Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sharing or Syncing ?

Thinking about the sharing large files conundrum, it's actually more complex than it first appears, as sharing with others is different from sharing with yourself.

Dropbox of course lets you share files with yourself, applications such as and yousendit make it easier to share files with others.

We therefore have two slightly orthagonal use cases:

Use case 1 (the scenario)
  • user wishes to share files or data with another user (or group of users) on campus or elsewhere. The files are too large to send via email, nor are they lodged on an open repository

Use case 2 (the syncany scenario)
  • user wishes to ensure that files held on a local directory on their personal computing device are backed up to a central location on a periodic basis
  • user wishes to share these files across multiple computing devices in various locations
  • user does not necessarily wish to share contents with other users
Use case #2 is essentially the same as an on demand or periodic backup, and also allows you to provide a synced backup store for devices with local storage that are periodically off the network such as travelling netbooks.

Incidentally Asus's webstorage does exactly that. If I hadn't let mys subscription lapse (my bad) I could have experimented with doing this with the Ookygo for local files. However given that 95% of everything that I use the Ookygo for on the road is done via a browser I probably wouldn't have much in the way of a valid experiment ...

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