File handling in C3

Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:29 am

Figured I post a thread instead since it's not really a bug, it's more of a design flaw. Starting off with some of the first thing I noticed and maybe will add more later to this thread.

Cloud storage
Generally seems to work well, but there is a lot to wish for here.

No subfolders - Saving to cloud storage doesn't let you choose any folder or subfolder. It's not very convenient to have all your project/test and scrap files scattered in one folder. I usually keep my projects in their own folders, with subfolders for everything from inspiration pictures, PSD files, design documents, C2 project, project backup files files etc etc. This has to be fixed somehow.

Saving files - Currently in C3 if you only click the save button you get the save dialogue for cloud storage as default, if the file was loaded locally, which is kind of annoying. Besides from that, if you loaded from a cloud storage and just click the save button i would image C3 to just save the file quietly in the background without opening the save to cloud storage dialogue over and over. Not very pleasant experience if you're like me, a little paranoid and save quite often. You can't work while it connects to the cloud service and saves. This would be good if it was a bit smoother in the background.

Save to local browser
I don't like the "Save to local browser" option. I have no idea where the file goes, and same as above there's no folder options. Does these files get lost if you somehow get your cache cleared? I don't know where the file ends up, and it doesn't feel safe to me to save this way. This option could be removed completely in my opinion, I wouldn't dare to use it. The only good thing about this is that clicking save button doesn't popup, the save to cloud storage dialogue, but could still be done in the background instead of showing progress bars.

Download a copy
This also needs a "Download as..." functionality. Currently it saves to your default download folder. Naturally my regular download folder is packed with garbage files, and I usually clear it often. I don't want my C3 project files to end up in that mess, because as soon as I save them I have to move them out of there to another folder for safekeeping.

Opening local c3p files
I guess one drawback of being browser based is the file handling. The c3p extension isn't recognized by the system and double clicking it in a file explorer, naturally the system doesn't know what the hell this file is supposed to be opened with. I don't know if there's any way to ever address this issue. How do you tell the system to open chrome, browse to C3, then load the file? How to associate a file extension with a web app function? Although it seems to work to drag and drop the file straight into C3, but personally i never do it that way. I usually just double click the project file. And then again, if you open a local file and try to save, you get the option to save to cloud storage, it doesn't just overwrite your local file, but i guess that's pretty impossible at this point.

Working locally in general
This doesn't seem to be a very good option at the moment. I don't see saving files locally is any good at all except for maybe downloading a copy of your project as backup. Even the "Save to local browser option" doesn't seem very good or safe.

Autosave
I noticed the "periodically backup projects" option in settings. I have no idea where the backup goes and how often the backup saves. There need to be more info on that, and further settings.

Verdict
Working on the cloud seems to be the only viable option but it has to be done WAY better, with better integration and more seamless saving and loading of files, with folder structure etc. I'm used to keeping my C2 project files on dropbox, but in a nice organized manner per project. Not in a folder with ALL of my project/backup/scratch/test files all mixed together. Preferably cloud storage connections should be done when you open the C3, and stay open during the entire session.
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Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:16 am

Some of these are browser limitations, such as AFAIK you can't download anywhere other than the downloads folder. Local file management is one of the things we'll be improving with the desktop builds, where it can be on par with C2.

Subfolders are on our todo list.

Cloud save should just save directly back to the cloud without opening the file picker dialog if you click 'Save' a second time - please file a bug if that's not happening!

Saving to local browser is safe as long as you click "Request persistent storage" in the About dialog. Obviously this ought to be available in that dialog as well, but once you've gotten persistent storage permission it won't automatically delete anything, unless you explicitly tell Chrome to. I agree we need to make some changes to make this clearer and increase people's confidence in using it.
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Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:59 am

Another thing which is more of a UI improvement suggestion. Instead of having yet another submenu item in save and open as, it would feel a bit better to have just Save As... Open As... and then when the dialogue pop up, then you choose how/where to save. Just feels a bit better I think.

Here's a quick mockup of what it could look like.
Image

@Ashley doesn't the html5 attribute work for download? Should open Save as... dialogue instead of just downloading.

<a href="path/to/file" download>Click here to download</a>

As far as I know this should at least be supported by Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
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Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:18 pm

@Ashley

http://caniuse.com/#feat=download or here's actually what browsers currently support the download attribute.

Edit: Tried this a while back on zip files, which opened save as dialogue boxes... not sure it still works, and on other filetypes.

Edit2: this might work to force save as though?
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21947753/servlet-force-browser-google-chrome-to-open-save-as-dialog-immediately
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Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:10 pm

Ashley wrote:Some of these are browser limitations, such as AFAIK you can't download anywhere other than the downloads folder. Local file management is one of the things we'll be improving with the desktop builds, where it can be on par with C2.


It is possible. Open Chrome's settings, and click "Show Advanced Settings". Then find "Downloads", and check "Ask where to save each file before downloading".

I never use the default download location in a browser. But many users (even you, the developer?) aren't aware that this can be changed.
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Post » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:21 pm

Yeah, the "download" attribute just lets you set the default filename, not the path it saves to. Otherwise web pages could fill up random locations on disk.
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Post » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:44 pm

I'm testing C3 on OSX. An option to save to iCloud (next to dropbox, onedrive, google drive) would be very useful.
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Post » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:50 pm

Responding to my own post - I just realized I can already save to iCloud by saving to local and then selecting iCloud Drive. So you can add save to iCloud as a supported feature!
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Post » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:12 pm

driesdriessen wrote:Responding to my own post - I just realized I can already save to iCloud by saving to local and then selecting iCloud Drive. So you can add save to iCloud as a supported feature!


How did you select anything? when I save to local I can't select where to save.
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Post » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:50 am

tunepunk wrote:How did you select anything? when I save to local I can't select where to save.

I guess the browser brings up a window for saving downloads (can be set in browser settings). But saving a file into a cloud drive doesn't mean that C3 support iCloud. It would only support it if you could save there directly from the editor. I don't know the difficulties behind not currently supporting iCloud, but since MAC is on the supported platform list it would only feel right if C3 would support it.
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