UI of initial setup, default folder to be or not to be

Hijacked from a support thread, hence lack of context for initial post. //@calmh

These are two different directories that you sync. The second may be due to enabling auto-accept folders. You probably want to add a Syncthing folder pointing at a location that you actually want to sync (and remove those folders, unless you actually need them).

@calmh @AudriusButkevicius Should we scrap the default folder? I think it does more harm than good, as users don’t need to go through adding a folder and thus seeing the “normal folder addition and sharing process” at least once. It’s there by default, but it doesn’t do anything as it isn’t shared with devices. Sure, I’d expect a user to notice the empty “Shared With” line, but I think it’s safer to not expect anything…

I agree, we should scrap it I guess, as you still have to clickity click to share it.

I disagree. Or, well, I don’t particularly care either way about the default folder, but I think the root cause is a different UI problem. When adding a folder or device you get a dialog, fill out the form, and save it. But that’s not good enough, you must also switch to the “Sharing” tab and do stuff there, while none of the other tabs are essential and you might not really have noticed there are tabs at all. The mechanism is hidden in a way that makes it likely you’ll miss that step.

I think the current dialog is fine as an edit dialog. The add dialog should probably be different, either as a two step wizard where step two is the sharing tab (nice), or it could prompt when a folder/device is created with no sharing, similar to the “unsaved changes” thing on the settings dialog (easy to implement).

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Maybe a small tweak to the edit dialog when adding a new device/folder could be helpful enough. Just converting the “save” button on the first tab to a “next” button that goes to the sharing tab would indicate that something ought to happen there as well.

Keep in mind that if user adds folder first (without adding device before that) there could be nothing to do in sharing tab.

An idea would be to drop the default folder and simply launch the “add device” modal on first start (and maybe automatically the “add folder” modal after this step)

There is a chicken and egg problem, sure, but regardless of which they do first they would run into the sharing step. If they start by adding a device that would suggest the default folder is there and can be shared. If they start by a folder, it’ll hint towards the fact that devices need to be setup. When do add the device, the folder they created will be offered in step two…

FWIW, I’ve never used (and know of no one else who has ever used) the default folder. It’s deleted as pretty much the first step. Usually a default folder is the expected behaviour of X cloud service due to the limited cloud storage space compared to the larger volume of files on a user’s computer. Like Dropbox giving you 2GB when you have a 2TB HDD. It’s necassary to choose what you want and put in the default folder. ST has no 2GB limitation, users instead choose that 300GB folder of music they already have where they want it to be. It renders the default folder useless for most people.


Counterpoint: most of my data, and most of my friends data, is in the default folder. N=1 problem.

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Ok so what about user choice on first start? The web UI presents a choice of starting configurations… Like [Defaults] or [Blank / Power User] buttons? If the user selects blank, they do all from scratch. If the user selects Defaults, they get exactly what we have now. A footer could urge new users to select default. Seems like a lot of hassle when power users can just delete that default folder though. :slight_smile:

Why did I even bring this up: Don’t overthink this, anything that you don’t want to implement yourself or is not super simple is probably not going to happen.

Yeah, throwing ideas out is easy, everyone has opinions and suggestions, yet when it comes to actually implementing people run for the bushes, don’t know how or become too busy.

I recently set up syncthing. My take is that the default folder only confused me. I in fact do have a similar folder, but it’s not ‘default’. It just a catch-all for all my computers (7 in all). From the start I didn’t want the default because of where it resides. My ‘C’ drive is a boot /os drive. My data always (at least to the extent that apps let me) reside on a different drive or partition.

But I don’t have any problem deleting the default drive. I do think the documentation could explain that and how the syncing works a bit better. Until I understood that, I was running in to folder id conflicts because I would add both sides and then try to share.

I don’t think the folder is really a default. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but that way it works is that it’s really a root.