[Techtalk] Collaborating on websites without ssh

Wim De Smet kromagg at gmail.com
Mon Sep 1 17:30:21 UTC 2014

On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM, Kathryn Hogg <kjh at flyballdogs.com> wrote:

> On 2014-08-31 23:08, Akkana Peck wrote:
>> I'm helping a local nonprofit with its website. There are three of
>> us working on it right now, and things are going great, except for
>> one thing: the cheap web host we have for this site doesn't offer
>> ssh, just ftp.
>> I'm totally spoiled, having always had ssh and rsync (or better yet,
>> a version control system). I don't need ssh to log in to a live
>> shell; I just want to be able to rsync files between the live server
>> and my local machine, to make sure I've downloaded everybody else's
>> changes before I start changing things myself. My attempts so far at
>> elaborate lftp scripts to mirror the website don't seem to work very
>> well -- they take forever, lose chmod information, re-download
>> unchanged files yet sometimes miss changed ones. And ftp-ing files
>> back up to the server is a pain because of needing to keep track of
>> which directory I'm in on each end (lcd ../data; cd ../data;
>> mput ...; lcd ../resources; cd ../resources; mput ...  and so on).
>> This must be a common problem. Does anyone have any advice for
>> keeping in sync with other people's changes and uploading lots of
>> files when neither ssh/rsync nor version control is an option?
>> Are there rsync-like tools that cheap webhosts offer even if they
>> don't offer ssh? Or rsync-like wrappers on top of ftp?
> Does unison support ftp as a transport mechanism?

I think unison does support FTP. I'd advocate setting up some sort of extra
repository though. At the very least you can share a folder in dropbox and
be sure you have each other's changes. I'm not so sure about what it will
do with permissions, but at least you have immediate syncing and some very
limited versioning. I think you can share private repositories for free in
bitbucket too. Not so sure about github, last I checked they only did free
public repositories. Once you have a repo, uploading to FTP is a one-way
operation which makes it much less error-prone.


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