HTML5 provides us with a whole crop of new possibilities, such as drawing with canvas, implementing multimedia with the audio and video APIs, and so on. One of these tools, which is still relatively new, is the File System API. It gives us access to a sandboxed section of the user’s local file system, thus filling the gap between desktop and web applications even further! In today’s tutorial, we’ll go through the basics of this new and exciting API, exploring the most common filesystem tasks. Let’s get started!
No longer do we need to download and install a given piece of software in order to use it. Simply a web browser and an internet connection gives us the ability to use any web application, anytime, anywhere, and on any platform.
In short, web apps are cool; but, compared to desktop apps, they still have one significant weakness: they don’t have a way to interact and organize data into a structured hierarchy of folders – a real filesystem. Fortunately, with the new Filesystem API, this can be changed. This API gives web applications controlled access to a private local filesystem “sandbox,” in which they can write and read files, create and list directories, and so on. Although at the time of this writing only Google’s Chrome browser supports the “full” implementation of the Filesystem API, it still deserves to be studied as a powerful and convenient form of local storage.