Getting acquainted + want to help :)

Hello SyncThing peoples. I’m a designer / developer who likes to work on open / Free software projects that protect privacy, etc… I most recently have been working on an encrypted email project called Mailpile the last couple years.

I just got my first installs of SyncThing working on two computers… really AWESOME that it just works and works well :smile:

I’d love to help work on UI / UX. I jumped into the #syncthing IRC channel and had some good chats. @calmh showed me some snazy new interface designs for Syncthing. I’d love to help code them up / work with anyone else working on UI / UX aspects!



It’s good to have you here.

May I ask you for some opinion on this?

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I think the number one thing preventing syncthing from getting wider adoption is the difficultly in setting up the first share. Solve that securely and you will have helped a lot.


@jpjp absolutely, I think Syncthing as a protocol and the app is incredible, it has the potential to make both nerds and normal users extremely happy, secure, and in sync! I would absolutely love to help it get easier for the non-nerds to get going!

@robsonsobral heya I read over that thread. Shucks, I’m not quite what you’re talking about. I haven’t used the GTK component of Syncthing yet… or maybe there is some other “advanced” aspect that i’m not familiar with.

The only thing I’ve noticed in using Syncthing that might be what you mean, is the use case of:

  • A user wants to “share” a folder with other nodes, but 1 or more nodes might not want to “download” the file

Maybe you could word it like that?

Yeap! The point is really to make Selective Sync (or just download) easier for “non-nerds”. I think the BT Sync way is easier to use than the DropBox way. If the feature should be on GTK or Syncthink is a little secondary.

@bnvk: Welcome!

I think before starting with a new GUI and other extended features it is more important to tone down the “techie” feel of Syncthing. Currently the users seem to consist of 80% linux (see who know their way around the command line, compile, hack together. So anything that gets a new user started (e.g. drop the default folder and make a first time wizzard), improve documentation (e.g. for all settings) would help. Also Windows users are used to setup.exe simple installation, etc.


Hey Brennan, I have been following Mailpile and really like your work.

I would love some help on the new interface design. I just introduced it to the community a moment ago: New interface design

Sæll Gilli. Thanks for the huge compliment. You’re off to a wonderful start with the SyncThing upgrade. I left a bunch of minor notes on your design in the InVision.

Shucks, if I was in Reykjavík still, I’d say we should meet up for coffee & hacking :smile:

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@uok I really don’t understand how these two statements exist in the same sentence “starting with a new GUI” and then “it is more important to tone down the techie feel of Syncthing”

Designing and implementing a new GUI is crucial to making Syncthing less techie. Yes, there are other very crucial things needed as well, but I’m addressing the things that are within my skillset to help with :wink:

the new GUI does not solve anything - it just looks… new… and has more colors (which Syncthing already had in earlier versions…) - if you like that you should make a skin for the existing GUI and not redesign the GUI

for me the tech feel is everything but the GUI (e.g. user has to download via github release page, extract to install, find tool to hide command line window, exchange strange looking strings, open ports on firewall, interpret errors in command line window, etc.)

syncthing -help will tell you about -no-console

I know :wink: but the average user who just wants to share holiday pics with friends does not

While this is true as far as it goes, it’s also somewhat out of scope I think. Syncthing-GTK and similar aims to fix this. Syncthing “core” didn’t, from the start, for various reasons (maybe misguided) and I think this codebase won’t be turned into something friendly, graphical, etc. That doesn’t mean we can’t improve the face it does show, of course.

@uok bold definitive statements like “the new GUI does not solve anything” are a bit flat, unless you have data to back it up. Design & ease of use are somewhat subjective, but user studies and testing are the only way to come up with absolutes like that. If a project lacks budget and resources to conduct proper usability studies, the best that can be done is trust designers and people who are professionals in that respect. However, a cursory glance at comments in the forums here, a lot of users find the current GUI a tad confusing… myself being one of them (and I’m an engineer as well as designer) thus it’s worth improving to some degree.

In open source, it’s a bit counterproductive to tell people the work they’re inspired to do should not be done. Unless of course you’re the project owner / founder who controls the repo, then your opinion matters a tiny bit more :wink: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Your second comment about the difficulties of installing Syncthing, I 100% agree with and what I mean by “there are other very crucial things needed as well” but like @calmh says, that is outside of scope of the core app, so, I’m not barking up that tree at present!

I’m sorry, but why are everybody, except @calmh, ignoring Syncthing GTK? Why not to improve the home page and offer it right from there?


@robsonsobral I think that’s a great idea. I’m only 4 days into this community and still figuring out how things operate around here.

@calmh how open / easy is doing such a change or update? Do you find ideas like adding Syncthing GTK to the home page a desirable update?

It’s there as “Cross platform GUI wrapper”, but it’s not obvious. We should probably have some screenshot or image or something.


Yes. Someone just needs to give this some love and send a pull request.

Yeah and not calling it “Cross platform GUI wrapper” would also help a lot, as it would scare the shit out of my mother.

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