Accessing data on the Safe Network

I watched the demo App here and a question arose:

it says: “Only when a file is actually opened are it’s corresponding chunks retrieved from the network.”
So basically, the file is not saved on your hard drive, correct ?
Does that mean that I need to download it every time I access it?
This might be a problem for mobile devices where speed still is low sometimes and bandwidth costs are high ?

It further says:
“This already gives us some advantages over traditional cloud storage as we use the user’s bandwidth more efficiently in not downloading files that the user might not even access this session.”

Dropbox also only downloads the folder structure and file meta data. Only when you click it, the actual file is being downloaded. But it remains accessible even if I am offline.

Second question:
I somewhere read that data is meant to be stored on the network permanently.
Now say, I create a PowerPoint Presentation, and save it multiple times. Is it a new version created each time, or how does the network handle this case ? I have collaborative work environment in mind where multiple users need to see each others changes immediately, so these changes have to be broadcasted through the network in one way or another. There is a topic about it, but didn’t find the answer quickly.

this is correct.

I don’t know exactly. I think no files are stored on your computer. You have to login to the network and when you logout, things are gone. When you login again, and want wo play an mp3, it will be downloaded again.

Saving files is called PUT, downloading them is called GET and when you update a file, make some changes it’s called a POST. So you can change files and update them. I have no idea if it can work like Google Drive already, where 5 people can work on the same file at the same time. And you don’t have to broadcast updates. A file has an address on the network. Say something like “GjhgiouBNBlNMNmnuTFTYYTfhgCVhg” Let’s say this is powerpoint presentation I share with you. So you and I both have this address which links to the file. When I change it a bit, you just need to read/refresh the same address. Well, maybe some broadcast is actually done when you have the same file open at that moment. but otherwise, when you open that files 2 days later, it will find the new version using the old address.


Continuing the discussion from Accessing data on the Safe Network:

Okay, so basically only streaming is possible… That’s not too good for mobile users right now I guess. But as mobile networks grow, this won’t be an issue anymore… hopefully.
Spotify for instance offers free streaming already, but once you want to save the files locally on your device you have to pay a fee.

Okay, this makes sense. Didn’t know about POST.
Well, for a realtime collaborative work environment, the POST request would have to occur “on every key stroke” for every use. Further each users needs an autorefresher, to capture changes made by others. . Some work to do here, I guess :wink:

While for the traditional use-case, a POST request each time you save the document would be enough.

You access your files, in the Safe network, via a virtual drive, so you can copy this files in your device in any moment.

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You can also download a local copy of you like. It is just a simple file copy operation.

I know it was possible to cache copies automatically in an old dev version, but it was highlighted as a security risk. Tbh, I think this is a good selling point for those who want off site backup, rather than security above all else.

You can do settings differently, but one of the uses of Dropbox is to keep a local folder for Dropbox stuff synced with the remote storage.

Google docs is a better example for working and collaborating on line. There your docs only exist in memory and on the Google servers. When you log in all you see is the metadata, basically. When you edit, it’s downloaded and continually saved as you make changes. This doesn’t cause any strain, by my experience. If you’re bandwidth is really constrained, then maybe yes. But then you’re having other problems as well.

The test is whether the SAFE Network can efficiently deliver the content. Makes me think of the difference in downloading a movie directly (which is pretty much what you’re doing with Google docs) and accessing via a bittorrent client (which is more what the SAFE Network does). Torrents smoke direct downloads every time. Even better, with torrents you have to gather peer connections. With SAFE they’re already connected.