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Download via HTTP
...or is it?

 6:41 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

some of you might be familiar with the problem Safari has connecting to FTP... in a nutshell it does not work

i found this site which offers mirror for such unfortunate instance


my question is:

where it says

"or now via http:

this thing works... but how? is it getting the file from FTP or HTTP? what's that "http://ftp..." thing?

[edited by: tedster at 9:57 pm (utc) on June 29, 2006]
[edit reason] use example.com, not actual address [/edit]



 7:51 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)


The important part is on the left, the "http://" - this tells the browser which protocol to use to retrieve the file. "ftp.example.com" is just the name of the server. It could just as easily be "http://telegram.example.com", but it still won't come via the wire :)


[edited by: tedster at 9:57 pm (utc) on June 29, 2006]


 9:52 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

so you're saying it's using http protocol for transfer and the file is sitting on an...

ftp or http server?


 9:58 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

The file is coming via http. "ftp" is just a 3-letter subdomain and is not affecting the transfer protocol at all.


 10:12 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

i see

so they actually have two instances of this file, one sitting on an ftp server, the other on http...?


 10:25 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, they "might" but they don't need to. They can be giving users access to the exactly the same file via two different protocols. Same as the way you can use ftp to look at your website's files on the server or you can use regular http via a browser user agent to download the exact same files.

The word "server" can be used to mean either the software (the server application) or the hardware (the physical computer). The files that are to be transferred only need to exist one time on the hardware and they can be accessed via any protocol that is supported by the server applications that are installed on that physical box.


 10:37 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

thank you, that sheds new light on it...

if such solution would handle my Safari access problem I'd give it a shot

where should I start my work though... checking with the hosting place, writing an hmtl/php code of some sort... how hard is it to implement something like this?


 10:50 pm on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

You don't really need a dedicated subdomain -- although many hosting arrangements will both allow it and make it easy to set up. You also can create a dedicated folder for the download files. Even call it "ftp" if you like. Or even keep the files "loose" in any folder whatsoever.

You can place a link to the exact address for the dowload file right on an html page. Then, for example, if the file uses a .exe extension, the browser will ask the user whether to open the file or save it -- and you can give your users the exact instructions that make the most sensein your situation, right there on your html page.


 10:52 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is what my host lists on their site for subdomain topic:

"The Subdomain Manager allows you to manage up to 5 subdomains for domainname.com. These subdomains can be pointed to your /home/domainname/public_html directory or a subdirectory on the same server."

so if my file sits in "public_ftp" directory (which is obviously parallel to "public_html", I can't really access that file through http protocol can I?


 11:59 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

It might depend on your host's technical setup -- but it seems like a simple enough experiment to try. Nothing's going to break except a link on a temp page.


 1:28 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is what I've already tried, which didn't work:

I keep the "testfile.sitx" in the FTP directory, from the root directory it's in:

I pointed the url in the browser to:
http://www.example.com/public_ftp/downloads/testfile.sitx (this is a madeup url so it points to some wacky place)

i can imageine why it did not work, www.example.com/... heads straight to the "public_http" folder and "public_ftp" is not its subdirectory, it's on the same level.

any way to make this work?

[edited by: tedster at 1:48 am (utc) on July 1, 2006]
[edit reason] use example.com [/edit]


 1:50 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would discuss it with your hosts tech support. You may be correct, that doubled files are needed, but they may also have suggestions. They know best how your server is configured.


 2:02 am on Jul 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

thanks for your help

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