[cap-talk] Simple Cooperative File Sharing (SCoopFS), the "F" is silent

Karp, Alan H alan.karp at hp.com
Tue Mar 10 11:46:32 EDT 2009

William Pearson wrote:
> Very interesting. I've been thinking about something like this
> recently (I like social networks, but don't want to put all my
> pictures on people I don't knows hardware). Something you may be
> interested in from a UI point of view is dropbox.
> http://www.getdropbox.com/ which has the metaphor of just putting
> things in special folders to move files between computers.

Yes, we know about dropbox and about 100 others like it.  Unfortunately, virtually none of them support transitive sharing, a feature necessary for the emergent uses we identified.
> So an ideal user interface as far as I am concerned is when I set up a
> buddy a new folder is created ( or perhaps 2 one with a RO permissions
> and one with RW).

That's a valid approach, but we chose a different use model.
> I'm also unsure if I would need to be online to share a file with
> someone else? If I can't, i'd like it if it were more bittorrenty so
> that you could share a file with a group of people, and if one of them
> were off-line they could get it from any of the group when they came
> online even if you had shut down. Possibly you would do this by
> sharing a little meta file with the webkeys of who is allowed to
> download the file and when two computers hand shake they check whether
> there are any new files to be downloaded.
You don't need to be online to share, but of course, the changes don't propagate until you are.  The features you list sound quite useful.  Our hope was that we could release SCoopFS as a reference implementation so that other people could build the kind of thing you describe.

Alan Karp
Principal Scientist
Virus Safe Computing Initiative
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 857-3967, fax (650) 857-7029

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