[conspire] Receiving larger files from non-linux users?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Oct 15 19:44:13 PDT 2012

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> > And there is native WebDav filesystem client software built into all
> > releases of OS X and all MS-Windows since Win98 (where it's called 'Web
> > folders').
> > 
> > Try it before you knock it.  
>     winscp

Let's say you _don't_ care to give a user shell on your Web server, but
want him/her to be able to remotely submit, edit, mv, and rm files on 
a restricted subtree of your Web server.  Ideally, you'd like him/her to
be able to do that using nothing other than HTTP[S] transport, and
without needing any special client software beyond the Web client he/she
already has and knows.

WebDAV is precisely that -- and is an IETF standard that's been fully
supported in the Apache httpd since around 2.0.

Within that use case, scp (in any implementation) is missing -- and
kindly also read the paragraph below this list before jerking your knee
and pronouncing this list mistaken:

o  Ability to remotely rm
o  Ability to remotely edit
o  Ability to remotely mv
o  Ability to remotely browse
o  Use of standard IETF HTTP transport
o  Avoidance of need for ancillary software in most OSes
o  Ability to use familiar Web-client functionality

You, I, and technical users in general add back the first three items by 
using a separate ssh remote shell.  Or we use sftp.  Or we use FISH 
(FIles over SsH) protocol extensions to ssh, about which see the entry
on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Security .  We like the scp/ftp/FISH options
-- but that doesn't mean the other thing doesn't better satisfy a
_different_ use case for other users who have different preferences.

One _might_ be able to approximate more-or-less most of the usage
attractions of WebDAV using scp/sftp _and_ a suitable retrictive shell,
but I would have to see that prototyped and tested before agreeing --
and the point is that WebDAV is already tested and works easily for its
intended scenarios.

Again, try it before you knock it.  You should not denigrate what you
haven't bothered to first understand, Ruben.

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