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I'm not familiar with the community norms here, so I wanted to check on meta first. My technological ignorance will certainly be clear in the following draft of my question:

I have a folder on my computer containing some of my work (about 25GB of PDF files, Word documents, and text files) and I would like to make it available to a few friends over the internet for them to view or download. I'm hoping to set this up so that

  1. The folder is searchable by file name.
  2. The folder is read-only to everyone but me.
  3. I am able to remotely add, remove, and reorganize files.
  4. I am able to limit online access to the folder with a password.

Dropbox can currently only do 1, 3, and 4, and I have to pay for it. Though it would probably require significantly more time for me to figure out, as I understand it, if I were to set up an FTP server involving only this folder, I could do all of the above, and for free!

However, there is one feature I would really love to have, and my question is about that:

I want to assign tags to the files, in such a way the folder is searchable by tag.

I can't even figure out how to do that locally (there does not seem to be a way to assign tags to PDF files in Windows). Even for the files to which Windows allows me to assign tags, I don't think that an FTP server could "see" the tags, so that someone looking at the folder via FTP could not search using them. So, I am looking for suggestions for how I can host a large batch of files that can be sorted with a tag organization system, satisfies properties 1-4, and is preferably free.

It would be even better if I were also able to assign tags (and be able to search by tag) locally on my computer, using the same system of tags - I would want to avoid having to assign "online" tags to a file, and then assign the "local" versions of the same tags (if nothing else it'd be a nightmare to keep both tag systems in sync).

If this SE site isn't the right place to ask, please suggest where it might be better placed. Thanks!

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Your tagging requirement exceeds the native capabilities of operating systems I am familiar with, which would indicate (in my opinion) that you will need an application to intermediate tagging activities and synchronization (to include tag metadata).

If you were only concerned with getting the files on a file server and tagging them there, (without any local tagging) you could post under the category here.

If local tagging and synchronization are firm requirements, you might be better served to ask at the SuperUser SE.

The form of your question will have an impact on whether or not you get the kind of answers you are looking for - "Does a file tagging facility exist for Windows or *nix operating systems?"/"Is there a file server daemon that supports file tagging and categorization?" will likely do better than a list of requirements.

  • Thanks for your response! The local tagging isn't necessary, and I don't mind synchronizing manually, so I'll ask here. I am a little concerned that I don't know what a script is, or how to use one... – Zev Chonoles May 31 '12 at 22:18
  • @ZevChonoles in this context "script" would refer to a web application (typically a free and open source application) which runs under LAMP or .NET (though answers may include purpose-built daemons too). – danlefree Jun 1 '12 at 8:19

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