How to add file versions/history to iFolder

I’ve been using iFolder for about a month now and am pretty satisfied with the performance and features, but there is one feature I dearly miss: having access to older versions of a file.  To work around this problem I simply created a SVN repository for every iFolder user.  This allows the users to “check in” files whenever they want to save a specific version of a file, they can tell SVN to ignore directories that they don’t need or want in the SVN system. And you can easily browse through the history of a file, pulling up versions from specific dates, or seeing what changed when in the file (obviously not for binary data).

I am fully aware that SVN may be a bit overkill and that I am only using a very small subset of the SVN features, but on the other hand it is very easy to set up, and there are clients for all the major OS out there that integrate seamlessly into the file managers. So even if I don’t need all the bells and whistles it does what I need it to do without any worries.

As with all workarounds this of course brings some limitations and implications with it.

  • First of all you will only have the history of a file on systems with a svn client, so no history if you are accessing the files via webinterface.
  • Situations where multiple people have access to the same files must be set up in the same consellation in SVN to ensure all users have access to file histories
  • Due to the usage of two systems (iFolder and SVN) the files will be stored in both systems
Depending on your setup and needs the implications may turn out to be a dealbreaker. But if not it may be a viable “addon” to add some features you otherwise missed. I’m not going to go into “how to setup SVN”, since anything I write would be tuned to a specific installation. Just use google, there are plenty of Howtos out there, just find the one that meets your system.