Dropbox Upgrade

Filed in Computer, Integrate, Software by on March 24, 2011

Dropbox has finally released version 1.0. The new version comes with hundreds of bug fixes, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, and case sensitive file systems on Mac. It also adds TrueCrypt support, a Rainbow Shell that offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, a new installation wizard, and reduces resource usage.

“Dropbox Announces 4 Million Users”
Dropbox 1.0 has hundreds of bug fixes, vastly reduced resource usage (think of it as the Prius model of Dropbox), Dropbox also supports for extended attributes, selective sync, and a new installation wizard.

Highest quality– When you’re shipping software to millions of people, a problem that affects even 1 out of 10,000 is a big deal. And the most important feature of any file syncing software is that it just works. This release represents thousands of hours fixing problems people should never have to think about: invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, case sensitive file systems on Mac, TrueCrypt support, …the list goes on. Whether you’re using Dropbox for work, school, or play, we’re confident that today’s Dropbox offers the best file sync experience out there.

Huge performance enhancements – Dropbox 1.0 is strong enough to sync your entire digital life yet still lightweight and fast. We completely re-architected the client-side sync engine to optimize the response time, scale, and resource consumption. Keeping track of millions of files can require lots of memory if not done properly. This version reduces memory usage by up to 50%. It’s speedier and more efficient when handling big changes to your Dropbox while ensuring that smaller changes remain quick.

Better user experience – We’ve completely redesigned our initial setup wizard on all three platforms to make it easier to get started using Dropbox. The preference menus are more organized, intuitive, and snazzy. We’ve also rewritten our Mac OS X version to only use Cocoa so Dropbox looks and feels much more native on the Mac. This also brings down the Mac download size by 20% 

Selective Sync – If you have a netbook or a computer with a tiny hard drive, syncing your entire Dropbox isn’t always a great idea. You also might not want certain files on your home computer to pop up on your work computer. Selective Sync solves these problems! You now can choose which folders get downloaded to which computers. This saves you time so you don’t have to sync stuff you don’t need. To learn more, head to the help center.

Extended Attribute Sync – Syncing resource forks have historically been a pain for Mac users. In case you don’t know, resource forks are a secret area of a file that certain applications (like Quicken, Quark, and OmniGraffle) use to store important data. Most sync programs today completely ignore these forks, which results in a corrupted file on the other end. But worry not! Resource forks and other extended attributes now work great with Dropbox. Hooray! **

Selective Sync

If you have the latest pre-release version of the Dropbox desktop application, available in the Dropbox forums (version 0.8 or later), you have early access to Selective Sync. It allows you to choose the folders you want synced to your computer. It gives you the ability to have more control over what is synced to your devices. It is particularly useful for users with limited hard drive space on one of the computers or netbooks synced to their Dropbox account.

To choose the folders you want to sync, head to your Dropbox preferences:

elect which folders to sync from the Dropbox desktop application on your Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer

  1. Click on the Dropbox icon from the system tray
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Click the Advanced tab
  4. Click the Selective Sync button

A window will appear with a list of all the top level folders in your Dropbox folder. The folders with a check next to them will be synced to your computer. Uncheck any folders that you don’t need to sync to your computer’s hard drive. When you’re done, select OK. Any folders you deselected will be removed from your hard drive, but will still be available through the website and on any computers linked to your Dropbox account.

Use the Advanced View button to drill down into the folders in your Dropbox. Click on the arrow next to the folders in your Dropbox to drill down and check or uncheck folders deep within your Dropbox hierarchy.

For Advanced Users

Conflicted Folders

Folders that are deselected in Selective Sync preferences will be removed from the Dropbox folder on your hard drive. However, if a folder is created with the same name in the same place as the unsynced folder, the new folder will appear with a gray circle and a minus sign overlay. This icon indicates the folder is not being synced to your Dropbox. If you resume syncing your old folder of the same name through Selective Sync preferences, the new folder and its contents will appear alongside the old folder as a conflicted copy.

Leaving Shared Folders

Deselecting a shared folder from your Dropbox Selective Sync preferences will only prevent syncing to your computer. The shared folder will remain synced and active in the Dropbox of other members of the shared folder. To remove yourself from a shared folder, you can either leave the shared folder from the Dropbox website or, if you are the owner of a shared folder, you can unshare or kick out a member of the shared folder.

Selective Sync Unavailable While Dropbox is Paused or Indexing

If you are running the Dropbox desktop application for the first time, you may have to wait until Dropbox has finished indexing the files in your Dropbox folder before you can access Selective Sync settings. If you see a message that says “Performing initial sync with server. Please wait…,” it means the Dropbox desktop application is in the process of indexing the files in your Dropbox or you have paused syncing from the Dropbox menu. You can choose to wait until indexing is complete to access your Selective Sync settings. Otherwise, select Cancel to dismiss the message and return to your preferences window. If you have paused syncing, you can resume syncing via the Dropbox menu.

Dropbox will continue indexing (as indicated by the blue icon with rotating arrows over your Dropbox icon) and you will still be able to browse and change other preferences while Dropbox finishes.

The new version comes with hundreds of bug fixes, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, and case sensitive file systems on Mac. It also adds TrueCrypt support, a Rainbow Shell that offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, a new installation wizard, and reduces resource usage.

Here is a more complete rundown of new features:

  • Huge performance enhancements: the client-side sync engine has been re-architected to optimize the response time, scale, and resource consumption. As a result, memory usage has been reduced by up to 50 percent. Big changes made to Dropbox are now more efficient and smaller changes remain quick.
  • Better user experience: the initial setup wizard has been redesigned to make it easier to get started using Dropbox. The Mac OS X version has been rewritten to only use Cocoa, bringing down the Mac download size by 20 percent.
  • Selective Sync: you now can choose which folders get downloaded to which computers, so you don’t have to sync stuff you don’t need.
  • Extended Attribute Sync: resource forks and other extended attributes are now supported. Resource forks are an area of a file that certain applications use to store important data, and that most sync programs today completely ignore, which results in a corrupted file on the other end.

 

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