downloaded files and the Journal

S Page info at
Sat Jun 14 01:36:40 EDT 2008

I was exploring the OLPC Library in Browse in build 703.  The transition 
from browsing to viewing a PDF in Read is pretty clunky, I noted the 
glitches in

The oddest thing is that every time you click on a PDF, another copy of 
the PDF is saved to the Journal's datastore.

This sounds intentional as part of the fix for "Read doesn't save the 
PDFs it opens (Trac #6729)".  I think the Browse activity is putting the 
file in the Journal, as the extra copy appears in the Journal's 
datastore even before I run Read.

But this doesn't make sense for read-only local files in the OLPC 
library like images > world maps > click Africa.  I've now got 7 copies 
of this .5MB PDF in ~/.sugar/default/datastore/store, each identical to 
/usr/share/activities/worldfactbook-maps/africa.pdf ; seems a 
significant waste of space.  (Or does JFFS2 magically optimize multiple 
copies of the same bits?  df -k reports mtd0 dropping by about the size 
of the PDF.)

If Evince worked as a browser plug-in, maybe the duplicated files would 
go away (along with some other glitches).  However, "Consider unifying 
Read and Web (Trac #3212)" was rejected.

If viewing PDFs remains a separate activity from Browse, then maybe the 
Browse activity could detect that it's "downloading" a local read-only 
file, and rather than the confusing download step leading to a copy in 
the Journal's datastore, it could just pass the local file:/// URL to 
Read on the command line.

But even if Browse bypassed the download step for local files, the 
problem of multiple copies remains for remote files.  I think each time 
I return to a PDF on the Internet, the Browse download step likewise 
makes another copy of the PDF in the Journal's datastore.

Has anyone considered making the Journal a two-level store, so that if I 
download the same file 7 times there's only one copy in the datastore, 
using symlinks or references or other magic?  Maybe this could even be 
made visible in the UI:
"You've downloaded this file 7 times already, please check the Journal 
before repeating yourself.  Sheesh kid do you think the Intertubes is 

Meanwhile, the OLPC Library should prefer HTML or SVG content over 
single-page PDFs.

(The problem of local copies of Web content isn't unique to Sugar.  On 
my desktop PC I'll save stuff from the browser locally then forget that 
I've done so.  I want a browser and O.S. that opportunistically treats 
everything on my hard drive as a local cache of something from the 
Internet that might be updated, or have disappeared.)

If I'm wasting time here with obvious rehash, I apologize and cut me 
off.  And/or I can file enhancement bugs for these ideas.
Thanks for all you do,
Your most obsequious and devoted occasional G1G1 user,
=S Page

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