WHS and SmugMug – Keeping Track of Files

The question that has to be asked at the beginning of every software project, hobbyist or commercial is: “What are we trying to achieve here?”.

For this project, the aim is to move all the contents of one folder to a gallery on SmugMug – and keep them up-to-date. This means that modifications ( tags, edits, etc), additions and deletions are replicated on the gallery in question.

This requires two things:

  • The program to be aware of what is happening to those folders
  • And for the program to be aware of what has already been uploaded.

Number one requires a FileWatcher Object from System.IO.

The Filewatcher throws an event for creations, deletions  and modifications. This allows us to determine the nature of, say, a create event and decide if its a file or directory that has been created. Based on that we can take other action.

We do this by calling System.IO.Directory.Exists(string path) that returns a boolean. You could use the File.Exists(string path) method as well.

Second, a running tally has to be kept of what is going on. We do that by maintaining a master file in our root directory (say \\Photos\SmugMug)  and child files in each directory. The actual directory may or may not be exposed as a setting via the Console.

The master file is essentially has a queue of file events to execute on the server the next time its syncs. This stops large file  ( i.e. large numbers of files) operations overloading the server (resulting in multiple create events) as Demigrator.exe is working on those files as well. So better  to queue the uploads to take place when the disks are idle. I’m using XML and handwriting the read and write procedures – you’ll understand why at the end of the post.

The second requires a file in each directory with the SmugMug Gallery ID and  a list of each file and its SmugMug ID in that Directory. This allows us quick access to files instead of iterating over the lot and comparing each file to the one on SmugMug.

As far as scheduling the uploader is concerned, I haven’t gone into that in too much detail. I could schedule an exe to run using the task scheduler. Its not a bad way of doing things. Norton Internet Security does just that for its scheduling. That, of course has a disadvantage of spitting up the add-in into a logical front-end and back-end.

And by the way, I’m writing this in Visual Studio 2005 using C#. I’m going to do a second version in C# Express 2008 (to use LINQ-to-XML, mainly) for a comparison.

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