Dropbox will stop rendering HTML content

A lot of folks over the years have used Dropbox to serve HTML websites. They announced recently that they would stop doing this.

There’s quite a bit of stuff on Dropbox that I suspect may not be fully accessible at that time. For example, here’s a poem in Twine. dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/4e7 … 0home.html

Maybe that file will still be available publicly; you’ll just have to download it in order to view it? But maybe not.

Is there a clever way to search IFDB for Dropbox links? And to archive anything that might need archiving?

Thanks for the PSA!

I assume we could fairly easily search the IFDB archive. I don’t know about the live site.

The announcement seems clear that all files that were available will still be available, but will have to be downloaded to run.

This may take some effort, though. You can’t browse a directory that’s offered this way (e.g. dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/4e76m6zlvdk2z0g/ doesn’t list files). So you’d have to look at the HTML, extract the list of relative URLs, and download each of them.

(This is already true; it’s not going to get harder in October.)

Maybe a browser extension may be able to reverse this change for your own computer if you tamper with the received HTTP headers.

That’ll make testing so much harder for twine game, great… facepalms

Seems like an opportunity to me. A file-sharing service just for small websites. No app-services, just plain html and js. $5/year or something. 5mb space per user. Or something like that.

Wow, that’s really dismaying news.

Thanks for the headsup!

I should also mention that I still run plover.net, an IF-mostly-focused Linux server. If you need a place to host twine or quixe or similar works, a free plover account is yours for the asking. You’ll need to learn a little about setting up your public_html folder and if you want a domain tied to it, that will require a little extra time on my part (or my sometimes-helper vimes). There is a donation page, but I don’t necessarily need donations. Some people feel it’s worth $5/month though so they chip in. The server is a linode server and I think the bill is around $250/year.

The only thing I can’t handle is any super high traffic, high volume stuff (I used to host a mirror for the archive and ifcomp downloads and had to drop/relocate those efforts). But IF stories are easy-peasy.

To pre-answer one obvious suggestion: the IF Archive is not really set up to handle playable Twine games. While we haven’t made it a hard policy, we prefer HTML games to be uploaded as packages (a .zip file) so that we can stick to “one game, one URL”. And also to avoid being a front-line “play all games” site, which would increase our bandwidth usage.

Twine games can be uploaded to textadventures.co.uk - which may be a good place to restore them.

There’s also Philomela, though it’s not a good choice for works in progress (since it automatically tweets the game’s existence to everyone). Also, you need a Twitter account.