[Freedombox-discuss] Hackfest Fodder: FBX as a DropBox Replacement

Jay Sulzberger jays at panix.com
Fri May 25 23:48:18 UTC 2012

On Fri, 25 May 2012, Nick Daly <nick.m.daly at gmail.com> wrote:

> So, we've had many requests for a functional-replacement for DropBox.
> Last night, I might've figured out a way to leverage existing tools to
> do this pretty easily.  It needs more thought, and maybe there are
> better ways to do this, but that's what this email thread is all about.
> If we get a working proposal, somebody (or a group of somebodies) can
> run with it during the hackfest, or even before then.
> Dropbox is nothing more than a synced folder, from what I understand.
> We have a lot of tools to synchronize folders.  We have fewer tools to
> do this magically, in the background.  A shared-drive wouldn't work,
> there's no guarantee you're always connected.  This actually looks
> like a really similar problem to distributed-revision control.
> So, if the FBX is the central (always updated) DVCS server, this
> becomes pretty easy: just make your DropBox folder a repository and
> push to the server when you change files.  Nice, but not very
> automatic.  This is where the neatest Mercurial (or Git/Bzr/Mtn)
> Extension ever comes into play: inotify [0].
> inotify notifies the repository whenever files are changed.  If you
> react to that notification by adding new files, committing changes,
> and pushing out to the remote repository (say, every 5 minutes or so),
> then you've just built DropBox.  Oddly, though, it's better: since
> it's a repository, sharing the repository with other folks will no
> longer hose everything if they move stuff around or delete things; you
> can always recover it from previous revisions.
> Can anyone look into making a script that reacts to the inotify events
> and another script that correctly configures a folder to be that sort
> of repository?  The second script is probably easier, it just needs to
> call out to the inotify extension and the other script.
> Nick
> 0:
> http://hgbook.red-bean.com/read/adding-functionality-with-extensions.html#sec:hgext:inotify



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