[thelist] Textarea Limits

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Sun Jun 3 06:08:53 CDT 2001

On 2 Jun 2001, at 19:44, Palyne Gaenir posted a message which said:

> The browser textarea limit on characters has stumped me.  I have a 
> lot of apps current and upcoming where a user (public) needs to be 
> able to type or paste up to, say, 90K.  OK, at least 60K if I had to 
> suffer a cap.  Certainly not 32K though, that is way too short.  It 
> turns out java could make this happen, but it requires the latest 
> version not found in most browsers, a 5MB download which is probably 
> not the way to go on a public site (though this might work for my 
> clients doing their content mgmt). 
> There has GOT to be a way, I just don't believe there isn't.  
> Research articles, library submissions of personal writings, it takes 
> more than 32K sometimes.
> So I'm hoping you monsterbrains can help with this logic.  Should I 
> make TWO textareas, so they could 'continue', string them together on 
> the INSERT, and then... ah.... do a truly massive Left() function 
> [somehow I doubt this is practical, like, #Left(field,31900)# ] to 
> somehow split it on output for editing reasons?  I might get a little 
> formatting glitch if they didn't split it between paragraphs... What 
> would you suggest as a resolution for this need?

You are rarely going to have someone who wants to sit there and
type in 90K at one sitting, if for no other reason than that the 
system might crash, destroying everything that has been written.
Mind you, I know exceptions, but I'm not certain you *want* their
writings. <grin>

A textarea is the only solution if you want to be compatible with
thin clients, and it appears to me that not only are there a lot of
companies starting to produce thin clients, but the general thrust
of the web is towards using computers as if they *were* thin 
clients. (What's the difference between a hard drive and a garbage 
can? Most garbage cans have a plastic liner, so you can easily 
get rid of all the crap, but in a hard drive, the crap just accumulates.)

I think I would give users an alternative - offer both a single
textarea (warning users that there is a 32K limit, so they 
should sequentially submit one chapter at a time), and offer
NSAPI upload (warning users that they should submit flat ASCII 
files, rather than proprietary files from their Ronco WordAMatic
Word Processor, else others won't be able to read what they 
have written.)

I know you wanted a magic bullet, but Arlen Spector was the
last person who saw one in captivity, back in 1963.


 "The church is near but the road is icy; 
  the bar is far away but I will walk carefully." 
                            -- Russian Proverb

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