b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks UI

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theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks UI

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 11:36

BUG: Using the web interface to create an albumn or add images freezes the UI indefinitely if a symbolic link has been placed in /home/storage/pictures.

FEATURE: I find it odd that on a multi-user machine there is a single /home/storage/pictures rather than one per user. What if I don't want other users to access my pictures?

Mark

RandomUsername
Posts: 904
Joined: 09 Oct 2009, 18:49

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by RandomUsername » 23 May 2011, 12:03

FEATURE: I find it odd that on a multi-user machine there is a single /home/storage/pictures rather than one per user. What if I don't want other users to access my pictures?
Strange comment! /home/storage is meant to be public. If you want to keep files private save them in your home directory (/home/[username]).
Last edited by RandomUsername on 23 May 2011, 14:20, edited 1 time in total.

theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 13:11

RandomUsername wrote:
FEATURE: I find it odd that on a multi-user machine there is a single /home/storage/pictures rather than one per user. What if I don't want other users to access my pictures?
Strange comment! /home/storage is meant to be public. If you want to keep file private same them in you home directory (/home/[username]).
Not so strange... the albumn publishing UI assumes you are publishing photos from /home/storage/pictures which means all users publish from the same location, and there is no way to navigate to a user folder from here. So its not easy to publish photos unless you first copy them to this particular public folder.

I don't even know if there is a way to publish files without copying them to this spot, which is very limiting.

Mark

Ubi
Posts: 1547
Joined: 17 Jul 2007, 09:01

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by Ubi » 23 May 2011, 13:56

I guess the design decision was the most users of a B3 were families who only needed one pictures folder and thus that the current setup has the highest ease-of-use for most customers. I'd say this is fair.

RandomUsername
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Joined: 09 Oct 2009, 18:49

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by RandomUsername » 23 May 2011, 14:22

I din't consider the albums angle and I see your point from that respect. However, I agree with Ubi and think that yours is probably a niche situation.

theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 15:01

I think these comments are red herrings. If a family doesn't want the multi-user flexibility of a multi-user system they would choose to have one login which everyone shares.

In practice, these days I think each family member is likely to have their own devices and will probably want their own login and file space anyway. Most kids have their own portable devices and I doubt big brother wants his stuff mixed up with his little bro's or sisters, or mum's country garden shots! etc etc.

Its the same with PCs. Some families will share a login, while others will have separate logins. B3's architecture allows both approaches when it comes to file storage, management, web serving and sharing, but forces everyone into one space when it comes to publishing photos. That's illogical and confusing to users, as well as limiting b3's usefulness.

Mark

RandomUsername
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Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by RandomUsername » 23 May 2011, 15:10

OK, I see what you're saying. However, in my family I, my wife, my son (and eventually my other kids) all have our own logins, mainly for practical reasons rather than privacy. However, all our photos get saved to /home/storage/pictures.

I can't see myself having any photos I'd want to keep private from my own wife, they're mostly of family events and days out anyway.

Your juxtaposition of wanting to keep some photos private but still wanting to publish them doesn't really tally.

theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 15:14

Its not about you!

Its not necessarily about privacy. Perhaps you'd like your precious art photo albumns stored where your teens can't muck about with them or your 8 year old can't accidentally delete them. Perhaps thats why you have separate logins?

The point is flexibility. If you wanted the simplicity of sharing you could have a single user account called photos and all share that.

Mark

johannes
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Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by johannes » 23 May 2011, 15:18

This is a very good discussion. We have had hours of internal debate over which system is the best. Choosing a more flexible approach (wich features like ftp-access settings per user and folder; publishing web albums from any place of choice; being able to select what photos will be shown (and not shown) through the dlna-server to your TV etc.) would create more flexibility, but also a lot of more buttons and gears, and ultimately (we think) more confusing to users. Within familys you can always create your own folder under /home/pictures/ - unless you really have something you don't want to show your dad (and then B3 perhaps isn't the place anyways). I know people are used to the more flexible style, but less technical users aren't used to anything and we like to think that they appreciate just dropping pictures in the 'pictures' folder and they show up on their TV. Right or wrong - for our users to judge. :)

Don't get me wrong Mark - your points are all valid and I miss these features myself sometimes. And perhaps these two approaches can be combined if it's done right. We will do a re-evaluation before doing new product releases.
/Johannes (Excito co-founder a long time ago, but now I'm just Johannes)

RandomUsername
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Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by RandomUsername » 23 May 2011, 15:22

No, it's not about me. It's about the majority of people and I suspect that in the case we're discusing I fall into that group and you don't. However, you're within your rights to request this as a feature (as long the existing functionality is kept it's not going to make any difference to anyone if Excito implement it).

theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 15:40

Johannes

I understand the wish to keep things simple. You've done a great job with B3 and I don't think you need to add unnecessary complexity, on the contrary you can simplify the existing scheme because consistency is an important factor in good UX. It is strange to have separate accounts and then not carry that metaphor throughout. How is a user to understand when it applies and when not?

Also, its possible to configure default behaviour towards the simplest usage case without prohibiting a more flexible capability. For example, all users could be offered the shared location by default but able to navigate elsewhere (and choose this to be their default). The current UI doesn't allow one to navigate from /home/storage/pictures to their own filespace, which seems bizarre (at least as far as I can tell).

For clarification about my usage case - I am in fact the only user of my b3 - so its not about me either!

However, I want to share pictures from a location within a different file tree (/home/storage/mirrors). I don't want to move or copy images that are already archived there (through automatic mirroring of my PC filesystem using rsync).

Hence the main point of my post is to highlight the problem I encountered trying to avoid duplicating files by placing a symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures. So that's what I would like you to look into!

Mark

johannes
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Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by johannes » 23 May 2011, 15:57

Mark, yes, you have valid points. However the basic thought of our "inconsitensy" is that different users on a single system need to have separate space for documents and email, but are usually OK to share music and photos with eachother - to avoid having to duplicate that information. This is our basic thought with the setup we have chosen. And to increase flexibility often ends up in more complex setup ("just one more step in that wizard won't hurt anyone") - confuses some users. But as I said, we will re-evaluate before next release.

And as for the symlink issue this is also an active choice, but for security reasons. (I can't really say why but our devs says that it opens up for trouble). Sorry, but nothing we can change (however you probably can yourself if you are up for some coding).

Anyways - thanks for taking time to share thought, brings up valid points.

With bubba love,
/Johannes (Excito co-founder a long time ago, but now I'm just Johannes)

theWebalyst
Posts: 96
Joined: 27 May 2010, 14:53

Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by theWebalyst » 23 May 2011, 16:02

Thanks Johannes - but I think you need to look into your handling of sym links because its not that it doesn't support it, but it locks up the UI indefinitely!

I guess its a small tweak to manually remove the /home/storage/pictures limitation so I might well do so.

BTW, I'm not certain, but pretty sure I used the sym link trick on Bubba|2

Mark

johannes
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Re: b3 bug - symbolic link in /home/storage/pictures breaks

Post by johannes » 23 May 2011, 16:15

oh yeah, forgot that. you are right, shouldn't lock up, we have a bug in the tracker for that now. Will look into that.
/Johannes (Excito co-founder a long time ago, but now I'm just Johannes)

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