Dropbox Public Folder

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Sat Mar 18 12:48:27 EDT 2017

Mike Kerner wrote:

 > Now that the Public folder has been changed, what is everyone doing
 > to deal with it?  The main effect that I see is that it is more
 > complicated to deal with distributing mobile apps for internal use
 > and external testing.  I started messing with how to get it to work
 > again with AirLaunch, but I haven't enough time to figure it out.

A truly public folder may not be ideal for distributing an app for 
testing.  Anything in a public folder may be discoverable/accessible by 
robots, so it is in effect a public resource.

If intended for the general public that's fine of course, but if 
intended for a specific set of testers some means of limiting access may 
be useful.

The bigger question here is the one IT staff throughout the industry are 
asking themselves:  What are the tradeoffs between public and private 

There is no magic pony, no single "best" for all use cases.

The convenience of having other people manage infrastructure can be 
nice, but it comes at the cost of not being in control of either outages 
(e.g. Amazon this week) or policy changes (e.g. the Dropbox change that 
prompted this thread).

I've already waxed too much about the benefits of Nextcloud as a 
solution for organizations to handle their workgroup needs, so I won't 
belabor the point here and just provide a link to that post:

But since everyone here is a developer, we have plenty of options.  We 
can use fully-managed IaaS, or self-managed VPS/dedicated servers, or 
for modest needs even simple shared hosting, or some mix of all of them.

For distributing an app for testing, one option that'll work easily 
enough on even a shared hosting account is to just upload it to a given 
folder and send out the URL.

If you need password protection for a folder, HTTP Basic Auth is fine 
for modest needs if you have SSL in place (and with Let's Encrypt being 
free it's easy to get HTTPS everywhere now).

Uploads can be automated with LC, so you could make a plugin that posts 
your app for testing with one click.

Those using tsNet can use SFTP to upload, and everyone can use a shell 
call to scp or rsync once you've put your shared SSH keys in place (a 
good thing to do for many reasons beyond the convenience of being able 
to automate server tasks in LC).

Pubic cloud apps like Dropbox are great for the public.  But as 
developers. we have plenty of options.

And as developers using LiveCode, we have plenty of options for making 
convenient GUIs to help manage our cloud tasks.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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