Anyone up to the challenge of updating the PureFTPd Manager GUI Front-End to work with El Capitan?

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App Development

Hello,

I'm looking to set up an FTP server on my late-2014 Mac Mini, & don't really want to go mucking round in the Terminal to do it. True, I used to mess with MS DOS, as most of us probably did, but that was about 16 years ago, which seems like eons now.

I've looked at a number of possibilities:

For $40, CrushFTP seemed like a great choice, but after dinking round with it's web interface, I concluded it was not very user-friendly.

Wsftp has changed and is now strictly for business, it looks like, and, with a price tag North of $700, too rich for my blood.

rumpus 8 looks great, but again, the price is a little steep, at $500 for the unlimited user version.

OS X Server, at $20, looks like an excellent choice, but as I understand it, starting with Lion Server, Apple removed the GUI tools for the FTP server, from the server app, again necessitating the need to muck round in the Terminal.

I've also contemplated a VMWare setup, using Win XP or newer, and the fileZilla server. This might not be a bad choice, but again, not sure how easy it would be to set Windows up under VMWare, etc. Don't wanna lay out a giant amount of bread on this setup, as I'm strictly a Mac guy, and would only be using Windows for that - nothing else.

My final alternative, a cute little Cocoa front-end to PureFTPd, called PureFTPd Manager. This front-end is nearly 100% VoiceOver accessible, it's totally free, is simple to set up, and the source code is freely available from the developer's website, all he asks is copies of the patches.

I've used this app, in the past, and have had decent luck with it. Now, however, I wish to use it on my Mac Mini, running El Capitan, but it was never written to work with the newest OS, best OS it'll work with is Lion, 10.7.5.

The biggest problem I've had with PureFTPd Manager has been, even under Snow Leopard & Lion, that, when defining "Virtual Folders" for users, the app has a tendency to crash, especially when attempting to add more than 1 virtual folder for a user.

The method for adding these folders was to creat the user, under the app's "User Manager", then click on the "Virtual Folders" tab, use VO to navigate to the browser, interact with it, navigate to the desired folder (root of the data drive, usually), turn cursor tracking off, navigate to the desired folder, make sure "Mouse Keys" was enabled, in order to do the actual mouse click, route the mouse cursor to the VO cursor, perform the mouse click, with the numpad 5, stop interacting with the browser, re-enable cursor tracking, and navigate to the virtual folders table, and verify that the virtual folder was, in fact, created for this user. For successsive virtual folders, you repeat the process. Yes, this method was clumsy, but it worked.

I'm not a programmer, so I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to fix this app, so it was easier to define virtual folders with VoiceOver, and to alleviate the crashing issue when doing so. Since the source code is freely available, from the dev's website, my question to the AppleVis community is this; If there's an app developer out there, who is knowledgeable in XCode, knows the Cocoa interface, knows how to make things VO-accessible, and would be willing to accept the challenge, would someone be willing to port this app over to El Capitan, correct any accessibility issues, and make it fully stable when defining virtual folders?

I was, for a time, in contact with an app developer, by the name of Travis Siegel, but last time I attempted to eMail him, the message bounced, and I have no clue where he's gone? Also, I've eMailed the original dev, at least twice, over the last couple years. Each time I have, the messages haven't bounced, so they're going somewhere, but whether or not they're even being read is unknown.

I think, as Travis did, this app would be a huge help to those, in the blindness community, who are interested in setting up an FTP server, but don't wish to spend the bucks, or lack Terminal expertise.

Both the source, and universal binaries can be found at the following website: http://jeanmatthieu.free.fr/pureftpd/. You'll see, in the binary distro, versions are included for older versions of OS X, as well as Tiger thru SL. Also, they come bundled with the version of PureFTPd, which was available at that time.

The only other accessibility issues I found with this front-end, involved the mechanism for setting up a time when users could & couldn't use the server (this is under the "User Manager" section of the app), and the initial screen, both prior to the actual setup, then again, once setup is complete. VO simply would say that there was nothing there.

Any help with this will be greatly appreciated, and I'll be more than willing to be a beta tester for any revamped version of the GUI!

Best Regards,

Ron

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Comments

Submitted by TonVH on Friday, July 15, 2016

I also was trying to get it working on 10.11 but no luck.

Have you ever found a solution or found front-end Gui for Apple's own FTP-Server?

Submitted by Ganahee on Saturday, July 16, 2016

In reply to by TonVH

Hello,

No, I've not found any other GUI-based solution for the Mac, except Rumpus, but at $500, that's a little bit pricy.

Closest thing I've found was OS X Server itself. I tried setting it up, but encountered a strange problem. Under El Capitan Server, I was unable to connect to a friend's ShoutCAST stream, via iTunes, while the DNS server was active. If I turned the server off, then I was able to connect. If I turned the server back on, after connecting to the stream, the stream played fine.

Eventually, I reformatted the HD and put the regular copy of El Capitan back on it.

I've been hoping that a dev would come along, read my post, and take up the challenge. So far, that hasn't happened. If I could still run SL or Lion, I could use the PureFTPd manager and put up with the crashing issue I mentioned in my post, but unfortunately I can't. Neither my MBP, nor Mac mini will run Lion. The Mini is a late 2014 machine, and the MBP is a late 2011 model.

I do know a developer who might be able to help, unfortunately he's lacking a useable Mac.

HTH?

Ron

Submitted by TonVH on Saturday, July 16, 2016

I have used Crushftp (costs starts at $40). It works but is a clumsy Java produkt. Can be tested unlicensed. Presently I use an eval. version of Rumpus. Way too expensive but looks nice.

Round 2005 I used a good Frontend built by an Italian (http://www.gritsch-soft.com) but he stopped support and now cannot find to test if it maybe still works. Developer of PureFTPd does not react to mail.

So we are left to either a clumsy product or unplayable product or .....