Feature Request: Links/Shortcuts to files with relative path in clients

Hello dear Community,

I started moving all my files from Dropbox to an own Nextcloud server. I used to have file shortcuts (like Windows *.Ink files) to link files or folders within the Nextcloud. However, when sharing it with other users, they can’t use the shortcuts as they can’t be relative in windows, i.e. the path of the link is correct on my computer, but not on the other computers.
This works in Dropbox, I assume the *.Ink files are just rewritten on the server.
Would it be possible to have that feature in nextcloud as well? So when I create a shortcut (.Ink file) on my Windows with
D:\Nextcloud\My_Folder\File.txt
on another computer it is changed to
C:\Users\Matthew\Nextcloud\My_Folder\File.txt (EDIT: forgot “Nextcloud” - of course I’m talking about shortcuts to files that are uploaded on the Server already)
and on Mac, Linux and the web interface/Apps it works as well?

Thanks and Best Regards,
Matthias

P.S.: It’s a bit like this topic, but not exactly, so I created a new topic - Links to other folders possible?

How should Nextcloud know where on another PC the file “File.txt” is located? And how should Nextcloud know, that you would like to have the file link to C:\Users\Matthew\My_Folder\File.txt and not to C:\Users\Matthew\Another_Folder\Subfolder\File.txt?
It’s like burning *.lnk files (that point to wav files) on a CD.

Actually it doesn’t make sense to store lnk files on a cloud server.

What might be different with Dropbox (never used it and so I don’t know), that it didn’t upload the file links but the actual file (behind that link). At least that’s the only way I can think of, why sharing worked with Dropbox.
So a feature request could be that the Nextcloud clients don’t upload the selected .lnk files but the real data containing file where the link points to.

As a quick “workaround”: upload the real files instead and share these files.

Or I didn’t understand your use case. Then I’m sorry.

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Sorry, I edited my first post to clarify:
I’m talking for *.Ink files/shortcuts that link to files within the shared folders of Nextcloud, so the file is already uploaded somewhere but shouldn’t be uploaded again - instead it is linked. Nextcloud does know, where the files are stored on different computers for sure - otherwise the client couldn’t synchronize the files. A procedure could be:

  1. Nextcloud client on computer 1 recognizes the new shortcut/*.Ink file, opens the shortcut as a text file, copies the linked path and checks, if the file is in a synchronized Nextcloud folder
  2. If so, instead of uploading the Ink file one by one to the server, it uploads it with a relative path or an ID or link to the file or folder, that the Nextcloud Server understands
  3. In the web interface, the shortcuts are replaced by links to the correct folder or file
  4. Nextcloud Client on Computer 2 downloads the shortcut, checks if the file is also synchronized on the computer via Nextcloud and if so, changes the shortcut path to that file. Optionally, weblinks could be created to the file on the Nextcloud Server Web-Interface, if the file is not downloaded. Or it just copies the shortcut 1:1 which is, the same that’s happening right now.

Maybe I didn’t clearly express my use case:
In our development team, we have a component base file structure, so for every sub-component we develop, we have an other folder. Sometimes, when there are relationship between components or we want to link a file that is already uploaded to the server (e.g. a large documentation pdf), we do not want to upload the file again and again in different folders, but just link the file.
I do this on my computer very often and it’s very handy and saves a lot of time. Imagine there were no links to other articles on Wikipedia and you’d have to search for every article manually - what a mess.

Best regards,
Matthias

So, just share it. Same functionality if you ask me. Shares can be seen as internal links. There is no additional space on the Serverdisk used. On the local computer drive you are using, of course it sits there a second time.

What you are asking for is basicly to develop a link file format for Nextcloud. Not a small featurerequest, and i doubt thats going to happen.

See, as i understand it, NC is there to share and sync your files. Not to manipulate them.

If i am mistaken, somebody may correct me.

Hello,

I can understand, but all I know is - it already works for years with Dropbox.
Using a share link is possible - but when storing a link to Nextcloud on a computer, when I click it, I have to be online and download the file again - it’s not possible most of the time, since we use Nextcloud on Laptops on the field oftentimes. Right now, uploading the file multiple times or having a self-made text file that says where the file is stored seems to be the only options for us.
Thank you for your suggestions anyways.

Matthias

Hi,

This is very confusing to me and I’m wondering for hours now, what you actually try to achieve and how that what you described so far could have worked in Dropbox.

Actually not. Nextcloud (the webserver) only handles web requests, like (simplified)

  • give me a list of all files and folders in my home directory (or of a specific subfolder)
  • save “this” file into the current folder
    (for example when you drag and drop a file into your browser or when you use the “+” button or when you use the Nextcloud client and upload a file)

The Nextcloud web server doesn’t care where a file is coming from, if you are using a browser, the Windows Explorer, a WebDav application or whatsoever. And the server definitely doesn’t know if this file came from /usr/home/UserX or C:\User\UserX.

Creating links via *.lnk files to files that are stored on Nextcloud will only work if you add a the server as network drive in Windows Explorer. But still you need to be online of course.

Regarding the offline availability of files on DropBox: the only way I could imagine it worked is, that the Dropbox client application on your Laptops used a synchronization mechanism like OneDrive where you could define that the files to synch are offline available as well. Which means files are synched up to DropBox when the Laptop is online again and changes to the file had been made on the Laptop meanwhile. Or the other way round when changes had been made to the file on DropBox. Then the file will be download/ synched to your Laptop as soon as it is online again.

I agree here. It sounds like you are asking for some kind of “Nextcloud link files”. But even if they come as a feature, I believe you still need to take care yourself of synching the files and creating the correct links.

Because at some point the real file needs to be edited and synched to the server.

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Hello again,
Sorry, i didn’t find any time to write a detailed answer the last months. Since somebody in my team just asked me on her own if this kind of feature is working in Nextcloud, I decided to investigate and found that this is possible a duplicate of:


See also:
Owncloud feature request: https://github.com/owncloud/core/issues/4269
How it’s working in Google Drive: https://www.labnol.org/internet/add-files-multiple-drive-folders/28715/

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