GSoC: New sharing interface for ownCloud
The development of ownCloud has increased rapidly in the past weeks and the release of 2.0 is approaching. The media player branch was merged into master and the user interface has undergone huge changes. There are also many new apps in the works, including an addressbook, calendar, and bookmarks. I’m sure there will be more discussion on the new features once ownCloud 2.0 is released.
Sharing has already been merged in and I’ve been keeping up with the interface changes in order to integrate sharing with it. When I first announced that I felt that the sharing branch was functional and ready for some early testing the only way to share files was through a simple form using autocomplete to find the file you wanted to share. Since then it has transformed into a drop down that easily allows you to pick which files you want to share. Credit for the drop down interface idea goes to Jan Christoph Borchardt.
This drop down can be triggered by clicking on the share icon when you hover over a file or have multiple files selected. The icon changes dynamically if the file is already shared with a user or is a public link. In the drop down you’ll notice a select form, which uses Chosen to list all of the users you can share the file with. Once selected the user will appear below the select form and when you hover over the name you can give this user permission to edit the file or unshare the file from them. Right now edit permission means that the user can modify your file, but renaming only affects them and the user can’t delete the file. With folders it is a little different because the user can rename files inside of the folder with edit permission. Once versioning is implemented users will be able to delete files as well. It was decided that it was too risky to allow files to be deleted even with a separate permission at this time.
At the bottom of the drop down is a checkbox with the label ‘make public’. Checking this will generate a public link for the file for you to share with people without an account on your ownCloud. I’ve spent this last week merging the public links app into the sharing app and updating the public links appearance to the new interface. The public links app will be removed soon, now that sharing fully supports public links. However there will be some changes in how public links work in the future to make it a better user experience.
So, I would consider this Google Summer of Code project to be successful. I wouldn’t say it is complete because there are many more possibilities for sharing in the future, which I’ll talk about in a blog post next week. Please test out sharing a file in your ownCloud and contact me if you discover any bugs along the way. Hopefully this project will benefit ownCloud users and maybe even attract new users!