tool, if most clients will run java it can be a way to launch the browser-specific invocations.

-- MartinCleaver - 16 Apr 2004

Idea: the help link could provide context-sensitive information for each type of file, by passing as url parameter the file type.

-- ArthurClemens - 16 Apr 2004

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Microsoft Word filedoc Stuff.doc r1 manage 23.5 K 2004-04-15 - 16:49 PeterThoeny comment text
PNGpng attachmenttableedithelp.png r1 manage 19.0 K 2004-04-15 - 21:36 ArthurClemens Table layout example with edit and help
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Topic revision: r6 - 2004-04-20 - PeterThoeny
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