Re: File sharing with Nautilus

On Sun, 2003-08-17 at 23:14, Bill Garrett wrote:
> > Well, which web servers do you want to support? Only Apache?
> > 
> > Okay... first off, you're talking root access required on everything...
> This is not necessarily the case for Web servers, but the alternative may not
> be any more pleasant.  Assuming that "Share This File" in the context of
> Nautilus means you wish to share only the file's content (as opposed to expose
> the file as a CGI program), you can very easily include one of the MANY GPLed
> "low-rent" mini-HTTP-servers out there.  Are any files being shared?  Start up
> our mini-server, on some high port number, register its existence in GConf and
> elsewhere, and inform it of the file(s) it should share.  Any others should be
> automatically rejected, if requested by a client.
> It can run with the permissions of the user, and either shut down when his
> session ends, or keep running until he tells it to stop.  Ideally it
> would watch when files move or are removed, and of course there'd be an
> option to shut it down entirely, whether or not files were still being shared.
We have been thinking about this for gnome-network (as you can see at, and so far we haven't found a really good solution.
A friend even did a test applet that used libcherokee
to use the personal HTTP server approach.

The problem with using a HTTP server is that, as you say, you need to
use a high port number, and clients need to know that port number. So,
you have to use a well known port number, and this gives the problem of
using a non-standard way of sharing files, something that is not allowed
in some networks (users can't open ports as they wish). Also, this
solution offers 0 integration with existing networks. It would be a
GNOME-only thing.

> Obviously, this does not address SMB, NFS, and many other file-sharing
> mechanisms.  It also raises the question of "is it the business of Nautilus to
> be doing this?"
I don't think so. It should be an extra module, which, by using the
popup menu extension system, could add the 'Share...' menu item to the

I think the ideal solution would be to have a way, in NFS/SMB, to let
users share directories in a somewhat restricted way. This would
integrate this stuff into existing networks. I don't know if that's
possible at all and what problems there might be though.


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