File Transfers...again (yet?)

Scott "The Axe" O'Bryan axeman "at" dwarf.org
Sat, 23 Mar 2002 15:35:13 +0000


Not quite as "easy" as you are lead to believe, but I imagine something
like that could be written in Java pretty easily.  Could probably even
embed it into a web page.  I'm a Portal developer for an unnamed
company, I'm not trying to get commercial here, and I have a portal
component that does just that.  By clicking on a directory, it displays
a page containing a lit of the files in that directory.  Then if you
click a file, it will transfer that file to your computer via http (or
https) whatever the case may be.  Unfortunately, I can't distribute the
code because of that intellectual properties thing, but I would check
some of the Java sites to see if there is something you could use.

Scott O'Bryan

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
[mailto:owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com] On Behalf Of Charlie Summers
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 2:07 PM
To: vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
Subject: File Transfers...again (yet?)

Folks;

   Before I start, let me say how much I appreciate VNC and those here
on the
list who support it and its users. I have a small shop with mixed
machines
(Mac, Windows, linux) and it has been a godsend for us, keeping the
number of
monitors in the place down to managable levels. Thanks to one and all!

   I really _hate_ to bring the topic of file transfers up again, but
I'm
hoping someone knows a bit more than I have been able to discover in the
archives and various searches on the Net.

   To recap the usual way this thread works, someone asks for file
sharing,
and the suggestions generally fall into two camps; a) use FTP
client/servers,
or b) buy commercial software like PC Anywhere (although in keeping with
the
cross-platform spirit of VNC, people should probably recommend Timbuktu
instead). Most believe that file transfers should _not_ be incorporated
into
VNC, something with which I COMPLETELY agree; VNC does one task, does it
well, and should be improved upon without feature-bloat.

   That said, however, I _do_ have some problems with using FTP
client/servers...primarily that they are a pain in the arse, waste time
and
energy particualrly for small file transfers, are insecure, and can be a
security risk (especially if we make the reasonable assumption that the
bulk
of those who install and use VNC are neither programmers nor network
administrators).

   A routine example here is that one machine (a Win32, say) has
completed
processing and has a small binary file ready; this file needs to be
transfered to in this example a Macintosh. So an FTP server is started
on the
Mac, then a DOS FTP session is started on the Windows box, a connection
is
initiated, cd commands are issued, the file is put, the connection is
closed,
the server is closed, and the file is now transfered. Could probably do
it
faster copying to a floppy disk and walking it across the room.

    So my working assumption is that there should be, somewhere, a
cross-platform peer-to-peer application for file transfers much like
VNC;
something that does a single task, does it well, and isn't bloated by
unnecessary features. It should be cross-platform (Mac, Windows, un*x),
and
it should be free to the end user. (Open-source would probably be nice,
but
doesn't factor in at this point.) It should be simple to use, small, and
not
require daemons to be running external to the application itself; launch
the
app on two machines, use one to connect to the other via name or IP, and
transfer away.

   Seems so obvious that it _has_ to exist somewhere. I've spent a few
hours
searching around, and haven't found anything that suits the requirements
yet.
If anyone can supply pointers as I continue the search, I'd appreciate
it...and I have the feeling there are many others on the list who would
as
well.

         Charlie Summers
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