The Best FTP Client

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  • th0rth0r Posts: 78member
    Why does everyone always ignore RBrowser?

    http://www.rbrowser.com



    I use the free Rbrowser Lite just because I don't need SFTP, and I think it's clearly superior to Transmit.

    http://www.rbrowserlite.com



    See also:

    http://www.rbrowser.com/RBrowserLite...owserLite.html



    RBrowser has been available forever...started out as a NeXT app.



    It also makes a nice Finder replacement.
  • lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Oh man, I hate RBrowser! The interface is so complicated and kludgy. People are now saying shit about Fugu but at least it has an easy to understand interface if all you're doing is uploading stuff to a website (which is all I use FTP for).
  • th0rth0r Posts: 78member
    Quote:

    Oh man, I hate RBrowser! The interface is so complicated and kludgy. People are now saying shit about Fugu but at least it has an easy to understand interface if all you're doing is uploading stuff to a website (which is all I use FTP for).





    Errr... okay.



    http://www.th0r.com/misc/rbrowse1.jpg



    edit: changed image to link, too big for the page
  • ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Th0r

    Errr... okay.



    http://www.th0r.com/misc/rbrowse1.jpg




    I take it you meant that image as a counterexample, saying that RBrowsers's interface isn't so bad, yes?



    Here's my take on it. I just downloaded RBrowser Lite for the first time in ages. I didn't like its interface when I tried it about a year ago. I didn't like it when I tried it a year before that. I figured maybe in that span of time since my last trial it might have gotten better. Well, this is my play-by-play as I test it for about 10 minutes. I'd say that's more than enough time to evaluate the interface of what should be a fairly simple app. In that short a trial, I should run into any major problems or glitches.



    The first thing I noticed, no joke, was the strangest interface glitch I've seen in a while. Words do it no justice. Watch the movie (only 120 KiB). Yes, the icons are actually bouncing up and down as I resize the window. Weird. Not only that, but resizing has this odd snapping behavior. I guess this is to force the window to fit with the path icons in the upper part, but I can think of several better ways to do this.



    The second thing I noticed was how it still tries mimicking the Finder. It feels almost Microsoftian in how it tries desperately to copy the look of Finder but fails miserably in copying the behavior of Finder. I could go on about all the problems here ranging from weird drag-and-drop to selection to renaming -- each of these use some nonstandard, custom behavior. It gets the font wrong. It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. Other menu shortcuts are different too. It can't even highlight names properly. You can't rearrange files spacially like you can in the Finder. Icon drawing is inconsistent; some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files.



    I don't like that. If you're going to try to copy something like the Finder, either get it right or go for something else. Don't half-ass it.



    There are other oddities too. It has NeXTSTEP graphics and colors scattered about. The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none. Oh, and I see the developer stole Omni's reload icon. I wonder if Omni was given credit or asked permission for this.



    Et cetera ad infinitum.



    All in all, this app just doesn't "feel" right. After all these years, it still acts like it's just a quick port of an ancient NeXT app.
  • th0rth0r Posts: 78member
    Brad,

    That's pretty good feedback that the developer should definitely get.



    I'm also kind of a stickler when it comes to gui/interface issues and apps, but my impression of this app is quite different than yours.



    Some reasons might be:



    1) I only use RBrowser (and the Finder) in column view.

    I think this is an important point, because my interaction with the app is pretty much just having one or more FTP browser(s) open and dragging and dropping files from the Finder to my FTP server(s).



    2) I've honestly never noticed some of the issues that you mention. ie:

    You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. ??

    I can spawn a new viewer at any time.



    It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. ??

    Arrow key navigation is the same as the Finder.



    from weird drag-and-drop to selection to renaming ??

    To upload/download files I (like you) like to simply use drag & drop. This works as expected for me.

    Selecting- Shift/cmd selecting works for me.

    Renaming- Click once to select the name, click once more to edit. Same as Finder, no?



    The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. ??

    I've never seen this behavior.



    Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. ??

    Never seen this either.



    some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files. ??

    The only thing I can think of here is that you are looking at files that you do not own. (The icons of other users files are lighter in appearance, but it's not sporadic.)



    Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none.

    I HATE the way TextEdit and the Finder do this.



    Quote:

    The second thing I noticed was how it still tries mimicking the Finder.



    I find this amusing because in a way the Mac OS X Finder actually tried to copy the RBrowser (NeXT) interface.

    ...and the Finder STILL doesn't let you:



    Sort in column view (!!)

    Have a shelf

    Let you copy file paths (!)

    Let you see or edit type/creator codes

    Let you see hidden files/folders

    Let you create a new empty file (!)

    Let you filter your view of files by criteria (!)



    ...like RBrowser does.



    I guess the bottom line for me is that as an FTP app:

    RBrowser Lite is free

    RBrowser Lite is powerful

    RBrowser Lite does everything that I believe an FTP app should do.



    Obviously, ymmv.



    I also must note that RBrowser does address EVERY issue that you mentioned about Fugu.



    I'm going to redownload Transmit and give it another go.

    BTW, Transmit was my preferred FTP client in Mac OS 9... (Vicomsoft's) FTP Client was a close second.
  • ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    I had just downloaded a fresh copy of the latest version of RBrowser Lite from its home page. It's version 3.3.2 and I'm using it on Mac OS X 10.3.1.
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Th0r

    You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. ??

    I can spawn a new viewer at any time.




    It's strange and definitely a bug, but it's also reproducible. Open the app, press command-w twice to close the two window. Choose New Viewer from File menu. Close it. Try opening another new one. I can't; the menu item it grayed out.



    Quote:

    It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. ??

    Arrow key navigation is the same as the Finder.




    command-down: move one layer deeper/open file.

    command-up: move one layer up.

    shift-left/right/up/down: add file to selection.

    any letter(s): select the file starting with that letter(s).

    hold the arrow key: move through files. RBrowser only moves the selection when you release the arrow key; so, key repeat is broken.



    That's what I mean by it doesn't follow the standard navigation Apple's used for many years.



    Quote:

    The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. ??

    I've never seen this behavior.




    I open the preferences. I click the close widget. It throws a modal dialog saying "Alert: Connection Preferences have been edited. Do you want to save these changes?". I didn't edit anything! This is reproducible.



    Quote:

    Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. ??

    Never seen this either.




    This is in reference to the no-new-viewer problem I mentioned before. Open the app. Close both windows. Create a new viewer. For me, it's *always* positioned in the same spot in the lower half of the screen.



    Quote:

    some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files. ??

    The only thing I can think of here is that you are looking at files that you do not own. (The icons of other users files are lighter in appearance, but it's not sporadic.




    Case in point as to why you should not stray from standard, accepted behaviors. You're going to confuse the user as I was here. grayed out icon should indicate invisibility. A badge with the circle-slash should indicate non-readability. A badge with a pencil and slash should indicate non-writability. That's how it's been for years in the Finder.



    Quote:

    Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none.

    I HATE the way TextEdit and the Finder do this.




    I like it and I think nearly every single other app I have does this. Plus, this is included in Apple's HIG. So, it not only breaks conformity with all other apps, it also breaks Apple's official HIG.



    Quote:

    I find this amusing because in a way the Mac OS X Finder actually tried to copy the RBrowser (NeXT) interface.

    ...and the Finder STILL doesn't let you:




    Perhaps, but how many Mac OS X users were NeXTSTEP users? A very small minority. Writing an app to behave like a ten-year-old operating system that almost no one in your audience has used makes little sense. You write an app for today's operating system.



    Quote:

    I guess the bottom line for me is that as an FTP app:

    RBrowser Lite is free




    And that's where I'll stop my rant. Since RBrowser Lite is free, I can excuse some weirdness. The regular RBrowser that you must pay for, however, should not have all these problems. I suspect it's identical, overall, to Lite, though.



    *plink plink* My 2 cents.
  • toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by oniongirl

    Is there SFTP support in Fugu that I didn't see?



    Hmm. I have no problem at all using Fugu to log in to my school's servers via SFTP. In fact, Fugu proudly displays "SFTP" as one of the menu bar menus. It didn't even ask what protocol to use, so I assume it must default to SFTP. This is Fugu 0.9.0.



    I haven't used either Fugu or Transmit in a while, though, since I became a CLI SSH/SFTP junky. My favorite is SSH'ing into the remote host and then SFTP'ing back into my Mac to transfer files. Just because I can (and to work around an awkward directory structure for web hosted files). I feel so powerfully geeky. Or geekily powerful.
  • ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    As requested, I'm sticking this thread for future reference so new threads aren't spawned regularly asking for FTP advice.
  • Quote:

    Originally posted by Brad

    As requested, I'm sticking this thread for future reference so new threads aren't spawned regularly asking for FTP advice.



    thank you, oh wise and mighty one.
  • seen_xuseen_xu Posts: 134member
    RBrowser lite is my current unique ftp client, because Transxx sucks on most of ftpz I worked on!
  • I purchaced RBrowser and I am very pleased with it. I usually connect using ssh, and it works great. Like other programs I can drag and drop files, but what I like is that I can double click an icon, it opens, I edit it, I save it, and I'm done. I also use it for ftp and sftp and it works just fine. I'm looking forward to future versions that will allow me to mount my ssh directory, because that is really what I want. I've never noticed any GUI glitches. I'm sure it has some, but that's fine with me because it works just like I want it to and it does what other file browsers can't. I found RBrowser while looking for something like LUFS (Linux user file system) for Mac OS X.



    Alexander the Great
  • mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    Transmit. Transmit. Transmit.
  • macusersmacusers Posts: 840member
    Transmit
  • wjmoorewjmoore Posts: 210member
    Ok I've tried many different GUI FTP clients but I currently don't have any installed. I use the command line one. The command line SFTP is a bit lacking but I don't use it. The command line ftp program has worked on all servers I've tried (can't say the same for all the GUI ones I've used), it supports resuming downloads and also supports customisable bandwidth throttling. It is about as easy to use as a command line app can get with tab completion of filenames etc. Does what I want and it's free. The worst thing about it is that you can't up/download a whole directory structure, which I can understand would be an issue for some. Of the GUI ones I think transmit is the nicest but it still had issues last time I tried it and I never found it quite good enough to warrant paying for it.
  • keshkesh Posts: 621member
    If you don't mind using the command line, drop Fink and FinkCommander into your Mac, and use them to install 'wget'. it's a command line client that can download from FTP, SFTP, HTTP and HTTPS servers. It'll also do entire directory downloads, such as grabbing everything X levels deep on a website.



    There's a GUI client called SimpleWget available as well, once the command line program is installed.
  • wjmoorewjmoore Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kesh

    If you don't mind using the command line, drop Fink and FinkCommander into your Mac, and use them to install 'wget'. it's a command line client that can download from FTP, SFTP, HTTP and HTTPS servers. It'll also do entire directory downloads, such as grabbing everything X levels deep on a website.



    There's a GUI client called SimpleWget available as well, once the command line program is installed.




    If you only need to do ftp downloads, (which is unlikely but anyway) the built in ftp client will handle ftp:// URLs. Otherwise wget is certainly a very useful program.
  • paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    whats wrong with fetch?
  • wjmoorewjmoore Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Paul

    whats wrong with fetch?



    I found it to be a bit flakey at times and it is not particularly pretty either...



  • ghost_user_nameghost_user_name Posts: 22,667member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by WJMoore

    I found it to be a bit flakey at times and it is not particularly pretty either...



    Kind words.



    To me it feels like it's still trying to act like a System 6 app.
  • ganondorfganondorf Posts: 573member
    I just installed Transmit. How long is the trial period?



    I assume there is no trial period and I can just use the trial version free of charge indefinitely?
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