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Better file sharing solution
August 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm #3432
Sorry if this isn’t the right place for this, but I’m interesting in helping out with any efforts to get a better file sharing solution for CBOX. Right now I’m using BuddyDrive, but it leaves a whole lot to be desired.
I think I saw somewhere that there’s a plan to do some of that in a future BuddyPress Docs release, so I’ll check there as well, but in case that isn’t a plan I wanted to see if anyone here is working on something like that. I don’t know enough to lead up that kind of a project but I’d be happy to help out wherever I can.
Thanks for all of your work!
upoor.orgAugust 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm #3456
Hi Daniel —
The CBOX/CUNY Academic Commons team does indeed have this on our roadmap, though I don’t think we yet have a release date on the books. cc @cbox_admin
MattAugust 19, 2013 at 8:16 am #3457
The latest version of BuddyPress Docs already has attachment support. But perhaps this is not what you mean, Daniel?August 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm #3502
Hmm that’s an interesting thought…groups could build something like a directory structure using multiple attachments and the parent/child doc functionality.
However, there are still a couple of features- like being able to share one file/a group of files (“folder”) with multiple users and groups without needing upload it more than once, and then being able to give those people whom the file was shared with the ability to edit who has permission to do what with it, that’d be nice to have.
What my users are really hankering after is something that can replace Google Drive (not necessarily including the document creation/editing capabilities) for the work that we do related to our commons. So people being able to upload documents to their own space, then share it with individuals and groups as they see fit and give at least the indivuals different permissions (including the ability to manage permissions). Groups could see the files and “folders” that were shared with them in one place, and individuals could as well (although maybe in a separate tab/place than the files that they’ve uploaded, and maybe with things that were shared with them directly being in a different place than things which were shared with them because they belong to a group).
That’s super specific though, and something we’d probably have to build ourselves. Until we can do that though I was just wondering what kinds of things related to file sharing were being worked on already that I could help out with where I can.August 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm #3503
I don’t think that’s super specific at all. That’s the same sort of functionality my users would like to see as well. Once they’ve wrapped their heads around the groups functionality then having “documents” or “attachments” or whatever one wants to call non-HTML content be first class objects in the CMS (even if not editable) is an obvious next step (or so says the clamor outside my office 🙂 )
Dale.August 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm #3504
I may be wrong, @dan-jones, but I think that most, if not all, of that functionality already exists through BuddyPress Docs.August 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm #3506
You know I think you’re basically right, Matthew. There’s still a couple of things that I think would be nice to have though, although not of all of it seems like it would make sense for BP Docs.
1- Being able to share with other site individual site members and then manage their permissions. That would probably break the way permissions on docs are set up now, since it’d require more granular control in terms of who can do what.
2- Being able to share a doc with more than one group. An example from my users is we have a study group with two cohorts, one meeting this summer and one in the Fall. We decided it made sense to create two different groups for the two cohorts, but the readings for the study are the same for each. It would have been great to be able to upload the readings once and share them with both groups, although it worked fine to just upload them twice and wasn’t too much of a headache. Just to flag I really like that there’s the option when sharing with a group to give certain permissions just to admins and mods- that’s awesome. Thinking about this with #1, I think what’d be ideal is a section for managing individual permissions, and then keep the section for managing group permissions basically the same, with the addition of the ability to share with more than one group.
3- I see how the parent/child doc functionality could mimic a folder/subfolder structure, but it’d be nice if there was a way to automatically handle permissions as well. Maybe there already is. What I mean is a way (maybe even just a checkbox that gets read on submit?) to tell a parent doc to set the given permissions for itself and for all of its children. Then children could have their permissions set afterwords. That might be hard to work out with the sharing with individual members though.
4- I think my last issue is just that I want to keep the wiki separate from the file sharing space. While BP Docs clearly already does a lot and has even more potential as a file sharing solution, I feel like it could get messy having wiki pages in the mix there with the file sharing space. What I’d really like to have/build is something that was focused on sharing files in its own space (like its own tab on the group home pages and user profiles) separate from the wiki-ness of docs.August 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm #3507August 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm #3508
Being able to share with other site individual site members and then manage their permissions.
It was always intended that this feature would be added at some point – the permissions structure is designed to support it. I’ve just never gotten around to building it, in part because it’s not clear to me how to create a non-baffling UX for this complex functionality.
Being able to share a doc with more than one group.
tell a parent doc to set the given permissions for itself and for all of its children
I don’t know how I feel about BuddyPress Docs itself *enforcing* this – you could build a plugin to do it, though – but I think that it’s a reasonable suggestion to think that the *default* permissions settings for a child doc would mirror those of the parent. In other words, when you select the parent from the dropdown, the permissions fields are pre-filled with the permissions settings of the parent, which you can either keep or modify. I’ll mull this over.
I think my last issue is just that I want to keep the wiki separate from the file sharing space.
Fair enough. You could do this with some clever theming and other mods. The BP Docs Wiki Add-on plugin basically does just this: it creates a separate class of Docs, forces them to use different templates, and shows them in a different part of the site. The same idea could be extended for upload-specific functionality. Again, this is probably appropriate for a separate plugin, as it’s pretty use-case specific.August 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm #3519
Thanks for the reply, Boone!
If I manage to figure something out that doesn’t suck for sharing with individual site members or sharing with more than one group, I’ll make sure to share it.
I’ll also take a look at what it’s my skill-range for auto-populating permissions based on the parent doc.
Thanks again, and let me know if there’s anything I can help with on this moving forward.
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