Sync storage with FTP – part 2

Already some weeks have passed since we took the decision to use GoogleDrive for Pro-Vélo Genève. But the task is not yet finished. Several problems arised, which I’m still trying to solve.

As it seems that it is missing some best practice guide on Google’ site, I leave here the experience and how we should have done better.

Test all OS

Only after the decision that other members of the association installed GoogleDrive. Bang, it failed to install on OSX 10.6, even though it is supported. I could not test or check myself if this can be circumvent.

Copy in a non-Windows machine

Windows has since its debuts with long file names (Windows 95?) a funny bug: you can have long names for files and folders, but once you want to copy them, there is a limit of 255 characters in the total of “path+filename”. Yes, this is still present on Windows 7.
I agree that it is not the best practice to call a file with a sentence, but it happens for other people. The solution was to use a Mac computer to copy the files form Dropbox to GoogleDrive. (It could have been done also with some utilities for Windows that go around the bug).

Test special characters

Not present in the Known Issues of GoogleDrive is the fact that GoogleDrive has problems with filenames having parenthesis which at my association they use. I’m still trying to go around this problem, removing parenthesis from several folders and filenames.

Do the first synchronization in small batches

We believe these products are robust. So we just copy the 10GB of Dropbox into GoogleDrive. GoogleDrive just can’t stand to sync so many files at the same time. It is part of the known issues. Then it is also very slow. It took 2 days to upload the 10GB… And time to time it would stop, without errors and you have to restart the client. Just unprofessional quality. “We are aware of the problem” answers Google since May 2012.

Do one computer at a time

If you are going to use GoogleDrive in a team with a single account, then do setup one account at a time. Otherwise it will start entering in conflict because of the problems above. At the end on my computer (which was not the one who copy from Dropbox, but it was connected all the time) I had several sub-folders and filenames with (1) at the end, which is the way GoogleDrive solves conflicts. At same point I decided to disconnect my account and download the 10GB again. It was better.

Hopefully these advices help you if you want to use GoogleDrive. But I’m looking forward to have with a stable version….

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