Announcing: Google Docs Mass Uploader!

I’ve begun a much needed overhaul of this blog. A lot of work was needed behind the scenes to update wordpress and to fix my link posts. I still have some technical issues to iron out and minor projects I want to get to, but I did squeeze in a major project I’ve really been looking forward to… I’ve finally launched the edtechlife.com products page.

The most exciting feature is the new Google Docs Mass Uploader. This cross-platform Java application has one purpose: to upload multiple documents at once to Google Docs. The interface allows users to authenticate to their Google Docs account, and then drag and drop multiple documents (or folders full of documents) for upload. The application also provides feedback on upload progress. I’ve wanted an application like this (on my Mac) for some time, and I hope that this might enhance others’ use of Google Docs as well. Particularly in the case of educators, students, and learners of all ages, I hope that having the ability to upload multiple documents at once might facilitate even greater collaboration. To learn more, visit the products page and try it out!

SearchLearnShare.com, a metasearch tool I’ve blogged about before (here and here), is also featured on the products page. Phase 2 is expected to be complete next week. I’ll make another announcement here when it is. In the meantime, head on over to the products page and try out phase 1!

Both these products are currently in beta and are offered to everyone for free. I hope you’ll consider a $5.00 donation to help support the development of these tools. I would also be grateful for any feedback you can offer regarding your experience with these products. Please use the comments below (or the form on the products page) to share your thoughts, requests, and suggestions.

5 Responses to “Announcing: Google Docs Mass Uploader!”

  1. My Recent Ramblings from Twitter | so damn deep Says:

    [...] @MarkWagner Google Docs Mass Uploader! http://edtechlife.com/?p=2124 [...]

  2. Chris Craft Says:

    Hi Mark…

    What license are these being released under? I know your blog is CC BY SA but if the code you used is not entirely original (don’t know if it is or not) then you might be bound to release it under GPL or something.

    Just wondering..

    Chris

  3. Mark Wagner, Ph.D. Says:

    Hey, Chris. I never replied to this… but the code is all original (and available for download in the case of the Google Docs Mass Uploader), so I suppose it’s being released under the same terms as my blog for now. :)

    If any of these ideas matures into a product that may change, but we’ll see. If I can monetize an idea and keep it open, that’d be ideal.

    -Mark

  4. Mark Wagner Says:

    I’ve uploaded Chris’ response here… and replied to it below…

    On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 4:56 AM, Chris Craft wrote:

    Hi Mark,

    I question whether you can change the license. If you release it under CC BY SA (which is what your blog is) then I can take your code, and use it as I see fit as long as I attribute you.

    You didn’t specify a NC license, which you could not, since you are thinking of monetizing it in the future (or at least want to keep that option open).

    You responded by email and not by return comment, so I will avoid blogging this, but I’d love to spark some discussion here.

    I think under the purposes of the CC BY SA you can’t just decide to copyright it and prevent further use since you’d be using your own code, already released under a CC license.

    I could be way off base here, but I don’t know.

    Great product, and good code, by the way. I just wondered why a license was not specified in the code, per se, as I am used to seeing that familiar GPL.txt file in most code, and so on.

    Thanks for the discussion..

    Chris

    From: Mark Wagner
    Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 10:42 PM
    Subject: Re: [Educational Technology and Life] Comment: “Announcing: Google Docs Mass Uploader!”
    To: Chris Craft

    Hey, Chris. Figured I better crack off a quick reply before this lingers too long in the starred email list…

    As I understand it, I still legally hold the copyright even if I release something under a CC license. A CC license doesn’t supplant copyright law – in fact, it works because of copyright law. In essence, I’m preemptively giving permission for others to use it under certain conditions. So I don’t think there’d be any problem with withdrawing that permission at a certain point and for any use in the future. I understand there would be some grey area where others might’ve already done something with the code while I had given permission to use it, and I have no problem with that as long as they adhere to the license (the terms of my preemptive permission). And here, I presume I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in court if I did try to stop it. But regardless, it doesn’t stop me from revoking the permission for others in the future. Of course, if someone made something new from something that had used the code before I made the change it could “live on” that way. But I don’t think we’re talking about something with much chance of happening (or much signifcance) at that point… and if it did happen, I’d be happy about the innovation. :)

    In any case, for the most part this won’t be an issue, as I would only monetize future versions of the tools, and there’d be no problem there. These are really just prototypes meant to generate feedback – and meant as a learning process.

    And ultimately, I was sloppy about explicitly stating a license (so I guess my blog license applies)… so that’s another lesson learned.

    Oh, and I also replied in the comments the first time… I just usually send an email too so the commenter knows I’ve replied. So feel free to blog this. I’ll post this exchange in the comments, too.

    -Mark

  5. Mark Wagner, Ph.D. Says:

    And one more time, here’s a final exchange between Chris and I:

    On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM, Chris Craft wrote:

    Hi Mark,

    Turns out you were right. I did some reading, and it seems that CC is designed to be a license allowing folks to use the work. Although, CC specifically states it should not be used for software.

    Now, you cannot revoke the license. (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_if_I_change_my_mind.3F)

    So if I download your software today, you can’t change how I use it because I downloaded it under that license.

    I suppose it is grey, especially given the CC foundation’s suggestion to use free software licensing.

    Thanks for engaging.

    Chris

    From: Mark Wagner
    Date: Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 11:16 AM
    Subject: Re: [Educational Technology and Life] Comment: “Announcing: Google Docs Mass Uploader!”
    To: Chris Craft

    Thanks, Chris. This bit from the FAQ was more or less what I was trying to get at earlier: “You can stop distributing your work under a Creative Commons license at any time you wish; but this will not withdraw any copies of your work that already exist under a Creative Commons license from circulation.” I didn’t realize it wasn’t suggested for software though… weird. I suppose that’s what the GPL if for, after all. In any case, I know to be more careful with it next time. Thank you for the discussion, too.

    -Mark

    PS. I’ll post this in the comment thread, too, so anyone who stumbles on it has the same sore of closure – and your link to the FAQ.