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Filemanager bug; enhancement suggestion

edited March 2013 in Apps

The bug: if you add a description to a file, save it, open it again and delete the description, save that, then open it again and try to enter a new description nothing will be saved. (I hope that's clear!) I'm using sqlite.

The suggestion: Show thumbnails of image files. It's hard to know what description (caption) to add to a list of files with typical digital camera names like DSC012345.jpg.


  • Thanks for the head's up. I've created an issue on github to keep track and test this one:

    I'll have to think about how I can show thumbnails. Maybe a hover state like Facebook does for users in the newsfeed...

  • What about the small image from the embedded gallery?

  • Just added two commits that resolve the property editing issue and add a preview to images in the Tools > Files area. Let me know what you think!

  • The description editing is fixed, thanks.

    The hover image works but I'm wondering about enhancements.

    • It might be even easier if you didn't even have to hover but could see a little thumbnail where the current generic thumbnails are. Basically, a vertical version of the embedded gallery.
    • Would it make sense to show the current description as a column in the index view table?
    • The way it is now, I have to hover over the image to see which one it is and then move my mouse all the way to the right to edit its properties. If you stick with the hover, would it make sense to make clicking on the image name go to the edit dialog?
  • I think the edit functions have to stay separate from clicking the file name, because there are three discrete edit operations: edit the file itself (text files, or images too if you've set an Aviary key), edit the properties, or rename the file. And currently the only property is a description, but that will be expanded down the road too, so displaying a single property in the index view would have to be re-thought later on once the properties are extendable...

    Because of how the file list is loaded via an AJAX call, generating the thumbnails instead of the file icons becomes a bit tricky (but not impossible) without simply loading the full-size images sized down in HTML, which is how the preview actually works right now.

    But since the images weren't all the same dimensions it was looking funny when I tried to put a thumbnail where the file icon was too, so I opted for the hover instead. That also gives a much larger preview than a 16x16 icon, which seemed more useful.

  • What is the advantage of loading the file list via an AJAX call?

  • I built the file manager as a single-page web app, which makes it a bit faster than having to reload the whole page for each action, but it also means it can feel more like you'd expect it to with working with files (drag and drop to move files, for example).

    Plus you can access the file manager programmatically via the same REST API. That made it so much easier to build the file chooser dialog, since they make the same API calls, and future apps needing similar integration will be easier and more reliable too :)

  • What other fields besides description do you anticipate adding?

  • I think description will probably be the only default one, but that new ones could be added by site admins similarly to how custom fields can be added to users and blog posts now.

  • Is there a way site admins could specify which columns show up in the admin index view? I'd love to have my users be able to see the descriptions (captions) there. ;)

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