Aug 152012

M8SFB8: Google Drive

  1. M31R7G:Definition

    1. M8SH0M:Before 2012.04.24, was poorly called “Google Docs“, specifically ‘the filesharing component’ of the Google Docs application suite.

      1. M8T9LG: But “Google Docs”, suggests items (as “Docs”), not container (as “(computer )Drive”) and was also the name of the application suite (& still is) which was confusing.
    2. M8SJC4:one of the top, most popular, powerful, and inexpensive of service to share file/folders across the Internet.

      1. M8SLUK:Never had a service like this before? It’s quite possible you’re going love it so much you’ll wonder how you lived without it!
      2. M9N6T5: Exclusively uses cloud storage (indeed one of the leaders here) for top sociability.
      3. M9N6XO: Designed to be an organization’s or a even a person’s entire file system, though still is a bit pricey for general video storage however seemingly no major cloud storage provider fixes that.
      4. M9N8T6: See also the intro for individuals given access to content there.
    3. M8SGYG: /wiki /Google_Drive

    4. M8SH5D:Essentials to know especially when another user has given you individual access to content (on formerly

      1. M9OZWV: Most essential details are listed-first and/or in-bold.

      2. M8TI7E:Google Drive is a top service to share file/folders across the Internet

        1. M9N7T5: designed primarily for general PRIVATE files with general-business-caliber privacy, though it can be well-used for certain public files
        2. M9N6JF:like seemingly every Google Productrequires every participant have a Google Account (except for non-commenting public readers), which are free and very trustworthy as far as data storage.
        3. M9N7IN:Of these services, at least of the major ones, is one of the best as document authoring collaboration, perhaps 2nd only to Box.Net.
        4. M9N75Q:It’s an impressive service you likely will want to use for other applications as well, possibly for your entire filesystem: see Google Drive for more.
      3. M6QZNK: Every ((file, also often called “document”) and folder=content “item”) on Google Drive,

        1. M8SHIZ: has a unique permanent address (URL) as

          1. M8SHPL:Note this (correctly) doesn’t reveal anything about the file other than it’s stored here. Unlike many URLs, nothing more is revealed by it, not even it’s owner(s), audience, date, nor name.
        2. M8SHTG:is inaccessible to every person not presently given access to it, even if the person has/gets its URL.

        3. M8SIV4: initially have these settings (displayed & set via the “Share” tab) which, except as noted, only the file’s owner can change:

          1. M9LWWR:Visibility (just skim this on 1st read),quote:
            1. M9LWYK:(choose 1:)
              1. M9LWYP:[UNLESS CHANGED: ]Private: Only people explicitly granted permission can access. Sign-in required.
                1. M9OZLL:Use this setting as a full-upgrade from instead doing a private attachment in an email or other message.
              2. M9LWYT:Anyone with the link: [Publicly readable BUT tells search engines NOT to index it so ]Anyone who has the link can access. No sign-in required.[ But without sign-in, they can only read.] [Notes:]
                1. M9OZH1:Key Pros-thru-Cons:
                  1. M9OZE5:(PRO when this privacy desired): It is not findable via public web search engines, but otherwise:
                  2. M9OZCS:it suffers all the drawbacks of Public on the Web.
                2. M9OXPL:Use this setting as a basic-upgrade from instead doing a private attachment in a email or other message:
                  1. M9OY6P:it features all the convenience & familiarly of an attachment but saves space (no content stored in the message) and allows arbitrary updates to the content to be made even after the message has been sent; but
                  2. M9OY7C:it’s a 1st pass as it still suffers from most-all serous drawbacks of attachments, notably drawbacks M9OZCS.
              3. M9LWZ9:Public on the web: [Publicly readable AND tells search engines TO index it so ]Anyone on the Internet can find and access. No sign-in required.[ But without sign-in, they can only read.][Notes: ]
                1. M9OZ1W:Key pros-thru-cons:
                  1. M9OZ3D:(potential PRO) Extremely easy to find & get read access, including via any popular search engine.
                  2. M9OY8R:CON: there is no computer mechanism stopping someone with read access giving that access out to anyone else except via that copy-then-delete.
                  3. M9OYH5:CON: there is no log-in required to access so less likely:
                    1. M9OYHV:accesses will be tracked (so much less likely you’ll know read access is abused)
                    2. M9OYJQ:recipients will collaborate by editing & commenting-on the item.
                  4. M9OY9F:CON: it’s generally impossible to revoke read access from anyone except:
                    1. M9OYEC:because a link was handed out, and NOT an attachment or other copy, the owner could semi-painfully achieve revoking-access by copying the item, then tell everyone who should have access to instead use the copy, then delete the original.
            2. M9LX02:Note: Items with any visibility option can still be published to the web. Learn more
            3. M9LX08:Learn more about visibility
          2. M9LX2P:its list of who (which email addresses so Google Accounts) can explicitly can access the item contains just the owner UNLESS CHANGED.
            1. M9LXS5:On this list, the role, specifically access-level, each has must be one of: (is Owner|can Edit|can Comment|can View).
          3. M8SHU3:so the item is (accessible by=private to) just the owner UNLESS CHANGED. 
          4. M9LY7K:As far as who can control & give out access, the settings are either (quote with links added):
            1. M8SIRI:[UNLESS CHANGED: ]Editors are allowed to add people and change the permissions: Editors have full control to add and remove people and change the visibility of the item. Only the owner can delete the item.
            2. M9LXD4:Only the owner can change the permissions. Editors cannot add and remove people or change the visibility of the item.
        4. M8SM0Q:Especially on opening (an item), CLICK “Comments” so you can see & reply to the comments on it.

          1. M8SM1U:This is where to store discussion on the file (instead of say email) unless some better area has been designated.
          2. M8SM42:Comments are  (unfortunately) listed from most recent to oldest, so you need to read them backwards.
          3. M8SM8V:Comments can be nested 2 levels.
            1. M8SMAT:Top-level comments can only be changed by marking & unmarking “Resolved”.
            2. M8SMBJ:2nd-level comments can be edited and deleted, but avoid doing any loss of info, just corrections & additions.
        5. M6QYFT:TO ACCESS (any file or folder), simply do 4 steps

          1. M9L6OJ:4 steps in this order:
            1.  M9L6S0:insure you’re signed in with a Google account linked to an email address which you can receive to where the email address has been given access to the file, THEN
            2. M9L6SA:click-on/open the file’s URL, then
            3. M9LRKT:Know & respect & protect the privacy & copyright of the item, including the access role & level you’ve been given.
              1. M9LS17:Know thesedocuments are generally NOT your typical web page, but typically:
                1. M9LS6K:PRIVATE documents with limited access as to who can read, not just who can write, plus
                2. M9LS74:copyrighted documents and where downloading & copying & emailing & even printing the contents is NOT desired (and sometimes even prohibited by the service).
              2. M9LT4R:Only give/share the item as directed, especially:
                1. M9LSST:Do not give-out the contents of the item (as download, print, email, etc) except in the rare cases allowed.
              3. M9LS9J:Know who has what access. To see that,do all of the following in order:
                1. M9N5EO:click on the “Share” button.
                2. M9N5EY:also sometimes telling you Why & The History:
                  1. M9N5FG:check the item’s comments; ideally the access-rights history & why is given there per M8SMDZ. And then
                  2. M9N5FG:check the item’s contents. It ideally includes section(s) for  copyright & privacy notices.
            4. M9L6SN:click comments to see important notices, as comments are unfortunately initially closed.
          2. M8T8CG: So for instance, if access to a file is presently given to say, then to use that access: the Google account linked to must be signed in, then the file’s URL browsed, then once there click comments to see notices.
          3. M8T83J: To insure you have & are using a Google Account linked to the email address given access, use this form.
            1. M9OUYS: Especially if the email address isn’t yet linked to a Google Account, should it to a new Google Account (as  one created for it) or to your existing Google Accounts, and if so, which one? –see that if this is a question for you, as it may be at long-term.
          4. M8T8KR:Why sign-in-correctly first THEN open the document or folder? If the URL contains an (anchor=a “#” location with the document), as, a Google bug (documented ~2009) (will else used-to) strip off the anchor unless one is first signed in to the right Google Account, so without being signed in first, you will be positioned to the top of the item, not to the position intended.
        6. M8SMEY:TO CHANGE ACCESS (to the file or folder):

          1. M6QZOY:To give/share (the file or folder) to some person or group,
            1. M9LSHH: Grant access to, notably give out URLs to, the content as detailed here; and notably do NOT download nor email nor attach nor print nor otherwise-copy the item contents! (unless special exception is warranted & granted) as as this kills the benefits (including top-privacy & collaboration & being duplicate- and clutter-free) of this shared drive system plus is likely a violation of the content owner’s intents.
            2. M8TE2J:do the following steps in order:
              1. M9LV4N:Review the present the security settings on the item currently in effect.
                1. M9LVCR:See if the access you intend is currently in effect; if it is, you’re done.
                2. M9LV8S:See if you are authorized to give out the access you want (for example, here’s the #1 to check if you can give out access to individuals); if you are not authorized, post a comment on the item saying the access you want given out and asking for the privildidge to do so for someone else to do it.
              2. M9LVNX:Who do you want to give access to?
                1. M9M6G1:You want to build up an email list of that.
                  1. M9LVOM:For every individual person you can list,
                    1. M8TCLI: For each person, pick an email address for the person (now or to-be) linked to his/her Google account; if not known, just make sure you have the email address to just that person (for file security) and he/she can link it up themselves as they wish.
                  2. M9LVPS:For every where you will post-or-message where you can’t individually list the people,
                    1. M9LVQT:Make up an example email address, as a, to signify where it’s going to; for example, if a link was going in this point, it would be say, quote:
                      “On” <>
                  3. M9LVFM:Always give out access with discretion, notably only on a need-to-access basis (analogous to need-to-know basis) except if the item is already “Public on the web” and you only want to give out read access.
              3. M8TC8D: Click the file’s “Share” settings and there:
                1. M8TCX6:See who (which email addresses) already have access (including perhaps s/he already has access)
                2. M8TD04:Click “Add Message” then create the message:
                  1. M9M6SD:paste into the message the following text then edit it to fit (including your email list & explanation), quote:

                    M8TD25For: “Bob Johnson” <>, “Steve Harris” <>
                    I’m now granting edit-role on this as my attorney assistants representing me on this.
                    M8TD3K: See for how to use this & all our other Google Drive content.”

                  2. M9M6VE:Strongly avoid giving out a copy of the content (indeed doing so may be rightfully prohibited), but if you absolutely must (as the recipient system administrators block (which I was told was done by the US Army ~2009) and they aren’t allowed to use other computers & networks for the job), and including you are willing to take the serious consequences (see next), then: 
                    1. M9N441: note this in your message, by appending say quote:

                      M9N1QK: In addition, since the company system administrators block them from using plus from using other networks & computers for this job, I am now also attaching a copy of the file but only with the stipulations that:M9N1RS: (1)they will then maintain this with the same privacy & security (including I’m also including a copy of the present “Share” panel)
                      M9N1SE:(2)they will heed the comments (including I’m also including a copy of the present “Comments” panel)
                      M9N1SP:(3)they realize & accept all & any of this content can go out of date and they will not automatically be notified
                      M9N1T4:(4)they will email me back their comments & edits (either as (a diff or some other language describing what to change) else as a new version) which then I will promptly manually:
                      M9N1TG:(4a) merge back into this source copy (which, especially if they send a new version after there have been other edits, will take a 3-way merge) then
                      M9N1TT: (4b) repeat this whole process do deliver again to them the latest version.
                      M9N1XK: (5)they will file a complaint against those who are necessitating these extra steps that they’re creating a significant hindrance to productivity, security, and the appearance of cooperation;  please read & surrounding context.

                    2.  M9N458:Ideally post a comment on this page explaining why you will-else-did have to make this exception.
                      1. M9N46S: Very helpful (as the bulk of it) to simply quote all the text you wrote for this message with censoring as needed.
                      2. M9N4A7: This significantly helps improve this procedure to better avoid-else-deal with this ugly exception.
                3.  M8TDDF:From the message, copy the email address(es) you gave at M8TD25 into the “Add People” field.
                4. M8TE5O:Copy all the text you wrote for the message.
                5.  M8TDT9:If you plan to notify them later
                  1. M8TGKJ:as is commonly done as often one wants to notify 1 or more persons as a group and via one’s own custom email.
                    1. M8TGLC:including note the auto-email Drive offers to send, one can’t select the “From” email address that comes from and (rather I recall it’s always set to just one of the Google Account’s email addresses, probably the @gmail, which is a privacy risk).
                  2. M8TGPY:simply do both:
                    1. M8TE02:Uncheck “Notify people via email” but
                    2. M8TCJ1:Please include all you would have sent now in that later message.
                6. M8TFY0:Leave “Send a copy to myself” unchecked as it should only cause clutter as seemingly better notice is accomplished by comments on the file.
                7. M8TE6W:Click “Share & save”.
              4. M8TCAQ:Click “Comments” and post a top-level comment of just the text you copied (at M8TE5O), to achieve M8SMDZ.
          2. M8SIJ2:To immediately revoke access from the item,
            1. M8TFEY:  Do the following in order:
              1. M9N2AK: Were copies of any of the content given out by anyone as strongly discouraged, or just URLs given out?
                1. M9N8KU: If “just URLs”, you’re fine: proceed to the next step.
                2. M9N8LX:But if any copies given out, revoking access is likely a dream unless you can somehow track down all those copies and erase them or else insure they’re never used.  Indeed with the web and especially BitTorrent, one copy could be spread everywhere anonymously. So your best hope is damage control from the copies you won’t be able to get back (which typically could be all of them) plus hoping/getting those with the copies will loose interest in them by say attracting them to need instead the newer versions. It’s in general an unsolved problem; best wishes.
              2. M8TFC6:  Alert/warn that you will-do/have-done this in an appropriate comment (to achieve M8SMDZ  plus Before potential negative L2PGK2) by:
                1. M8TFG2:Find the top-level comment where access was granted, else create a comment saying say
                  “For: “Bob Johnson” <>, “Steve Harris” <>
                  I see they now have edit-role on this for reasons I don’t know; note with this role the person currently can also give out access to others so please use that ability discretion.”.
                2. M8TFL4:Post reply to this comment saying say “In 3 hours I’m removing all access here since I don’t know why it was granted..”
              3. M8TFP8:Click it’s “Share” settings and make the change you described (at M8TFL4).
          3. M8SMDZ:Whenever you change (add or remove) top-level access, also then note what you did in an appropriate-level comment ideally also explaining why.
            1. M8TEJZ:This allows all participants to know of the change in who’s participating & how, and to there comment on it if they wish.
            2. M8SMJA:Feature request: Google, please make such a record automatic.
        7. TM9KX5L: ON WHO MADE/CHANGED IT? (a version or a comment) -user identity

          1. M9KXY0:Other’s exact Google Account (Google Account # nor profile URL) is never directly given out BUT Google Drive gives out enough info so that anyone allowed to view the item, and definitely every one explicitly given access to it, can, with a little bit of knowledge, easily & quickly find the exact underlying Google Account (including # and web profile and primary email address so also picture & name) of most everyone explicitly given access to to the item:
            1. M9ORT7:  Specifically
              1. M9ORWW: anyone not explicitly given access but able to view per the visiblity options can get the underlying Google account picture & name of anyone who has commented and (from the revision history) possibly anyone who has edited the item.
                1. M9OS2Y:And if the name is unique enough and their Google profile is searchable, the can find that person’s Google profile URL so also account #.
              2. M9OS5K:anyone explicitly given access can do all thatplus see the underlying Google accounts of everyone explicitly given access, including the picture,  name, & typically all of their primary email address
                1. M9OSG7: The email address is typically given out in full, can be truncated due to lenght but this typically enough to know or guess
                2. M9OSAN:  and entering the person’s email address into then gives the Google Account URL which then gives the Google Account # (as 1st done M9KZ6T).
            2. M9OSIH:This is a privacy failing in some cases TBA.
            3. M9L9EV:Google Drive should instead:
              1. M9L9FS:Besides every user reference, make it a link the account’s Google profile if the reader could fairly easily get this info from what has already given out to them.
              2. M9OT7Z:Keep as the list of those explicitly given access the original list of those given access.
              3. M9OT8D:One of the following:
                1. M9L9H6:Probably NOT reveal any user’s full email address OR
                2. M9OSWA:  Remove from & similar it’s mapping from the email address to the Google profile URL if that email address is NOT the primary for that Google account.
          2. M9KX63:Next to every comment is revealed portions of the underlying Google Account which created it: “only” the main picture (if any) plus first & last name as currently set.
            1. M9OTG0: This can be seen by everyone allowed to view the item.
          3. M9KXC7:Next to each revision is revealed portions of Google Account created it: only its (Nickname else-if-empty username-of-the-primary-email-address) as currently set.
            1. M9OTH3:This can be seen by everyone allowed to view the item except that if the person isn’t signed-in to a Google Account on the explicit accessors list, the nickname appears as “unknown” (a mistake: should be “censored” if that’s the intent here).
          4. M9KZNZ: For every file & folder, the “Share” panel
            1. .
            2. M9OTN8:lists every account which explicitly has access to it by revealing only the account’s:
              1. M9KXZS:the main picture of the account else a generic picture holder.
              2. M9KY07:the First & Last Name as currently set on on the account, or none if no account exists (most likely) or if these fields are blank.
                1. M9L4EM:Note if no name is displayed, then chances are there’s no Google Account with chances are never has that email address used to access this nor any Google Drive item.
              3. M9KY0P:the email address (given access or possibly the account’s primary email address if different) truncated to the right in order to fit.
              4. M9KZNA:see also the explicit access list defaults & values.
          5. M9OWXS:  How many Google Accounts do you need to manage the various email addresses for you, and which to link to what?
            1. M9OV4M: This is a big & often-not-easy privacy question which, due to the way Google Drive handles participant privacy, I don’t have a good universal answer; but I can help spell out the problem:
              1. M9OV6D:For sending email (notably for a person having various email addresses various email addresses), the answer is easy: just use one (lifelong free) email account (so one inbox) to send & receive from any & all your email addresses without revealing any of your other email addresses.  That way you maintain full privacy between your identities (as at work, home, & play) yet still have one simple (free lifelong) email inbox to check; you can even prioritize across your identities.
                1. M9OVCG:All SMTP email clients started out with this ability, though later additional reasonable precausions have been added notably to prevent spamming. Still Gmail has been able to do it since 2009.
              2. M9OVJQ: But now you are understandably sick of the drawbacks of sending email attachments, so instead want to send links and share files & files & folders (instead of copying them), as every of the growing number of service to share file/folders across the Internet would strongly recommend you do (indeed the leading argument for using these services: get away from email attachments).
              3. M9OVFE:For file & folder sharing on Google Drive, however, using a single account seems not reasonable as Google Drive exposes your underlying Google Account to virtually everyone you share with and (who shares to you -yes, even if you don’t read the item but have linked that email address to your Google Account)!
                1. M9OWFH:Yes, legally & fairly-easily you can create multiple Google Accounts, as one for each identity or perhaps for every few identities, but then you seemingly have the problem of multiple email inboxes to check, plus multiple calendars to check, and multiple contacts to sync & search, multiple SMS & voicemail inboxes to check (due to Google Voice), multiple Drives to search, etc.
                  1. M9OWN5:The only way to solve that efficiently is via identity/account dynamic amalgamation/merging services, but none seem complete today.
                    1. M9OWPE: Android features one which dynamically merges email & contacts & calendar entries of potentially every account the Android device is signed in to, but it doesn’t handle multiple phone #s (so multiple SMS & voice boxes) despite maker Google providing Google Voice and a Google Voice client, nor (I think) merging of multiple Drive documents via Google’s Drive client; these can manually be switched between accounts (1 at a time) but at some trouble and without merging.
                    2. M9OWU2: Chrome’s Users feature at least allows one to be easily simultaneously logged into multiple Google Accounts (and other web accounts) (it’s very essential; I use it continuously) but one still must check & search every one of these various inboxes & sources.
                    3. M9OXF3:I’ve heard of third-party services & software to do this, such as the web portal which I just saw yesterday advertised on CNN, but none of it that I’ve seen so far looks comprehensive.
          6. M9L20TSee also data privacy of Google Accounts in general.
  2. M31REF:Comparison to alternates, from most to least similar:

    1. M8SJA1:See comparison to other service to share file/folders across the Internet, which links to dozens.

    2. M31V8H:No other similar known

  3. M31R7R:Some Additional document history, in order:

    1. M8SGM4:I create this
      1. M3KNZ6:Why?  Before, instead was:
        1. M8SGNW:Had put these instructions in this Google Doc PDF in comments beginning “9:29 AM Jul 6 \ M6P7JY:”
        2. M3KOSW:reached my limit when
          1. M8SGSW:Had to repeat these instructions for this the next doc sharing
      2. M3KNXM:by:
        1. M37OOV:on (the most similar recent one= latest version M8GCVZ, do Copy to a new draft .
        2. M37OP0:then there: give this a new ID & updated content to fit.
    2. M8SMKL:Reasonably complete, so 1st publish.
    3. M8TB86:Notable updates for clarity and some additions; publish.
    4. M8TBCI:Addded “including quotes”.
    5. M8TG3V:M8SMEY:added complete instructions (quite a bit more) to all sup-parts to better assure part M8SMDZ
    6. M8TGX1:M8TGLC:added.
    7. M8TIDM:M6QYFT:added “click comments to see notices“; M8TI7E: added.
    8. M9L97A:M9KX5L:added, incomplete as will refer to a new post copied from here but first:
    9. M9L995:Fixed span-corruption in this section where editor wrongly propagates q(style=”font-size: 85%; line-height: 125%;”)
    10. M9N7XM:M9LWWR & M9LX2P & M9LY7K & M9LRKT & M9LSHH & M9LV4N & M9LVNX & M9M6VE: added & mostly finished with these.
    11. M9N7YO:Should be usable though haven’t checked all links.
    12. M9N8QJ:M9N2AK: completed.
    13. M9OXKJ:M8SH5D: extended including (TM9KX5L: extending, not finished but including (M9KXY0: notably extended & extending; M9OWXS: added); M9LWWR: added; M9OZWV: added).
    14. MEL88K:added to category  service to share file/folders across the Internet LGUBTX since “Google Drive M8SLXW” was going to instead have its parent be “Google product LG5I7A”; pst2012.12.05wed1837.
    15. M8GCVZ:Todos roughly in order:

  19 Responses to “Google Drive”

  1. In-depth user tricks with Google Drive & Docs I find here .

  2. Google Drive/Docs URL for a file to get/output its raw data, not put it in a viewer/editor
    *This is apparently not documented.
    *Useful for say
    **Displaying an HTML file’s output, not its code, without having to download it then open it.
    **Using Google Drive to store CSS code in use, as was done here but had disappointing performance
    *(=M9NMGJ​(Samples to test with:
    *(=M9NIRC​(Example: this page saved via Chrome to HTML only M9NIRC(_HTML_Chrome).html which is marked “Anyone with link can view”)​M9NIRC=)
    *(=M9NID3​(Example: saved in Chrome with HTML-only to M9NID3(_HTML_Chrome).html but the formatting in that is so complex it doesn’t display.)​M9NID3=)

  3. MV3L33:  ALERT: Google Drive auto-deleting all versions of a file over 30 days old, unless you manually stop it for each version

    1. MV3L4D:  Starting a few days ago (when I noticed) to a few months ago (about when I last checked)
    2. MV3L56:  per their longstanding policy of ” We’ll automatically delete old versions after 30 days or 100 revisions” [whichever comes first]  but before they hadn’t been enforcing at least the “30 days”.
    3. MV3LFD:  This causes problems (as important data loss!) if one is counting on old versions
      1. MV3LGY:  especially any storage which is a routine archive
        1. MV3LH4:  As our Google Drive version of  JIT_archive_LJNZCF (like
        2. MV3LNI:  versioning of source code in Google Drive that I’ve been doing
        3. MV3LO4:  Likely more cases including applying to me & us
    4. MV3NWR:  Fortunately for every content item tagged with 1 of our ID/codes, at the least the creation date & user of that content will be preserved even if (as here) all substantial prior versions are lost.