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Processing Local Files in JavaScript with HTML5 In previous JavaScript articles and JavaScript code examples, jsB@nk provided you many posts about new HOT features/functions in HTML5, such as:

- JavaScript Caching in HTML5
- Awesome Canvas Drawer with HTML5
- JavaScript in HTML5 vs ActionScript 3 in Flash in Drawing Match - Who Win?
- HOT New JavaScript APIs with HTML5

Today in this post, jsB@nk is happy to give you one more JavaScript article tutorial for another new HOT feature in HTML5 - local files processing. Throughout this JavaScript article tutorial, you're able to handle how to create, delete, read, write and query the local files with JavaScript on HTML5. Please go to the inner page for full detailed instructions, guides and live demos of JavaScript HTML5 code examples for HTML5 file uploading, uploading file JavaScript, JavaScript open file, JavaScript file read, JavaScript load file, javascript create file.


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Reading files

Now comes the fun part!

After you've obtained a File reference, instantiate a object to read its contents into memory. When the load finishes, the reader's onload event is fired and its result attribute can be used to access the file data.

FileReader includes three options for reading a file, asynchronously:

  • FileReader.readAsBinaryString(fileBlob) - The result property will contain the file's data as a binary string. Every byte is represented by an integer in the range [0..255].
  • FileReader.readAsText(fileBlob, opt_encoding) - The result property will contain the file's data as a text string. By default the string is decoded as 'UTF-8'. Use the optional encoding parameter can specify a different format.
  • FileReader.readAsDataURL(file) - The result property will contain the file's data encoded as a data URL.

Once one of these read methods is called on your FileReader object, the onloadstart, onprogress, onload, onabort, onerror, and onloadend can be used to track its progress.

The example below filters out images from the user's selection, calls reader.readAsDataURL() on the file, and renders a thumbnail by setting the 'src' attribute to a data URL.

<style>
 
.thumb {
    height
: 75px;
    border
: 1px solid #000;
    margin
: 10px 5px 0 0;
 
}
</style>

<input type="file" id="files" name="files[]" multiple />
<output id="list"></output>

<script>
 
function handleFileSelect(evt) {
   
var files = evt.target.files; // FileList object

   
// Loop through the FileList and render image files as thumbnails.
   
for (var i = 0, f; f = files[i]; i++) {

     
// Only process image files.
     
if (!f.type.match('image.*')) {
       
continue;
     
}

     
var reader = new FileReader();

     
// Closure to capture the file information.
      reader
.onload = (function(theFile) {
       
return function(e) {
         
// Render thumbnail.
         
var span = document.createElement('span');
          span
.innerHTML = ['<img class="thumb" src="/javascript/article/Processing_Local_Files_in_JavaScript_with_HTML5.php/', e.target.result,
                           
'" title="', theFile.name, '"/>'].join('');
          document
.getElementById('list').insertBefore(span, null);
       
};
     
})(f);

     
// Read in the image file as a data URL.
      reader
.readAsDataURL(f);
   
}
 
}

  document
.getElementById('files').addEventListener('change', handleFileSelect, false);
</script>

Example: Reading files. Try it!

Try this example with a directory of images!


Slicing a file

In some cases reading the entire file into memory isn't the best option. For example, say you wanted to write an async file uploader. One possible way to speed up the upload would be to read and send the file in separate byte range chunks. The server component would then be responsible for reconstructing the file content in the correct order.

Lucky for us, the File interface supports a slice method to support this use case. The method takes a starting byte as its first argument and a byte offset (length) as its second:

var blob = file.slice(startingByte, length);
reader
.readAsBinaryString(blob);

The following example demonstrates reading chunks of a file. Something worth noting is that it uses the onloadend and checks the evt.target.readyState instead of using the onload event.

<style>
 
#byte_content {
    margin
: 5px 0;
    max
-height: 100px;
    overflow
-y: auto;
    overflow
-x: hidden;
 
}
 
#byte_range { margin-top: 5px; }
</style>

<input type="file" id="file" name="file" /> Read bytes:
<span class="readBytesButtons">
 
<button data-startbyte="0" data-endbyte="4">1-5</button>
 
<button data-startbyte="5" data-endbyte="14">6-15</button>
 
<button data-startbyte="6" data-endbyte="7">7-8</button>
 
<button>entire file</button>
</span>
<div id="byte_range"></div>
<div id="byte_content"></div>

<script>
 
function readBlob(opt_startByte, opt_stopByte) {

   
var files = document.getElementById('files').files;
   
if (!files.length) {
      alert
('Please select a file!');
     
return;
   
}

   
var file = files[0];
   
var start = opt_startByte || 0;
   
var stop = opt_stopByte || file.size - 1;

   
var reader = new FileReader();

   
// If we use onloadend, we need to check the readyState.
    reader
.onloadend = function(evt) {
     
if (evt.target.readyState == FileReader.DONE) { // DONE == 2
        document
.getElementById('byte_content').textContent = evt.target.result;
        document
.getElementById('byte_range').textContent =
           
['Read bytes: ', start + 1, ' - ', stop + 1,
             
' of ', file.size, ' byte file'].join('');
     
}
   
};
   
var length =  (stop - start) + 1;
   
var blob = file.slice(start, length);
    reader
.readAsBinaryString(blob);
 
}
 
  document
.querySelector('.readBytesButtons').addEventListener('click', function(evt) {
   
if (evt.target.tagName.toLowerCase() == 'button') {
     
var startByte = evt.target.getAttribute('data-startbyte');
     
var endByte = evt.target.getAttribute('data-endbyte');
      readBlob
(startByte, endByte);
   
}
 
}, false);
</script>

Example: Slicing a file. Try it!

Read bytes:

Monitoring the progress of a read

One of the nice things that we get for free when using async event handling is the ability to monitor the progress of the file read; useful for large files, catching errors, and figuring out when a read is complete.

The onloadstart and onprogress events can be used to monitor the progress of a read.

The example below demonstrates displaying a progress bar to monitor the status of a read. To see the progress indicator in action, try a large file or one from a remote drive.

<style>
 
#progress_bar {
    margin
: 10px 0;
    padding
: 3px;
    border
: 1px solid #000;
    font
-size: 14px;
    clear
: both;
    opacity
: 0;
   
-moz-transition: opacity 1s linear;
   
-o-transition: opacity 1s linear;
   
-webkit-transition: opacity 1s linear;
 
}
 
#progress_bar.loading {
    opacity
: 1.0;
 
}
 
#progress_bar .percent {
    background
-color: #99ccff;
    height
: auto;
    width
: 0;
 
}
</style>

<input type="file" id="file" name="file" />
<button onclick="abortRead();">Cancel read</button>
<div id="progress_bar"><div class="percent">0%</div></div>

<script>
 
var reader;
 
var progress = document.querySelector('.percent');

 
function abortRead() {
    reader
.abort();
 
}

 
function errorHandler(evt) {
   
switch(evt.target.error.code) {
     
case evt.target.error.NOT_FOUND_ERR:
        alert
('File Not Found!');
       
break;
     
case evt.target.error.NOT_READABLE_ERR:
        alert
('File is not readable');
       
break;
     
case evt.target.error.ABORT_ERR:
       
break; // noop
     
default:
        alert
('An error occurred reading this file.');
   
};
 
}

 
function updateProgress(evt) {
   
// evt is an ProgressEvent.
   
if (evt.lengthComputable) {
     
var percentLoaded = Math.round((evt.loaded / evt.total) * 100);
     
// Increase the progress bar length.
     
if (percentLoaded < 100) {
        progress
.style.width = percentLoaded + '%';
        progress
.textContent = percentLoaded + '%';
     
}
   
}
 
}

 
function handleFileSelect(evt) {
   
// Reset progress indicator on new file selection.
    progress
.style.width = '0%';
    progress
.textContent = '0%';

    reader
= new FileReader();
    reader
.onerror = errorHandler;
    reader
.onprogress = updateProgress;
    reader
.onabort = function(e) {
      alert
('File read cancelled');
   
};
    reader
.onloadstart = function(e) {
      document
.getElementById('progress_bar').className = 'loading';
   
};
    reader
.onload = function(e) {
     
// Ensure that the progress bar displays 100% at the end.
      progress
.style.width = '100%';
      progress
.textContent = '100%';
      setTimeout
("document.getElementById('progress_bar').className='';", 2000);
   
}

   
// Read in the image file as a binary string.
    reader
.readAsBinaryString(evt.target.files[0]);
 
}

  document
.getElementById('files').addEventListener('change', handleFileSelect, false);
</script>

Example: Monitoring the progress of a read. Try it!

0%

Tip: To really see this progress indicator in action, try a large file or a resource on a remote drive.

References

JavaScript by day


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