File upload with Backbone


File upload with Backbone

I’m using Backbone.js in a Rails app and I need to do file uploads as part of one of the Backbone models.
I don’t believe Backbone allows for multi-part file upload out of the box. Has anyone managed to get it working via some plugin or with another external lib? How can I extend Backbone.js to support this?


Solution 1:

Answering my own question after few months of trial using different methods. My solution is the following (with Rails).

For any form that requires file upload I would set data-remote="true" and enctype="multipart/form-data" and include rails.js and jquery.iframe-transport.js.

Setting data-remote="true" with rails.js allows me to bind to ajax:success and create the Backbone.js model on success.


<form action="/posts.js" method="post" data-remote="true" enctype="multipart/form-data">
  <input type="text" name="post[message]" />
  <input type="file" name="post[file]" />


You should obviously bind ajax:error to handle error cases.

For me, the data is sanitized in the ActiveRecord model, so don’t have to worry too much about the eval statement.

$('form').bind('ajax:success', function(event, data) {
  new Model(eval(data)); // Your newly created Backbone.js model

Rails Controller:

class PostsController < ApplicationController
  respond_to :js

  def create
    @post = Post.create(params[:post])
    respond_with @post

Rails View (create.js.haml):

Using the remotipart gem.

This will handle the case when the form does file uploads with enctype being set, and when it doesn’t.

You could choose to call sanitize on your response here.

= remotipart_response do
  - if remotipart_submitted?
    = "eval(#{Yajl::Encoder.encode(@post)});"
  - else
    =raw "eval(#{Yajl::Encoder.encode(@post)});"

Solution 2:

You may want to check out the jquery.iframe.transport plugin. If you’re using rails 3, you can use remotipart instead (it bundles the iframe.transport plugin), which hooks into rails’s ujs driver to automatically add support for file upload in ajax requests.

Solution 3:

Resurrecting this one.

As mentioned in previous answers, a multipart/form-data request can be executed via jQuery.ajax:

var formData = new FormData();
var input = document.getElementById('file');

formData.append('file', input.files[0]);

  url: 'path/to/upload/endpoint'
  data: formData,
  processData: false,
  contentType: false

It is also important to note that, out-of-the-box, Backbone.sync will merge any options via, { /* options here */ }) with the $.ajax instructions.

Your save procedure would look something like:

var model = new Model({
  key: 'value'
var input = document.getElementById('file');
var formData = new FormData();

_.each(model.keys(), function (key) { // Append your attributes
  formData.append(key, model.get(key));

formData.append('file', input.files[0]); // Append your file, {
  data: formData, 
  processData: false,
  contentType: false 

Solution 4:

I think you’re misunderstanding how backbone works. Backbone is an MVC library for javascript, not a web server. File uploads are negotiated between the clients browser and your server. Backbone is just the middle layer that helps you organize and present data in an easy, convenient manner.

That being said, what you need to do to associate a file with your model is 1) handle the upload with rails and then 2) store the file name and location in a string within your model.

So here’s the file uploading part:

Once you get back the list_item object, you would just create a new field in your model and store list_item.filename and asset_path(list_item).

Hope that helps.

Solution 5:

If you don’t mind to break backward compatibility, you can take advantage of XHR2 and FormData

It’s simple as that:

var data = new FormData( $('form.someForm').get(0) );
$.ajax('http://*****.com', {
  data: data,
  processData: false,
  contentType: false // it automaticly sets multipart/form-data; boundary=...