Simon Willison’s Weblog


9 items tagged “dropbox”


Rye: Added support for marking virtualenvs ignored for cloud sync (via) A neat feature in the new Rye 0.22.0 release. It works by using an xattr Rust crate to set the attributes “com.dropbox.ignored” and “” on the folder. # 10th February 2024, 6:50 am


The AI trust crisis

Dropbox added some new AI features. In the past couple of days these have attracted a firestorm of criticism. Benj Edwards rounds it up in Dropbox spooks users with new AI features that send data to OpenAI when used.

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Dropbox: Sharing our Engineering Career Framework with the world (via) Dropbox have published their engineering career framework, with detailed descriptions of the different levels of the engineering (as opposed to management) career track and what is expected for each one. I’m fascinated by how different companies handle the challenge of keeping career progression working for engineers without pushing them into people management, and this as a particularly detailed and well thought-out implementation of that. # 13th July 2021, 11:31 pm


How we rolled out one of the largest Python 3 migrations ever. “If you’re using Dropbox today, the application is powered by a Dropbox-customized variant of Python 3.5” # 25th September 2018, 11:02 pm


Fun facts about Rust’s growing popularity. TIL Rust is used “on hundreds of millions of desktops via Dropbox”. And Rust developers are called Rustaceans. # 30th October 2017, 4:45 am


Do you need the feature in Dropbox mobile app that allows using the chosen files in offline mode? Why?

I use this all the time. It’s especially useful for travelling (when you’re abroad you often don’t have inexpensive cellular data or access to WiFi). I use it for:

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How can I get access to the PHP script of websites like Dropbox?

If a website doesn’t deliberately publish its server-side code (some sites like reddit do this, but it’s pretty rare) then you won’t be able to see it. You can search for an open source clone but these will often be pretty low quality—the smartest open source developers tend to work on libraries that solve common problems rather than putting their efforts in to building complete clones of existing sites.

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How can some really large services (like Dropbox) afford to use Python as a primary language, if it’s one to two orders of magnitude slower than other, compiled languages?

Because raw language speed often doesn’t matter that much. In the case if Dropbox the client software spends most of its time waiting for bits to load from the network or from disk. Most large websites spend their time waiting for the database. You can’t speed up network or disk performance by using a faster language.

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Should I use Dropbox instead of Git for 2 coders? In terms of going really fast and working on things at the same time, I’m thinking it may be uber productive to use Dropbox for it’s instant syncing instead of Git/Github. What are the pros/cons?

Dropbox is definitely the wrong tool for this—you’ll find yourself running in to all sorts of weird problems very quickly if you attempt to use it this way.

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