This is an experiment that is being tested with a fraction of users primarily on beta releases (which Seth is on, as evidenced by the version number in his screenshots). We haven’t shipped it to everyone so that we can continue to iterate and incorporate feedback. I checked with the team about the “Finder Toolbar” drop down and it looks like it requires a restart of the Dropbox client in order to take affect — let us know if that doesn’t work.
This is not the first time that Dropbox ignores the system guidelines (or even permissions if the user explicitly disallowed Dropbox access to Accessibility features). Why are you ignoring the feedback concerning Dropbox' way of "hacking" itself into system areas like Finder?
On Windows, immediately adding Dropbox to 'Favourites', and the icon integration to show sync status is an awesome feature. It is invasive for Dropbox to hijack your icons and overlay a checkbox? Yup. But incredibly helpful in my opinion.
Maybe it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the close integration with file browsers on multiple OSes is (was?) definitely one of the differentiating aspects of Dropbox, polarizing or not.
Seamless Finder integration is why I like Dropbox. Sure, this is an annoying bug, but I'd hate it if the stopped doing it.
To me, the Finder integration was straight up spooky, suggesting an extraordinarily high risk profile.
When my consulting gig was up, I uninstalled Dropbox precisely because of the Finder integration, and I have advocated against using Dropbox as a file-sharing solution in all subsequent consulting arrangements.
I've also avoided using it as part of my day job, even though some of my teammates used it.
It's clear that there is some diversity of opinions on this topic, but we already knew that.
To me, your datapoint shows that Dropbox is right to behave the way they do: in 2011 you thought it was high risk, they have kept with that behavior and yet nothing bad has happened. I'm unsure if that was your intention, but that is how it looks to me.
It is entirely unclear why you think this is particularly risky: If Dropbox can do it, then other malicious programs can too.
Dropbox's behavior creates no additional security risk, but increases the usability of their software.
If there really is a security problem here, then surely that is a problem with the OS, not Dropbox, and it is the OS that should be fixed?
To my mind, the security risk comes in having multiple points of connection in the local file system that are tightly bound to files on an external system.
In the case of inexperienced users (and even a few experienced ones), those points of entry could be scattered throughout the local file system. Consequently, these external files were effectively pipelines from systems all with unknown security profiles. This combined with the Finder integration troubled me enough to stop using Dropbox as soon as was practicable.
EDIT: Clarify meaning in first sentence. Correct plural. Split last sentence into two. Change tense.
That's fine, but don't pretend it has anything to do with the finder integration. A more consistent position would be to praise that because it makes the other functionality more visible, reducing the security concerns.
I wasn't pretending but was, in fact, the victim of my own faulty rationalization.
That is, you're right that Finder integration has nothing to do with connections to potentially insecure systems.
By way of explanation: when I first saw the Finder badging, I intuitively understood the insecure nature of connecting my system to others. So, I conflated the two ideas in my head: "Finder integration is terrible", which of course is just plain wrong.
It was never my purpose to misrepresent my feelings. I wasn't "pretending". I simply tried to make rational something I only intuitively understood.
Good catch. Thank you.
You've also missed the point of the rant. It's not that this specific thing has bugs, is that it takes control and ignores the user's preferences.
My comment is based on that assumption.
could you please start including proper changelogs in your release notes on the Dropbox forum?
Beta testing makes no sense when the changelog states "bug fixes and improvements". That's also a common complaint of the people in the forum, which you're ignoring completely.
The best you can get is 'I will forward this to the team', but usually there is a wall of silence.
Please Dropbox, fix this, listen to your most valuable asset, paying users!
Choosing to use beta software and then posting rants about something you don't like is a pretty shitty thing to do, especially without disclosing you are using a beta.
Edit: Also the language I used was a reference to the language in the authors post. I agree somewhat that was unnecessary, and I accept that I could have said the same thing different ways.
Edit: if you'd be willing to file a ticket here: https://www.dropbox.com/support/s/219/5481540/c/219 with "att. Of Luke" in the subject it'd really help us get to the bottom of this.
When shit goes sideways, you have no idea what is broken. Logging also seems mostly non-existent, at least via macOS' Console app.
Shit went sideways around 9/23 for many people across different platforms. It was definitely on the service side, but status.dropbox.com reported no problems. At some point on 9/26, someone fixed it, but no one was notified. Most people eventually re-tried, for the 100th time, of unlinking and re-linking their account. No system logs showing problems and no reports from Dropbox.
If it wasn't such an established service, i.e. widely supported by applications, I'd have ditched it long ago.