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Thread: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.



Permlink Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 4, 2018 8:05 PM Last Post By: Startek Startek Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
Anthony Walter

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/8/99
I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 26, 2018 8:55 AM
Hey guys. I wrote this web tool a while ago which emulates a Delphi desktop application in a few ways and wanted some feedback.

http://storage.codebot.org

login: tester password: funkytown

The tool is a private cloud file server application that will be open sourced soon (after a bit of testing and some refinements). People will be able to get the source and configure it on their web server so that they can backup/share/transfer files to themselves or among friend. The admin account can manage users, their rights, and storage limits.

What I've tried to do with this app is emulate a desktop application a bit, which might be similar to a desktop app. Regarding the Delphi connection, I post here about Delphi, but also sometimes post other programming work if I feel it overlaps with Delphi. In this case I am attempting to write a webpage that acts like a desktop app, something for which I'd always use Delphi as my first choice. With this app I've made some efforts to carry over desktop user interactions. Shift and control click selection, some dialog looking things, inline renaming of files, arrow key moves the current selection, and what not. As such I am interested in the feedback of desktop developers and thought Delphi people might have a perspective I wanted for feedback.

Features:

You can drag and drop files or click to browse for uploads. Large uploads can be resumed if you close the page before the upload completes. Uploads can be paused and resumed.

The selection in file list can be navigated with up down and page up down arrow keys. Shift multi selects both with the mouse and keyboard. Control can toggle select on individual items.

Some files including video and audio can be viewed. It has code for http stream allowing seeking to positions in large video files without the need to download. Multi select can be used to create play lists. If you select a group of songs, then open the song and play it will continue playing the next song when the current song is done.

Enter selects items, function keys F2 renames inline, F3 search filters, F4 gives the option to turn sharing on/off (works with multiselect). File columns can be sorted.

The front end code was written using my own typescript library.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Note, since I am publicly posting an open test of a cloud file application, be aware that this test is setup to reset itself regularly where all user content wiped.
Graham Stratford

Posts: 20
Registered: 10/23/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 26, 2018 11:44 AM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
Anthony Walter wrote:
Hey guys. I wrote this web tool a while ago which emulates a Delphi desktop application in a few ways and wanted some feedback.

Very cool, and something that I might use to share files with family and friends. I like the idea of having so much control over the presentation and use.

I'm not even planning to use it for piracy! My first thought is that I would like to be able to share audio and video of my kids' musical performances.
Anthony Walter

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/8/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 26, 2018 1:47 PM   in response to: Graham Stratford in response to: Graham Stratford
Graham,

Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. As for usage, yes I am using it to share files among friends, and also to backup coding projects. The nice thing is that it can be used with S3/Google Could Files/Azure File Storage, or even drives on the server as the storage location. With services like S3 the risk of losing data (for example the potential death of an external hard drive) is absolutely zero. Also the cost of those services is minimal, like less than 2 cents per gigabyte a month.

After a few more refinements and the creation of a guided install program (which could be a CLI app), I'll be putting the project online as an open source project somewhere. Perhaps github. Thanks again.
Roy Lambert

Posts: 40
Registered: 10/21/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 1:37 AM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
Anthony

Very nice. Couple of detail points:

1. you need some sort of feedback when the ID / password is wrong, not just remove the login dialog
2. you need a separate download option, and a separate preview option. Double clicking (or enter and then preview with download option is not necessarily the best approach.
3. A help button telling what keys do would be helpful
4. I'd suggest a separate administrator id/password and remove the delete button unless logged in as that. You always get some plonker even in the best group of friends.

Roy Lambert

Anthony Walter

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/8/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 3:53 AM   in response to: Roy Lambert in response to: Roy Lambert
Roy,

Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the login password, several people have already asked for an "invalid username or password" dialog and I'll be adding that.

About the administrator suggestion, there is an administrator account already, but way it should works right now is it can be used to create multiple accounts each with their own login and password. Each account get to manage their own files privately. To share read access to files with your friends/coworkers you change the access per file from "private" to "public", and then anyone you share the url with can either view or download the file. The share button, which shows up inline for any file you select, given you the "private" or "public" urls. If you are logged in, you can use the "private" url directly without the need to go to the page.

If anyone wants their own account to test this, let me know and I'll use the admin account to give you your own private account for testing that will remain available for a while, at least until I release the source and create a simplified setup/install tool.

And on shortcuts, everything that can be shortcut in the UI has a tooltip with both a short description and the keyboard shortcut should you forget. Just hover your mouse over whatever in the UI to see them.

Again, thanks for the feedback!
Roy Lambert

Posts: 40
Registered: 10/21/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 5:48 AM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
Anthony

Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the login password, several people have already asked for an "invalid username or password" dialog and I'll be adding that.

Brill

About the administrator suggestion, there is an administrator account already, but way it should works right now is it can be used to create multiple accounts each with their own login and password. Each account get to manage their own files privately. To share read access to files with your friends/coworkers you change the access per file from "private" to "public", and then anyone you share the url with can either view or download the file. The share button, which shows up inline for any file you select
, given you the "private" or "public" urls. If you are logged in, you can use the "private" url directly without the need to go to the page.

Sounds good, as long as the administrator can manage all files.

And on shortcuts, everything that can be shortcut in the UI has a tooltip with both a short description and the keyboard shortcut should you forget. Just hover your mouse over whatever in the UI to see them.

Only partially - the tooltip for "News Clip.mp4" is "News Clip.mp4" - not a great deal of use, and the column headers light up when over them but no indication either that clicking sorts or which column is sorted.

I'm being finicky only because I'm used to dealing with morons :(

I like the search feature - swore at it to start with for not recognising wildcards and then realised you don't need them. However, for the advanced user it might be nice to have wildcards (not full regex I hasten to say).

Roy
Anthony Walter

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/8/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 8:44 AM   in response to: Roy Lambert in response to: Roy Lambert
Roy Lambert wrote:
Only partially - the tooltip for "News Clip.mp4" is "News Clip.mp4" - not a great deal of use, and the column headers light up when over them but no indication either that clicking sorts or which column is sorted.

The tooltip for the filename is actually important. If you have a really long filename it can get truncated in the display column, but the tooltip will always show the full name. In my login I have many files, many of which have long file names, and that filename tooltip is really needed.
Roy Lambert

Posts: 40
Registered: 10/21/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 28, 2018 12:22 AM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
Anthony

The tooltip for the filename is actually important. If you have a really long filename it can get truncated in the display column, but the tooltip will always show the full name. In my login I have many files, many of which have long file names, and that filename tooltip is really needed.

I understand your point. Howvever, whan you get to file names that long they become, to other than the "author", meaningless. People will often go "difference blind". Personally I'd prefer a truncated file name to users trying random clicks or not bothering because they can't easily see how to do something.

Put it down to a difference in UI design philosophies.

Roy
Robert Triest

Posts: 687
Registered: 3/24/05
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 2:24 AM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
It would be nice to show (without login) with screenshots for example, how the site looks like and how it works.
Anthony Walter

Posts: 12
Registered: 12/8/99
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Mar 27, 2018 3:57 AM   in response to: Robert Triest in response to: Robert Triest
Robert Triest wrote:
It would be nice to show (without login) with screenshots for example, how the site looks like and how it works.

Depending on me completing some of my other work I may create a homepage for this project, with links to a guithub repository, a description, screenshots, and possibly a forum for bugs/suggestions. Until then I'm just in the "it's a side project" phase and there isn't going to be much for users other than forums like this and a logins/password used to test.
Startek Startek

Posts: 16
Registered: 2/4/17
Re: I made this desktop like application. Feedback requested.
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  Posted: Apr 4, 2018 8:05 PM   in response to: Anthony Walter in response to: Anthony Walter
If a link is used to a file that doesn't exist then it returns a blank
doc with HTTP 200 - perhaps it should be a 404?

The following comments are a bit off-topic...

Yes, cloud storage is cheap (you mentioned 2c/mo/GB) but bandwidth isn't
- at least here in tech-backwards Australia. Uploading a GB will take a
couple of hours for me. :(

And something people never mention about any backup - if its writable it
can be maliciously corrupted - ever heard of ransomware? This data may
always be available... as long as you pay your bills and never get
infected by malware.

Reiner

On 27/03/2018 2:55 AM, Anthony Walter wrote:

Hey guys. I wrote this web tool a while ago which emulates a Delphi desktop application in a few ways and wanted some feedback.

http://storage.codebot.org

login: tester password: funkytown

The tool is a private cloud file server application that will be open sourced soon (after a bit of testing and some refinements). People will be able to get the source and configure it on their web server so that they can backup/share/transfer files to themselves or among friend. The admin account can manage users, their rights, and storage limits.

What I've tried to do with this app is emulate a desktop application a bit, which might be similar to a desktop app. Regarding the Delphi connection, I post here about Delphi, but also sometimes post other programming work if I feel it overlaps with Delphi. In this case I am attempting to write a webpage that acts like a desktop app, something for which I'd always use Delphi as my first choice. With this app I've made some efforts to carry over desktop user interactions. Shift and control click selection,
some dialog looking things, inline renaming of files, arrow key moves the current selection, and what not. As such I am interested in the feedback of desktop developers and thought Delphi people might have a perspective I wanted for feedback.

Features:

You can drag and drop files or click to browse for uploads. Large uploads can be resumed if you close the page before the upload completes. Uploads can be paused and resumed.

The selection in file list can be navigated with up down and page up down arrow keys. Shift multi selects both with the mouse and keyboard. Control can toggle select on individual items.

Some files including video and audio can be viewed. It has code for http stream allowing seeking to positions in large video files without the need to download. Multi select can be used to create play lists. If you select a group of songs, then open the song and play it will continue playing the next song when the current song is done.

Enter selects items, function keys F2 renames inline, F3 search filters, F4 gives the option to turn sharing on/off (works with multiselect). File columns can be sorted.

The front end code was written using my own typescript library.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Note, since I am publicly posting an open test of a cloud file application, be aware that this test is setup to reset itself regularly where all user content wiped.
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