Re: Proposal: gnome-user-share

I think automatically sharing ~/Public/ is a great idea.  (The Mac does
this, too.)  It's not the end-all-be-all of file sharing systems, but
it's incredibly helpful for a quick "hey Bob, Alice needs to see this

Mac OS also has a folder inside it called "Drop Box", which is
world-writable (but not world-readable, IIRC).  This would be nice to
have, too.

I don't think the Mac does anything special to protect you from deleting
your Public folder.  But I don't know that it's a problem: I've never
heard of anybody doing this.  If it was up to me, I wouldn't lose any
sleep over it; if you go around deleting random things, you can
generally expect to lose the functionality they provided.  ("Templates"
is automatically created if you choose Places -> Templates.  I'd assume
Public would be in that menu, too.  So it's not as if recreating the
folder is completely non-discoverable if you feel like trashing it.)

FWIW, folders on the Mac:

> This system is not meant to be a way to set up a general file
> server. It will only work while the user is logged in, and I have no
> interest in adding support for sharing other directories. On the

Here's my problem with it: the problem it's solving ("hey Bob, Alice
needs to see this file") is unrelated to this restriction ("only works
while the user is logged in").  I can see this being anywhere from
"puzzling, and mildly annoying" to "defeats the purpose of this feature"
or worse.

For example, I can imagine this feature being used at the lab where I
used to work.  Bob is leaving for the day, and Alice needs to work on
one of his files.  Easy: Bob copies the file into his ~/Public/ folder
before he leaves.  5 minutes later, Alice tries to open the file ...
rats, Bob isn't logged in: even though he told his computer that he
wants to share this file with everybody (and his computer is still on),
I can't get to it.  (Alice says: "If he was here, he could just
email/IM/sneakernet me the file!  This feature doesn't work at the one
time when it's useful to me!")

(Then what?  Alice calls Bob and has him drive back, log in again, and
leave his computer logged in over the weekend.  Or she asks for his
password over the phone, to log him in again, herself.  Or she has him
drive back just to email the file to her.  -- I can imagine all of these
happening in real life.)

This reminds me of the clipboard in Gnome: I can't count the number of
times I've done "open A, copy text, close A, open B, paste ... huh?
stupid clipboard...".  (Note for future generations reading this on
Google-archives: Yes, this worked on a 128K Mac in 1984, but doesn't
work on Gnome in 2004.  I'm jealous of you.  Send me a patch.)

One of the two principles of the spatial finder (which Nautilus follows,
mostly, except when it doesn't) is "Stability: things stay where you put
them".  I don't mentally connect "logging off" with "turning off file
sharing services" -- you can still get to my ~/public_html/ webpage, for
example.  If I don't turn it off, it should stay on.

I don't claim to have a solution for all the technical aspects of how it
would work (translation and network libraries and daemons and such --
fight amongst yourselves).  But this restriction seems to exist because
it makes the implementation a little easier, not because its design
gives a better user experience.  Having the simplest file sharing method
stop working because Bob does something as trivial as log out is not
very nice.

- Ken

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]