I was trying to find out a simple but good free online file manager (for free of course) that I can put onto my webserver and also share some files to my selected friends/people. There are heaps out there, but I fall in love with 2 of them (one is a PHP file manager called “FileThingie” and the other is an AJAX file manager called “Relay”).
I’ve been using FileThingie for a while and decided to move to something Ajax-y as I like AJAX application a lot (most of them feel intuitive and feels easy to use; Facebook vs Friendster, anyone?).
FileThingie is so simple to install. Well actually, there is no installation whatsoever needed. You just need to upload the application which only consists of a single PHP file onto a folder on your server, modify a few config, and that’s about it, really!
What I don’t really like about FileThingie, since it only consists of one file, on every update of the application, you need to retain your configurations somewhere else, update the file, and then put back the configuration back. It would be better if the developer separates the config to another file instead, so updating the application is easier.
Then I found Relay, an Ajax file manager which roughly has the same kind of functionalities like FileThingie. Relay looks good but some people may say that “The look is not everything, the functionality does!”. But hey, if you are trying to sell a software to a client, most of them will look at the presentation first, and not the functionalities. Although this subject is debatable, I’d go for a combination of both :)
Relay is Ajax-based, so you won’t see those browser refreshes with PHP based applications. You can create users and assign permissions to users. You can, for example, create some folders and assign who can see what. What I don’t like about it, though, that the application needs a database to maintain the permissions, users, files, etc. If you are okay with this, then I’d suggest to use Relay as it’s easier to use and easier on the eye.
You can try the demo online here. (Link no longer exists)
It’s a pity though that the project has been abandoned long time ago, although the current version is sufficient enough to do simple file manager tasks.
There’s also a problem with the seach button if you are using Internet Explorer, as you can see in the screenshot on on the left. The problem can be easily fix, however, by simple commenting the search button out on the file relay.html.
So far, I’m happy to use Relay and it’s easier especially if you want a simple files sharing on your server. If you want to use a proper file management (more advanced features) to be used for yourself, you may want to look elsewhere though.