h a l f b a k e r y
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Right now, I'm running MacOS 10.3 -
lovely file system and file browsing
capabilities, and under the covers
Apache is running. What I'd like is an
easy way of linking the two which
anyone with a normal browser can
access through HTTP.
might work as a special folder on my
The presentation engine would
traverse the subfolder hierarchy,
making an on-the-fly HTML page
from every subfolder with back/
forward/ up links and doing file
conversion with various rules - e.g.
all Word files get converted to HTML,
all Photoshop files get flattened and
converted to JPEG, etc.
would let me just drag documents/
folders into this area when I wanted
them to be visible but without the
problem of explaining to people what
webDAV is or the problem of people
not being able to open my Word files
because they're created on a
(Now the next
problem is to allow people to
consistently be able to connect to my
server when my IP address is set by
||FYI, Mac created Word, Excel, PPT
etc files can be opened by Windows
||Some email clients (e.g. Mail) can
screw up MIME types. Entourage
(comes with Office.X) has no probs.
||([timbeau] Not all the time. Also
Microsoft deliberately makes some
versions of Office non-backwards
compatible with the latest version
to force you to buy the latest
||Hm. What about just leaving index browsing on or running an FTP server? Most browsers support FTP these days, and so does Windows explorer, which would be the most 'natural' thing for Windows users.
||The business of converting all files to cross-platform formats sounds trickier. You'd need a special case for every file type -- probably a request to the responsible application, which may actually have to be started up -- and some things just won't convert neatly. Still, it would certainly be possible to crawl certain directories and create HTML versions of, say, any MS Office files. Maybe a more efficient way would be to have a server-side process monitoring requests; then it could create a HTML/jpg/whatever file on the fly if no converted version existed or if it was out of date.
||Sounds something like a web-based document management system (though you're presumably only interested in offering read-only access).
||If you have wads of cash, all of the photocopier companies seem to offer such a product (eg xerox's docushare). The conversion capabilities are generally a bit lacking though (sometimes everything -> pdf). There must be open-source offerings too (I've encountered one that looked decent but forget its name).
||Re: office, I thought they were all "backwards compatible", i.e. they could open documents created with an older version, but just by the nature of new software, they're not necessarily "forwards-compatible", i.e. you can't open a document created by a newer version than what you're running, if the document contains features only supported by the newer version. What ends is the product support that companies typically get with multiple-machine licenses. ("We're releasing Office2004sp2, we'll no longer be supporting anyone with a version older than 2004sp1, so buy the new version.")
||[Freefall] - most MS products aren't even "present
||I use an FTP server to do this exact thing. My files show up in browser windows. I log in with a username/password, and if other people need access I just give them username/passwords too (or allow them to log in anonymously).
||Granted, it doesn't convert all my files to .jpg's or .docs (which would require extensive processing - could take many minutes or hours in some cases, depending on the directory you're trying to view), but I can still access my hard drive's files from any computer, anywhere in the world.
||Other than the specific "Word" format incompatibilities, isn't this pretty much what apache modules
You can install and customize the presentation of directory indices, and you can install and customize filtering rules that would (on the fly, not in advance) convert one media type into another.
||This is obviously something I've missed in Apache...