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Hi folks, Ben from Dropbox on the desktop client team --

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.




Hi Ben from Dropbox. You seem to completely miss the point. It's not about the feature itself, it's your way of "hacking" or "injecting" Dropbox features into places the user didn't expect.

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?


This is not true for everyone. I find Dropbox especially useful because of its Finder integration and the whole experience feels really intuitive and not something i didn't expect..


Agreed - this kind of integration is part of what I like about Dropbox. I understand the original poster is upset the option didn't work, but he's also opted into the beta releases - is not finding issues like that kind of the point?


Pretty sure most people use Dropbox exactly because of its seamless Finder integration...


File system integration, maybe. Not finder integration.


Finder and Windows Explorer integration is great. This may be a bit intrusive, and it is a beta option, and it can be disabled.

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.


Although I have mixed feelings about Dropbox's approach on Mac, there is one key difference to the Windows implementation that makes the situation incomparable: Windows explicitly provides APIs for file badges and other extensibility features.



In recent versions, yes. Dropbox has monkey-patched less over time but it feels like they were one of the user successes which lead Apple to prioritize adding new official APIs to remove the need for ugly workarounds.


To normal people, those are the same - and convenience matters more than some seemingly arcane technical nuance.


No, Finder integration. I rarely care about the underlaying filesystem, but always about the primary UI.


I completely and absolutely disagree.

Seamless Finder integration is why I like Dropbox. Sure, this is an annoying bug, but I'd hate it if the stopped doing it.


In 2011, a startup I was consulting with standardized on Dropbox (gratis at the time) to sync design files. Even back then, I was wary of Dropbox's ability to sync files at the level of the Finder/OS with badged folders.

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.


Not entirely clear why you are posting this?

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?


My reason for making my earlier post is unclear because I buried my lede when replying to the GGP. That lede should have been something like "Finder integration is not necessarily a selling point to security-minded users."

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.


So your problem is with Dropbox's main purpose of existence?

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.


> That's fine, but don't pretend it has anything to do with the finder integration.

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.


"I formed an opinion in 2011 and I continue to hold it now."


Sure, this is an annoying bug, but I'd hate it if the stopped doing it.

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.


Based on this thread, it appears that "ignoring user preferences" is a bug: others are reporting it works for them, and someone from the company has specifically said that it is supposed to work.

My comment is based on that assumption.


If you don't want dropbox integration so much what do you want the client for? Use the browser instead. It kind of beats the point of a desktop client if its featureless.


Hello,

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.


It seems that they are ignoring pretty much any user feedback. People are complaining everywhere about them polluting the web interface Dropbox Business/Team advertising, even for paying Pro users.

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!


I have restarted both the client and my computer. No results.


Why didn't you post that you were on a beta version branch?

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.


@moefogs - your reply is dead so I can't reply directly. You are wrong though: you choose a beta build via this: https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/20021...

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.


Thanks, circling back with the team...

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 will you implement email verification before creating accounts? Security is job 9 at DB.


I am going to cancel my premium membership. It was due for renewal, but I am not going to do it. Don't like the direction this is all heading.


Stop. Hacking. My. Mac. Make every shit feature like this explicitly opt in. FFS any decent Product Manager would know this is a ridiculous way of integration (mysterious and with no obvious control). I'm about ready to move my business somewhere else.


You do a realize that if Dropbox used only official API's it would never have been a product in the first place right? Other products sucked because they used the official crappy Apple API's.


Why on earth do you people want to keep fucking with the OS like this? Why can't you just knock it off?


Question... When are you folks going to grow up and iterate and ship transparently and responsibly? Will that be before or after I have to cancel my account?


If you intentionally install a beta version of a piece of software, you get to deal with bugs. If you don't want bugs, you stick to stable versions. You are literally choosing to test new, buggy functionality by not using a stable version.


They don't report any change logs, features, bug fixes, or anything else regardless of whether it is a beta or stable release.

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.


It's not a matter of maturity, it's a matter of which development methodology is conducive to rapid progress for the greater good.




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