mirroring content with ease - or why unix is just nice

A client of mine has a shoot supervisor in Paris. He takes stills for an upcoming job and is posting them on his own ftp site. My client asked if he could use Interdubs instead. He could. There is the public upload function that can be enabled for a login. But right now it does not support creation of folders. And he shot thousands of images. That’s where unix comes in real handy: He had given us the access paramaters for his ftp site where he stores those images. Using wget it was a breeze to write a little script that works as a conduit it and puts those images on to the interdubs server. Now whatever he creates on his ftp server in Europe will be mapped automatically into Interdubs. So people can use the comment feature, see thumbnails, can copy content.

All those nice features that Interdubs has, but ftp naturally lacks. ftp is a great work horse. Kinda. It’s so simple (actually it isn’t even), let’s say it’s so widely in use that it will not go away to soon. So it’s only natural to support it, and work with it. Instead of forcing people to use something more advanced. And with solutions like todays hack they can have the best of both worlds: They don’t need to change the way that they work. And in the same time everybody can have the benefit of working with the best tools available.

But wait, wget stores unix files and interdubs keeps files in a database. Did I recompile wget with Interdubs support? Well, that would be possible, but would take a day. Nobody has a day on a shoot for a commercial. At some point a couple prospective clients said that they could only use Interdubs if they could upload content via ftp. So I wrote an ftp gateway. Same deal: I did not change the ftp source (yet). I just wrote a general filesystem to Interdubs Database mapping tool. Not many people use ftp to upload content into Interdubs: The web interface is way to nice for that purpose it seems. But have this conduit is still a great way to get any data quickly and consistently into Interdubs.

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