The Drive client’s advantage over the sync client:
It’s easier to use: You read/write files directly in a virtual drive without initiating syncing. This is way more easier for non-technical users. They can use it just like a network drive on Windows.
When you have many files on the server, you don’t need to sync them on to your computer. The drive client automatically download the files for you on demand. This also makes “selective sync” unnecessary since it’s selective by default. In the future we’ll also add a “save local copy” feature to this drive client. This allow the user to always keep a folder in sync. With this feature, 95% of the functionalities of the sync client can also be done by the drive client.
When you have limited space on your client computer, you don’t need to worry about not having enough space for syncing Seafile.
Overall, it works like a sync client with a FUSE like virtual file system interface. The client still use the syncing protocol for upload/download files in the background. But it also implements some “smart” caching algorithm that fetches and caches local copy of files. Then it presents the files/folders to end users as a virtual file system.
The details are quite complex though. It has to make all these components work together.
I love new features Will test it as soon as Seafile Server v6 is out of beta, thus I can install it.
However I have a few questions about this:
Will this “SeaDrive-Client” be integrated into the usual Seafile client?
If both clients/concepts are not going to be merged into one Seafile-App, ist this new concept going to replace the old one?
I love the old syncing system, as this is also like a backup… I do have all my files locally, even if I am not going to connect to my server for days/weeks… but as soon as I have Internet, I can sync everything. So I am not dependent on having a Internet connection with the usual client. But the new one needs to have access to the server, to open files, which are not cached somehow.
Are the libraries the same that I have in my old client? I mean… If I start the old client, seeing files in my library… and if I than start the new SeaDrive client… will I see the same files, and if I modify them via SeaDrive, will they be automatically updated in the libraries, which the old client shows me?
Does seahub support the new functions? Do I have indicators in seahub about filechanges, that were made by the SeaDrive client?
What about android support? Will there be a Seadrive app? Actually the Android app is already working like this, doesn’t it?
Thanks for asking this. I’m very interested in the long term plans for SeaDrive VS Seafile Client because although it might make Seafile much more easy to use it will change the way of working with Seafile extensively - especially for “non-technical users” trained to work with the current Seafile concept.
So: thanks for the coming great feature but please give us a roadmap!
Interesting, thanks for the reply! How will it handle reading large files? For example, if I have a 500 MB file that is not in the local cache and try to open it, what will happen? Also, will it have an option to force sync, for example if I’m going to be offline and want to have access to the files?
No. Since they work quite differently, we don’t want to confuse users to have two usage models inside one client app. So it’s another app.
No. The sync client will still be there and be actively maintained. Just think of this new client a completely new way to use Seafile (hopefully more convenient way). Users can choose which one to use.
Yes, updates from the new Drive client will be synced to the server and then to the sync client too. They’re compatible.
This new client is not related to Android or iOS. It’s an app for desktop only. You’re right. Android client already work in this mode.
They’ll coexist. The sync client will be actively maintained for the long term. Users who are used to the existing way can still use the sync client without problems. Just think of this Drive client as a new feature added to the Seafile project. It doesn’t affect existing features. But hopefully some users would find the new client also useful.
Given your earlier announcement regarding the planned/necessary rebranding within the European Union, will this consequently be made available under the name “SeaDrive Drive client”?
(Maybe it’s better to replace “Drive” with “Share”?)