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REVIEW: OPUSFTP AND FTPMOUNT
Scott Boutwell firstname.lastname@example.org
Well this is my first attempt at writing anything for Amiga Report such as
a Review. My intention for writing this is pointing out a VERY easy way to
access FTP with Opus. These programs have been the BEST method of using
FTP I have found so far. I don't care for alot of the FTP Clients
currently for the Amiga, but have found I REALLY enjoy using FTP with Opus.
I'll list address information and where to obtain a copy of these at the
end of this review.
Well first off I'd like to take a look at OpusFTP. This jewel is a product
of GP Software and was written by Andrew Dunbar and Dr. Greg Perry.
According to the documentation that comes with this fantastic product it
will be included with the release of the next FULL upgrade of Opus (5.2)
toward the end of 1995. First off OpusFTP requires some software to work,
namely AmigaDOS 2.0+, Directory Opus 5.1+ and a TCP/IP connection. The
TCP/IP connection can be done with AmiTCP/IP version 4.0+, or with MLink.
Installation is VERY simple, just click on the Install Icon. For those
that don't trust the installation scripts moving the files to the
appropriate places will take just a few moments. Edit the ftp.config file
to add the 3 permanent address's you wish to have and your ready to go. So
this is really quick and easy to set up.
The Demo version that I tested only allows for 1 user entry and 2 anonymous
entries in the address book. The Demo version also is limited to a single
FTP connection but the Full allows for any number of simultaneous
connection. According to the author it also doesn't have a working abort
Reload Opus and the NEW commands will be available in the Function editor.
With these you should be well on the way to using FTP from Opus.
For those that want a little more control there is a (currently limited)
ARexx port. It handles about 8 commands, but there may be more ARexx
support in a Future version.
There are 2 preconfigured versions of FTP toolbars one in text and an image
based one. One problem I did have with OpusFTP was with the Preconfigured
Ftp-Image toolbar. It was too narrow to allow a user to grab it and move
it around the screen. I solved this by creating my own and in the process
got creative and designed a bunch of buttons for Internet for myself. So
this was really not much of a problem.
Once you have things set up start up your TCP/IP connection and click on an
address in the address book. The FTP site will pop-up in a lister window,
just as if it were a Drive on your machine. You can read, view, copy,
rename and delete files according to the abilities you have at the FTP site
you are connected to.
Most FTP sites will work with OpusFTP but there a some that will not.
Those that will not are:
Some OS/2 server work, others will not.
Those that have been tested and work are:
Unix (all flavors)
PC's runnin Novell NetWare
Some OS/2 servers
There are minor bugs with OpusFTP at the present, like incorrect
Timestamps, and having to quit OpusFTP manually (Note: Even if you quit
Opus itself.) As I said they are Minor bugs.
I've found this program VERY reliable and love having the ability to
navigate the net from under Opus. This way if I don't like the interface I
use for FTP, I have no one else to blame but myself.
Another problem I did note is that there currently is NO way to obtain a
FULL version of this program listed in the Docs. I guess we will have to
wait for the release of version 5.2 of Opus to get this fine program. I
also guess we will have to purchase version 5.2 to get this program rather
than being able to purchase it as an add on.
The next product I'd like to look at is FTPMount written by Evan Scott.
Note the version I looked at was version 0.7 obviously still in BETA form
but it does work. It also can be used with Directory Opus, but was NOT
intended ONLY to be used with Directory Opus. It is intended to be an FTP
file system rather than another FTP client. Which means you can set up
common FTP sites to permanently appear in file requesters. Because of the
FTP protocol (RFC 959), there are some limitations that apply to FTP: these
prevent it from supporting all file system actions fully.
A couple of these are:
Only one file may be open at a time for a given site.
A file may only be open for reading or writing, NOT both.
Seeking is not possible.
Unix soft links are ALWAYS assumed to be directories.
The '.' and '..' have been filtered out.
Comments are not supported.
Protection bits cannot be modified.
MakeLink is not supported.
(Note: These limitations are a trimmed down version of the Authors comments
in the Introduction)
Also there are NO types of sites that don't currently work with this system
to my knowledge and none listed in the documentation.
Requirements: Documentation suggests using AmiTCP/IP 4.0+, at this point
I'm not sure whether or not it will support MLink. To really be useful
this is a MUST. It also needs AmigaDos 2.0+.
Installation: Is simple, there again is an installation script but manual
installation is fairly easy as well. And the author details enough
information about how to do it, that if you are familiar with AmigaDOS at
all you should be able to accomplish this.
The source code is included with the release, thanks Evan for doing this.
For those of us that are just beginning to code it helps to have some
examples to break down and look at.
This program was a bit more than I was looking for to add FTP to Directory
Opus. It is however the ONLY method of adding it to ALL versions of
Directory Opus as well as other disk based file managers.
Looking at both programs in comparison...
Use: I'd have to give it to OpusFTP. It's very simple to use and to
understand how to get it working. I have not accessed a site so far that I
haven't been able to access with OpusFTP.
Installation: While both have installation scripts that are about equal in
ease. Manually OpusFTP is easier to install. It's really a NO BRAINER to
get this up and configured. If you ever created a button with Directory
Opus you should have NO problems.
Compatibility: When looking at how the programs stand up against one
another in being able to be used by other programs. FTP mount wins HANDS
down, since OpusFTP is intended ONLY to be used with Version 5.1 of Opus.
Documentation: Both have very well done AmigaGuide files that cover
installation and usage. The manual installation of FTPMount could have
been a bit clearer but it gets the information across to install it.
I guess it would really be up to what the user is looking for here.
Whether they are looking for something that is a quick and easy gadget for
Opus or something they can access from anything. Although OpusFTP has an
Arexx interface, it is VERY limited at this point, making access by other
programs not very good. But since it was intended for Opus, it does what
it was intended for.
My personal choice was OpusFTP, since I don't really have any use for
Mounting an FTP site to my AmigaDOS. Both programs are excellent and faily
simple to install. Grab a copy of either from AmiNet.
For more information on
FTPMount - Evan Scott at email@example.com
OpusFTP - GPSoftware
PO Box 570
Phone/Fax: +61 7 33661402