Re: Proposal: gnome-user-share

On Tue, 2004-11-30 at 18:46 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-12-01 at 09:20 +1000, Kai Willadsen wrote:
> > 
> > When the first great '$HOME as desktop' flamewar ended, the point that
> > seemed to decide the issue in favour of ~/Desktop was the fact that
> > there were many 3rd-party apps that (ab)used $HOME to store their own
> > data in a user-visible fashion [1].
> > 
> Yes, but ~/Public *is* user documents and data just as ~/Desktop is. The
> user can freely delete ~/Public if they don't want to put anything in
> it. It's not like ~/Evolution where you had to have that if you wanted
> to use Evolution.
> $HOME should not be used for "implementation detail" files, with the
> exception of dotfiles. Only user-should-care files. But ~/Public should
> contain user-should-care files, so it makes sense in a $HOME non-
> dotfile.

Well, unfortunately, I'm not sure ~/Public is really that great of an
idea, although it certainly isn't the best one can do without huge
amounts of hassle.

The problem is, in order to make documents public, users have to copy,
link, or move documents there.  Unfortunately, move is the action most
users are going to do, because it's the easiest and - drag and drop
moves.  So, even though I have a document, and thus logically belongs in
~/Documents or some sub-folder, it might end up being in ~/Public on
many users machines just because that's the only way they know to get it

The second easiest operation is copy.  So users that have that one
figured out are now stuck with keeping the public copy up to date and
possibly having two very large files around.

Linking is an odd concept to most people (it has no true metaphor
outside of computers) and isn't likely to be used a lot.  Even when it
is, to be perfectly frank, links suck in their own ways - namely because
they end up "dangling" when you move or re-organize the real document.
(Won't it be nice when we all have DB-based file systems where links
point to the document ID and not arbitrary and dynamic properties like
its relationships and title?)

The best solution really is to just mark documents or folders as
"shared" and let the daemon find them and share them.  With Apache, this
would pretty much mean writing a bunch of Alias directives and Directory
access rules.

I'm thinking something along the lines of having a tool that can be told
to "Add Path" or "Remove Path", and updates the Apache config file used
and tells the server to reload it.

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