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Federated Republic of Sean @freakazoid

It's almost 2019, and every application that wants to share stuff via "the cloud" must still implement support for each cloud provider separately, even though WebDAV has existed for over a decade.

In other words, "the cloud" is really just a lie told by people trying to trick you into handing over your precious files and locking yourself into their walled garden. If it ain't standards-based and interoperable, it's not "the" anything. It's "a" piece of shit.

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Thank you for this reminder that WebDAV exists!

Wouldn't it be great if we re-introduced it to the world through the new Fediverse and Activity Pub tools people are building?

You can browse and download books from your Libreture library using any OPDS-compatible app. But adding books from third-party apps? I wonder if WebDav is the trick to help with that...


@libreture You may have seen posts by @nextcloud – their app provides self-hosted or service-hosted WebDav shares with all the bells and whistles you'd want of cloud storage.

For just adding books to your app from third party apps, WebDav might be overkill (a PUT/POST API is enough). But if you wanted to be able to manage eBook files (add, delete, move, rename) in a third-party app, WebDav might be what you want.


@gcupc @nextcloud @freakazoid

Thanks for that.

I've am ex-Nextcloud user (it got a bit too heavy-duty for my simple vCard/iCal syncing needs), but yes, I see what you mean.

I have 'API' on the Roadmap, so will stick to that. The idea of using common and mature standards tickles my need to avoid the 're-invent the wheel' scenario we sometimes see with new web applications.

Thanks for sense-checking!

@libreture @gcupc I've used Nextcloud for a while, but its performance is terrible (delete time depends on the total number of files you have), it doesn't support bidirectional sync on Android, it's written in PHP, and while it does support WebDAV (and CalDAV and CarDAV), it is still a monolith.

@freakazoid To be fair if every single frontend tool and every single library for a standard seem to suck, maybe the standard just wasn't good. I don't believe in coincidences on such a big scale. And except with Subversion I've only had problems with WebDAV. And Apache config for svn wasn't exactly fun, just.. good enough.

@wink @freakazoid exactly. I would prefer a more decentralized and standards-based approach, but I’ve never seen WebDAV work reliably. To put the blame entirely on implementations doesn’t seem rooted in reality.

@chucker @wink I suspect the issue with WebDAV is the typical chicken-and-egg problem. Web servers were pretty shitty for a long time, too. I think there just hasn't been enough demand for a standards-based filesystem that works well over the Internet. There have been multiple attempts in the past that didn't end up going anywhere too, like Coda. There's NFSv4+krb5p and OpenAFS, but both expect to run at the OS level, which is pretty much a non-starter these days because OS innovation has ceased

@wink @chucker But even if you're correct and WebDAV is fatally flawed, my criticism becomes "It's almost 2019 and we still don't have a standard way to manage file stores over the Internet." It still shows how badly the computing world sucks.

@freakazoid @wink I completely agree that it’s a sad state. I do take issue with it being “a lie to trick you” — that’s a simplistic answer, and part of the more complicated answer is that the approaches that were nicer in theory didn’t work well in practice. Cloud services have problems, but people use them in part because they’re easy to use and reliable. A WebDAV server seems both harder to set up and also less reliable.

@chucker @wink All marketing is lies to trick people. If they weren't trying to trick you they'd say "our computers" instead of "the cloud".

@wink @chucker "Use our proprietary storage service! Store your critical data with a company that will only lose a little bit of reputation if they lose or corrupt it, while your company goes out of business!"

@freakazoid We've been using #ownCloud for several years,a nd would never consider anything else. The minor issues like slow deletions etc are not a problem for us. We host it ourselves so our data is ours!