Cloud integration in iRhino 3D

(Dan Belcher) #1

Continuing the discussion from Some Observations, Suggestions & Questions:

iRhino 3D users: I have a question about Cloud integration in iRhino 3D (see below).

Before that: some background…

The Dropbox and GoogleDrive integration in iRhino 3D was written during the early early days of iOS…way back when there weren’t even Google apps and Dropbox apps and Box apps and iCloud Drive…you get the idea. We implemented these features using the tools available at the time… and they “sort of” work. But the world has moved forward and things have changed (what’s new?)

For example: we are using what is called the Dropbox “Classic” API, which uses http/REST to get to files. Dropbox now has what is called the Dropbox “Sync” API, which has far deeper integration, but also presumes a lot more about what you want to do with the files you are “sync”-ing with. iCloud is another good example. iCloud Drive would be very difficult to integrate in iRhino 3D with the current “browse-for-files-add-update-on-demand” paradigm.

Additionally, there are now very good iOS apps for GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Box, and iCloud drive that work well with iRhino 3d as it stands (some refinement might be needed, but these seem to do the trick).

It seems time to move to the newer, more “sync”-ish tools available for Dropbox, Box, GoogleDrive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, etc. In fact, I think it is overdue (I’m spending too much time chasing down bugs using old, deprecated APIs provided by these services). This would be a major change to how files are managed in iRhino 3D. You would now likely have folders in iRhino 3D for each of the cloud services and these would show all the 3dm files you current are syncing…no more “Download again” from the file-info screen…whenever these files changed “in the cloud” they would update in iRhino 3D, etc.

Ok, now my question: How valuable is keeping the current (old) behavior where you add a model from a list of files and update on-demand?

Keeping the old behavior and adding the new would be very complicated and potentially confusing. Given that iRhino 3D gets less attention than it deserves, I would like to spend more of our time adding features like view-styles, curves, and annotation tools, and less time maintaining cloud-service integration.

Some Observations, Suggestions & Questions

I personally would rather have the latest version sync for me. iRhino is just an extension of my desktop version. Using the new way just makes more sense to me. iRhino should in fact reflect my most current changes and file additions. Having to manually update by re-downloading can be a pain, especially when a lot files are loaded. Given the choice, I prefer the new way. My laptop and desktop files are always in sync… the iPad should be no different. I can’t really see how the aspects of the current behavior is in any way better than the new Sync API.

Supporting an older technology that would slow down development seems counterproductive. I say let the new Drop box API do what it does best and focus your efforts on features and improvements.

(Dan Belcher) #3

Thanks for weighing in.

I can’t either. I just don’t want to presume too much about how people use it. But I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

Is there anyone out there who would prefer the old behavior?


Hi Dan,

Upgrading the app to include “sync” API seems like it would be useful in the future when annotations are introduced. iRhino3D will require write capabilities for this to work.
Perhaps include a few other features such as saving a new named view (or changing the default view/layer for that matter—most of my files open with the model hidden from the camera), or adding folders (see how Pages makes use of this).

On a side note, would this enable a sort of ‘live update’ feed to iRhino3D if the cloud-based file is simultaneously being viewed on iRhino3D and edited on Rhinoceros?



Alike numerous other resources that had existed prior to the introduction, adoption & eventual reliance with Cloud exchanges, iRhino 3D is still ‘at the front of the pack’. Similar to other ‘Classic’ systems that adapt to future-planning with Cloud technologies in mind, it’s always worth focussing back to the core elements that helped Rhino initially stand out. Utilising parallel techniques to those used by ArchiCAD, Nemetschek &BIM-cloud.

(Dan Belcher) #6

Agreed. This is the route that I was thinking of going. With the added challenge of supporting different Cloud services, but I think we’re on the same page (pun intended).

I believe this may be possible with some of the Cloud storage APIs (Dropbox Sync and Box), but I need to investigate this more. It is a very good idea…but a little further down the road.