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PostPosted: 29. Dec 2011, 23:27 
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Hi,
For quite a while now I've been looking for a means to allow casual, non-technical users to add content to Joomla sites via the front-end, and insert images easily.
I've found some front-end content submission systems, and this works well to allow these users create content.

**HOWEVER**, the JCE & JCK editors are not very friendly in handling Image uploads. I'm looking for something that will allow the user to:
- put their cursor in an article
- click an IMAGE INSERT button
- browse to an image on their local PC & select it.
- having selected the image, the ideal situation would be to (A) Upload the image to a private folder for the user - possibly in a sub-folder, with the article ID as a name suffix - this should all be done transparently to the user, who doesn't necessarily understand the concepts of Joomla, or servers & folders etc. (B) "insert" the image that's just been uploaded into the article immediately.

From first look, it seems that JFUploader is very close, but not quite.
Is it feasible to extend it to cover this "Simple" upload scenario ?

best regards & thanks,
Aidan.


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PostPosted: 30. Dec 2011, 10:25 
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I'm not sure if this is a really good idea - because if your users are not experienced then e.g. they would insert the image always in original size.

With the JFUploader button you can automatically select a folder for the user so he has not to care about this. So he simply uploads. And in the next step he selects the image and choose the options.
And if he likes he can even create a thumbnail of the size he wishes.

And since flash 10 it is not allowed to trigger the upload by an external Javascript. So only using the flash as selection part does not work either.

I still think a 2 step solution is the best way to handle this.

Best, Michael


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PostPosted: 30. Dec 2011, 10:42 
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What I can think of is that after the upload of one image only (or if multiple images are uploaded the first one) it is automatically preselected. This would be an improvement I think is useful.

- Michael


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PostPosted: 30. Dec 2011, 12:17 
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Hi Michael,
Many thanks for taking the time to respond on this....

Quote:
What I can think of is that after the upload of one image only (or if multiple images are uploaded the first one) it is automatically preselected

Yes I think that would be helpful OK (saves them searching for the image they uploaded).
*However*, I still see some flaws with this:
- It's still a two-step process, why do it in two when it can be done in one ?
- Casual users still get confused about the folders on the server... even if automatically restricted to their own personal folder, it can build up images over time. What I am thinking of is something which would create a brand new sub-folder for the user each time ... one for each article (perhaps article ID etc., since that would be easiest to find when inserting more images into the same article later) . So if I am adding an article with 3 photos, that's all I have to deal with. No confusion with 100's of other old photos in the way, which causes difficulty finding the one(s) just uploaded, and potential file name conflicts. I have about 10 potential content submitters - all are familiar with PC's, wordprocessing etc. and can create articles in Word with ease... but *all* of them without exception struggle with the (similar) two-step process with the standard JCE editor.
Note: Actually, If the option of creating and restricting the user to a personal sub-folder for every article (based on article ID) were adopted, this might ease the confusion.. showing only a list of the images in this current article.

Quote:
I'm not sure if this is a really good idea - because if your users are not experienced then e.g. they would insert the image always in original size

This could be handled by a simple "size" selection on "inserting" the image. For example, the admin would define several different "sizes" (very small, small, medium, large etc.) which would equate to pixel dimensions. He could restrict this set of pre-defined sizes to ones which will not break the template being used - simply not offering a size for very large photos. It would also have a very positive side-effect on the site in terms of consistency. When the end user "inserts" an image into an article the dialog would ask him to select one of these pre-defined sizes, and perhaps two check boxes "constrain dimensions by width", "constrain dimensions by height"..... and the "insert" mechanism could automatically do the resizing of the image (preserving image proportions) while transparently uploading it to the folder. If you have a copy of MS-WORD (or any other wordprocessor) to hand, have a go at inserting an image to remind yourself how easy it really is.... this is what casual users are used to. While searching for solutions to this, I see lots of posts on the internet from web admins and web developers struggling to get their clients to work with Joomla, but no really good solution in this area..... !

Quote:
And since flash 10 it is not allowed to trigger the upload by an external Javascript.

OK, you may be losing me slightly here (I'm an experienced developer by day, but in a different, non-web field). I can understand that there might be some security restrictions in flash, but don't understand how it might stop what I am suggesting. I see no interaction with the server happening without the user clicking on a button. (1) first click on "INSERT IMAGE" button.... opens a dialog on the browser (this is in flash right?), then the user selects a picture locally and what size they want it to be in the article (all done client-side), then (2) second click on "OK" button... would trigger a POST (or whatever is the right request) back to the server, with the image & all included in it... the server then does the two steps of (a) uploading the image in the right sub-folder, and (b) inserting it into the article. Voila, done !

The end result of what I am describing is a dialog which would:
- ask me for the "size" I want the photo to be when inserted in to the article
- a "browse" button which would let me pick a local photo.
- an "OK" or "INSERT" button which would insert it into the article.
that's it, nothing more... no server folder dialogs (ideally), no pixel dimensions etc.

How long will it take ? :-)

Aidan.


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PostPosted: 30. Dec 2011, 13:52 
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But then you are looking for something different than the JFUploader. Because you don't want to use a single feature (except the plain upload) the uploader is offering.
For you a simple html upload form with some elements for the size would be better. There an implementation for the frontend part from scratch would be best.
If I would have to implement something like this I would start from scratch...

Best, Michael


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PostPosted: 30. Dec 2011, 14:35 
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Joined: 29. Dec 2011, 23:19
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Hi Michael,
OK, thanks for listening anyway. The search goes on!
Aidan.


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