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Downloading Files

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  • wilkinsonm
    Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc. file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it. Is there any way to
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
      Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
      file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it.
      Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
      client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
      Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?

      Thanks!

      Mike Wilkinson
    • Jim Hall
      Mike, The Browser is a viewer of HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc. files. .ZIP and .EXE files are not files that are created for the purpose of viewing. However if
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
        Mike,
        The Browser is a viewer of HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
        files. .ZIP and .EXE files are not files that are created for the purpose of viewing.

        However if you place your mouse pointer on HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
        files which are being displayed in the Browser, and RIGHT click your mouse, you should get a popup menu which will allow you to save/download files of this type.

        I am not familiar with all Browsers but those that I have dealt with all work this way.

        Regards,

        Jim


        At 12:20 AM 8/21/2002 +0000, you wrote:
        >Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
        >file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it.
        >Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
        >client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
        >Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?
      • wilkinsonm
        Yes, I ve had the same experience. I m trying to get away from asking computer amateurs to right-click, unzip or anything like that. I just want to say click
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
          Yes, I've had the same experience. I'm trying to get away from asking
          computer amateurs to right-click, unzip or anything like that. I just
          want to say "click here to download."

          Thanks!


          --- In ntb-html@y..., Jim Hall <jehall@j...> wrote:
          > Mike,
          > The Browser is a viewer of HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
          > files. .ZIP and .EXE files are not files that are created for the
          purpose of viewing.
          >
          > However if you place your mouse pointer on HTML, text, gif, jpeg,
          etc.
          > files which are being displayed in the Browser, and RIGHT click
          your mouse, you should get a popup menu which will allow you to
          save/download files of this type.
          >
          > I am not familiar with all Browsers but those that I have dealt
          with all work this way.
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Jim
          >
          >
          > At 12:20 AM 8/21/2002 +0000, you wrote:
          > >Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
          > >file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display
          it.
          > >Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to
          the
          > >client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
          > >Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?
        • Alan C.
          Hi Mike, ... If you web server has 1. perl cgi and 2. you have access to cgi bin folder
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
            Hi Mike,

            >Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
            >client computer?

            If you web server has 1. perl cgi and 2. you have access to cgi bin folder

            http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=perl+cgi+%22download+script%22&btnG=Google+Search

            entire above url is one line but may get broken if so then paste it into notetab, remove linebreak then paste entire url into browser address slot.

            perl cgi "download script"

            (what I searched for on Google)

            Yet other ways may exist. I simply shared a possible method I'm aware of.

            --
            Alan.
          • loro
            Hi Mike, ... You answered your own question, Mike. Compress the files. I ve read that it s possible to force a download by making the server serve the files
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
              Hi Mike,

              >Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
              >file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it.
              >Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
              >client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
              >Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?

              You answered your own question, Mike. Compress the files.

              I've read that it's possible to force a download by making the server serve
              the files with the content-type "application/octet-stream" instead of
              "text/html" or whatever they really are. That could be done with a
              .htaccess file or some server side scripting to modify the http headers.
              Seems like much ado for very little though and could certainly make the
              visitor wary. I wouldn't go there.

              Lotta
            • Jim Hall
              Mike, I create a self extracting ZIP file for these people and they don t even need to understand what a ZIP file is to download and extract the file. You can
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 20, 2002
                Mike,

                I create a self extracting ZIP file for these people and they don't even need to understand what a ZIP file is to download and extract the file. You can even include the pathing so that they can find the picture in their "My Pictures" folder after they run the exe file.

                Regards,

                Jim

                At 01:31 AM 8/21/2002 +0000, you wrote:
                >Yes, I've had the same experience. I'm trying to get away from asking
                >computer amateurs to right-click, unzip or anything like that. I just
                >want to say "click here to download."
              • jorigami
                ... They are going to learn right-click sooner or later, so why not make that sooner? Most of the people I ve teached that the person who said don t use the
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                  --- In ntb-html@y..., "wilkinsonm" <mikew@w...> wrote:
                  > I'm trying to get away from asking computer amateurs to
                  > right-click, unzip or anything like that.

                  They are going to learn right-click sooner or later, so why not
                  make that sooner? Most of the people I've teached that the person
                  who said "don't use the right mouse button" was fool have been
                  happy with the extra functionality.

                  I have seen people hovering mouse pointer above a link, then typing
                  as much of that as they can remember into an email, then repeating
                  until full url is complete. Quite much easier with rmb.


                  Jorma
                • Rudolf Horbas
                  ... Mike, that s basically a good idea -- not because it keeps users stupid by not letting them use the right mouse button, but because it s comfortable. I
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                    wilkinsonm wrote:
                    > Yes, I've had the same experience. I'm trying to get away from asking
                    > computer amateurs to right-click, unzip or anything like that. I just
                    > want to say "click here to download."

                    Mike,

                    that's basically a good idea -- not because it keeps users stupid by not
                    letting them use the right mouse button, but because it's comfortable. I
                    believe that Lotta's idea to replace the image or html-header with an
                    application header might work. If You put the files to download into a
                    separate directory of the server and create a .htaccess-file in this
                    directory with the content:

                    AddType "application/octet-stream" "htm"
                    AddType "application/octet-stream" "gif"
                    AddType "application/octet-stream" "jpg"

                    I just tried:

                    * Mozilla 1.0 works with htm and gifs and offers a download dialog, but
                    shows the jpg-File.

                    * MSIE obviously ignores the header and shows all 3 types files. Bad.
                    This is not what You want.

                    Do You have PHP on Your server?

                    Rudi
                  • Rudolf Horbas
                    Mike, I played around with Your problem a bit; problem is that MSIE 5.5/6.0 has a bug concerning header handling, so most standard things don t work on all
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                      Mike,

                      I played around with Your problem a bit; problem is that MSIE 5.5/6.0
                      has a bug concerning header handling, so most standard things don't work
                      on all browsers.

                      I didn't manage to download jpegs correctly, they appear to be broken;
                      html and GIFs work, though. (all quickly tested locally under Apache/PHP
                      for Win32, so no guarantee for *nix systems!)

                      What I've come up with is the following (hope Yahoo lets the code
                      through properly):

                      1. HTML file "index.htm":
                      -------------------------

                      <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>My Downloads</TITLE><BODY>
                      <A HREF="download.php?file=test.jpg">JPG</A> (bad output)<BR>
                      <A HREF="download.php?file=test.gif">GIF</A><BR>
                      <A HREF="download.php?file=test.htm">HTML</A>
                      </BODY></HTML>

                      2. PHP file "download.php":
                      ---------------------------

                      <?PHP

                      /****************** Warning!!! **********************************
                      + Do not use download.php as-it-is; it does not check for security!
                      + Depending on Your hoster's configuration, anyone could download
                      + files from other directories, even outside Your wwwroot, by
                      + using the url e.g.: download.php?file=../../usr/etc/passwords
                      + This is a very serious threat!!!
                      ******************************************************************/

                      // if $file is specified:
                      if ( $file != "" )
                      {
                      // send "fake" header:
                      header ("Content-type: application/octet-stream");
                      // force download:
                      header ("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=$file");
                      // check whether $file exists at all:
                      if ( file_exists ("$file") )
                      {
                      // open $file for reading:
                      $fp = fopen($file, 'r');
                      // output content of $file:
                      fpassthru($fp);
                      // close $file
                      // prints an error message into downloaded
                      // html documents (???),
                      // so remove comment slashes for GIFs:
                      // fclose($fp);
                      }
                      else echo "$file does not exist!";
                      }
                      else echo "no file specified!";
                      ?>

                      Hope this is useful,
                      Rudi
                      --
                      9. "I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely
                      necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button
                      labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push"
                      will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to
                      disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled
                      as such."
                      From: The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord
                      (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)
                      Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach
                    • Rudolf Horbas
                      ... Ok, the jpegs are broken when they re opened in text mode (default of fopen() ) on a Windows-system; in that case, use the following in download.php: (...)
                      Message 10 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                        Rudolf Horbas wrote:
                        > I didn't manage to download jpegs correctly, they appear to be broken;
                        > html and GIFs work, though.

                        Ok, the jpegs are broken when they're opened in text mode (default of
                        fopen() ) on a Windows-system; in that case, use the following in
                        download.php:

                        (...)
                        // open file for reading in binary mode on Win-systems:
                        $fp = fopen($file, 'rb');
                        (...)

                        As You'll usually (and hopefully) be dealing with a *nix OS, the code of
                        my previous post should work ok.

                        Rudi
                        --
                        84. "I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the
                        opposite sex."
                        From: The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord
                        (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)
                        Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach
                      • Rudolf Horbas
                        ... Mike, OK, here s a low-tech solution, without any scripting. Very easy, secure, clean, water-proof (as far as I can see). A bit of a hack. All You need
                        Message 11 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                          wilkinsonm wrote:
                          > Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
                          > file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it.
                          > Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
                          > client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
                          > Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?

                          Mike,

                          OK, here's a "low-tech" solution, without any scripting. Very easy,
                          secure, clean, water-proof (as far as I can see). A bit of a hack. All
                          You need is the right to put .htaccess-files on Your server:

                          As mentioned in a previous mail, You'd have to re-define the file types
                          You need in a .htaccess file.
                          *But*, as this does not work with all Browsers on all file types (MSIE
                          "sniffs" the file type and overrides Your settings), You create a fake
                          file type (e.g. "faketype"); this is *not* overridden by MSIE and works
                          on MSIE and Mozilla 1.0 for prompting a download dialog with the correct
                          file name.

                          file ".htaccess" in Your download directory:
                          --------------------------------------------
                          AddType "application/faketype" "htm"
                          AddType "application/faketype" "gif"
                          AddType "application/faketype" "jpg"

                          ("faketype" is maybe not a good name, as it may be too conspicuous in
                          the download dialog (of Mozilla). Better choose a friendlier one, e.g.
                          "downloadfile")

                          Hint: When saving the ".htaccess"-file in NoteTab, put the name in "",
                          or it will be saved as ".htaccess.txt"!

                          Rudi
                          --
                          58. "If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose
                          dramatically and toss off a one-liner."
                          From: The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord
                          (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)
                          Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach
                        • loro
                          ... It wasn t my idea! I just mentioned that it s possible. I wouldn t recommend doing it. :-) L.
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                            At 11:11 2002.08.21, Rudolf Horbas wrote:
                            > Lotta's idea to replace the image or html-header with an
                            >application header

                            It wasn't my idea! I just mentioned that it's possible. I wouldn't
                            recommend doing it. :-)

                            L.
                          • Fay
                            Perhaps in a few words you could tell the user to right click. People spend so much money on pcs and no-one tells them how to use them. Then they appear
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                              Perhaps in a few words you could tell the user to right click. People spend
                              so much money on pcs and no-one tells them how to use them. Then they appear
                              amateur or foolish because of the "intuitive" myth, and they get only a tiny
                              %age of the use they should get from their machines.
                            • jorigami
                              ... Here is some info about Content-type based problems: http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/www/content-type.html Jorma
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 21, 2002
                                --- In ntb-html@y..., Rudolf Horbas <Rudolf.Horbas@g...> wrote:

                                > idea to replace the image or html-header with an application
                                > header might work.

                                > * Mozilla 1.0 works with htm and gifs and offers a download dialog,
                                > but shows the jpg-File.
                                > * MSIE obviously ignores the header and shows all 3 types files. Bad.


                                Here is some info about Content-type based problems:

                                http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/www/content-type.html


                                Jorma
                              • wilkinsonm
                                I was away for a couple of days - sorry about the slow response. Thanks for the interesting suggestions. I will try the .htaccess approach. Mike Wilkinson ...
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 24, 2002
                                  I was away for a couple of days - sorry about the slow response.

                                  Thanks for the interesting suggestions. I will try the .htaccess approach.

                                  Mike Wilkinson


                                  --- In ntb-html@y..., Rudolf Horbas <Rudolf.Horbas@g...> wrote:
                                  > wilkinsonm wrote:
                                  > > Normally, if you provide a link to an HTML, text, gif, jpeg, etc.
                                  > > file, your browser will recognize the file type and try to display it.
                                  > > Is there any way to prevent display of the file and download it to the
                                  > > client computer? This works automatically if I click on a link to a
                                  > > Zip file or .exe file. Any ideas?
                                  >
                                  > Mike,
                                  >
                                  > OK, here's a "low-tech" solution, without any scripting. Very easy,
                                  > secure, clean, water-proof (as far as I can see). A bit of a hack. All
                                  > You need is the right to put .htaccess-files on Your server:
                                  >
                                  > As mentioned in a previous mail, You'd have to re-define the file types
                                  > You need in a .htaccess file.
                                  > *But*, as this does not work with all Browsers on all file types (MSIE
                                  > "sniffs" the file type and overrides Your settings), You create a fake
                                  > file type (e.g. "faketype"); this is *not* overridden by MSIE and works
                                  > on MSIE and Mozilla 1.0 for prompting a download dialog with the
                                  correct
                                  > file name.
                                  >
                                  > file ".htaccess" in Your download directory:
                                  > --------------------------------------------
                                  > AddType "application/faketype" "htm"
                                  > AddType "application/faketype" "gif"
                                  > AddType "application/faketype" "jpg"
                                  >
                                  > ("faketype" is maybe not a good name, as it may be too conspicuous in
                                  > the download dialog (of Mozilla). Better choose a friendlier one, e.g.
                                  > "downloadfile")
                                  >
                                  > Hint: When saving the ".htaccess"-file in NoteTab, put the name in "",
                                  > or it will be saved as ".htaccess.txt"!
                                  >
                                  > Rudi
                                  > --
                                  > 58. "If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose
                                  > dramatically and toss off a one-liner."
                                  > From: The Top 100 Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord
                                  > (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)
                                  > Copyright 1996-1997 by Peter Anspach
                                • Jody
                                  Hi Mike and Others, Here s my two cents, but maybe only worth a cent. ;-} A long time ago I would rename the file from say image.gif to image.zip explaining in
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Aug 24, 2002
                                    Hi Mike and Others,

                                    Here's my two cents, but maybe only worth a cent. ;-}

                                    A long time ago I would rename the file from say image.gif to
                                    image.zip explaining in a few words to rename the file after
                                    downloading. I had about 3 months Internet experience at the
                                    time not knowing we could right click and of course have since
                                    ceased using it.

                                    Bravo to you Fay! I'm certainly not trying to put you down Mike,
                                    but if we do things so that the user is prevented from learning
                                    new things, even basic stuff, then we are to blame for their
                                    ignorance. I understand you are trying to get away from adding a
                                    short note or answering/telling people to right click, but IMHO
                                    that helps keep them ignorant. Just by telling them to right
                                    click it normally opens up a whole new world for them.

                                    Of course there will still be those that do not read the short
                                    note, nor how to find the file once it is downloaded. I get
                                    quite a few posts saying that when they try to open NoteTab Light
                                    to use it by clicking on it on their desktop that Acrobat,
                                    Notepad, Media Player, etc. just shows it to be a bunch of
                                    garbage text. I then use NoteTab's PasteBack feature (which is
                                    almost always on for me to get the text I need returned to me as
                                    in FAQs) to get the text pasted in my eMail program telling them
                                    they need to decompress the file, blah, blah, blah. I answer
                                    them walking them through the whole procedure knowing that they
                                    do not know much since they are trying to open a ZIP file in
                                    whatever program. My point in telling all that is that no matter
                                    how many times we see all over the net to get WinZip or another
                                    compression utility, there are those that do not read what they
                                    need to do. Eventually they find out whether by me or
                                    somebody/someplace else. That is good; they learn their lesson
                                    that way and remember it.

                                    I try to do my part in removing the "eternal newbies" from the
                                    web, by not doing everything for them. Trying to get them to do
                                    things with the available features/tools helps us all out in that
                                    they can tell others, some of the bandwidth is spared Internet
                                    wide because of people downloading MB over and over because they
                                    thing the download must be bad, and other reasons.

                                    >Perhaps in a few words you could tell the user to right click.
                                    >People spend so much money on pcs and no-one tells them how to
                                    >use them. Then they appear amateur or foolish because of the
                                    >"intuitive" myth, and they get only a tiny %age of the use they
                                    >should get from their machines.


                                    Happy HTML'n!
                                    Jody

                                    http://www.notetab.net

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