Attachment_fu: Having problems with database_backend


#1

First, Rick O. - excellent plugin!
Second, Mike C. - excellent tutorial on file_system backend!
Third, Ron Evans, excellent tutorial on database backend (http://
deadprogrammersociety.blogspot.com/2007/04/getting-your-attachmentfu-
back-out-of.html)!

I am having serious trouble getting database storage working. I
haven’t found much information regarding using attachment_fu with a
database backend, but I’ve almost got it working and have a strange
bug.

It appears to be storing the entire file in the database, but when I
pull it out and display it the image stops rendering after around 40K
(haven’t measured exactly where it cuts off, but files smaller than
about 40k render and download completely). It is the same when I
download the file, the downloaded file has the right dimensions, but
the image only fills up part of the size of the original. The part
filled in is sequential from the beginning. I am very confused.

The other alternative for me is to store the files on the file system,
but they must be protected from direct download. These are
confidential documents that I am uploading (driver’s lisenses, birth
certificates, social security cards, etc). Is there a way to protect
the files from direct download and also allow them to be viewed and
downloaded by logged in users (admins)?

Thanks,
Peter

(**********************************************************

  • l*eter H. l3oling
  • Software Developer - Sagebit, LLC
  • email: removed_email_address@domain.invalid
  • blog: http://galtzo.blogspot.com/
  • languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese
    ***********************************************************)

#2

My suggestion wrt safely storing as files:

  1. store the files in a part of the file system not in the web server’s
    document root.
  2. To send a file to a browser client, use a controller action to read
    and return the contents of the file. That way the controller action can
    check access, log the request, etc.

HTH,

Larry


#3

On 7/1/07, Larry K. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

HTH,
Are you sure your database isn’t truncating the files?

Using the filesystem is usually better though. It’s definitely faster
and easier on memory (mongrel steams to a tmp file that you can just
move, rather than opening it into memory).

For serving it, check out the x-accel-redirect header for nginx:
http://wiki.codemongers.com/NginxXSendfile


Rick O.
http://lighthouseapp.com
http://weblog.techno-weenie.net
http://mephistoblog.com


#4

On Jul 1, 2007, at 5:22 PM, Larry K. wrote:

My suggestion wrt safely storing as files:

  1. store the files in a part of the file system not in the web
    server’s
    document root.
  2. To send a file to a browser client, use a controller action to read
    and return the contents of the file. That way the controller action
    can
    check access, log the request, etc.

In addition, you can avoid the penalty in your precious Rails
processes delegating to the front-end server via the X-Sendfile
header, there’s a plugin that encapsulates that:

http://agilewebdevelopment.com/plugins/xsendfile

Using that trick the flow becomes (think a regular Apache + Mongrel
Cluster setup for example):

  1. Files are requested with URLs that point to some
    controller instead of the public document root,
    thus the controller has complete control about their
    access according to the logic of the application

  2. The action resolves the filename to fetch somehow,
    be careful with filenames, sanitize parameters, etc.

  3. It calls some of the plugin’s send_file()-like methods,
    which just add a header with the actual filename on
    disk for the front-end server to handle

  4. The front-end server intercepts the response after
    seeing the special header, and serves the file in its
    value as if it was a regular public static file, it
    takes care of the MIME type etc.

In development mode you don’t need to use that necessarily, I use
xsendfile’s drop in replacement for send_file() only in production
mode, it’s as easy as throwing this line into environment.rb:

XSendFile::Plugin.replace_send_file! if RAILS_ENV == ‘production’

So that in development mode those files as always (for example by
webrick), and in production the X-Sendfile stuff is activated without
touching a single line of code.

– fxn


#5

On Jul 1, 2007, at 5:22 PM, Larry K. wrote:

My suggestion wrt safely storing as files:

  1. store the files in a part of the file system not in the web
    server’s
    document root.
  2. To send a file to a browser client, use a controller action to read
    and return the contents of the file. That way the controller action
    can
    check access, log the request, etc.

In addition, you can avoid the penalty in your precious Rails
processes delegating to the front-end server via the X-Sendfile
header, there’s a plugin that encapsulates that:

http://agilewebdevelopment.com/plugins/xsendfile

Using that trick the flow becomes (think a regular Apache + Mongrel
Cluster setup for example):

  1. Files are requested with URLs that point to some
    controller instead of the public document root,
    thus the controller has complete control about their
    access according to the logic of the application

  2. The action resolves the filename to fetch somehow,
    be careful with filenames, sanitize parameters, etc.

  3. It calls some of the plugin’s send_file()-like methods,
    which just add a header with the actual filename on
    disk for the front-end server to handle

  4. The front-end server intercepts the response after
    seeing the special header, and serves the file in its
    value as if it was a regular public static file, it
    takes care of the MIME type etc.

In development mode you don’t need to use that necessarily, I use
xsendfile’s drop in replacement for send_file() only in production
mode, it’s as easy as throwing this line into environment.rb:

XSendFile::Plugin.replace_send_file! if RAILS_ENV == ‘production’

So that in development mode those files as always (for example by
webrick), and in production the X-Sendfile stuff is activated without
touching a single line of code.

– fxn