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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 31 Aug 2013

Proposal: A Dropbox-based filesystem for Ode

Level of difficulty: Medium to hard


The latest (as of early 2013) thing for blogging systems is a site that draws its post files from Dropbox via the Dropbox API. The idea is to write posts in a designated folder/directory in your Dropbox and have those files automatically pushed to the web via an external blogging application.

This could seem counterintuitive at first, especially because the two other systems that I know are using Dropbox in this manner -- Calepin and Fargo -- are both hosted services, while Ode is self-hosted.

The potential benefits of creating and delivering posts via Dropbox for Ode are many:

  • Write posts in a subfolder of your Dropbox folder and have them appear in your blog on demand (or after a re-indexing by those using the Indexette addin). Creating content is as easy as writing a text file to your local drive. No FTP application is needed.

  • Posts are automatically synched across all of your systems using Dropbox and are automatically backed up (though additional backup measures are strongly recommended)

  • A single Dropbox subfolder could feed multiple Ode sites. Or multiple subfolders in a single Dropbox account could feed multiple sites. Users could collaborate via shared Dropbox folders. This could simplify document management in potentially complex situations.

  • Content is independent of the server hosting the Ode script. Whether this is an actual "benefit" or simply a consequence is open to debate.

Notes and questions

  • Would this be implemented as an addin, or a series of modifications to the main Ode script?

  • Development of this addin/added feature would depend on what is required by the Dropbox API.