Blog Post

An FTP Application to Break The Mold?

Last week I wrote about my failure to understand why everyone and their dog seems to be churning out FTP and Text Editor applications. The discussion that was generated in the comments was a good one, and many good points were brought to my attention that I hadn’t considered previously. The point that seemed most common was that developers feel they can do it better and thus the glut of similar apps we have to choose from. (Definitely not a bad position for the consumer to be in!)

But I did get one email from a developer, explaining his position on the topic. Brian Amerige is the developer of an as-yet unreleased FTP application named Flow. He feels that current FTP and Text Editors (as they tend to go hand in hand) just don’t get it right and so he’s set out to solve that problem. The 2 interesting features Brian highlights (check out the screencasts) are the ability to remotely edit files directly on the remote host (seen it done), and the especially cool one – concurrent uploading of files. The latter taking full advantage of high-speed broadband connections and their multiple streaming capabilities.

From the little I’ve seen, and what I’ve read, it sounds like an interesting take on the FTP market. If you’re interested in checking out Flow for yourself, Brian has just posted the Private Beta details to his webpage. Go sign up and if you’re one of the lucky ones chosen to test-drive this workflow-altering FTP client you can decide for yourself!

15 Responses to “An FTP Application to Break The Mold?”

  1. Well I watched the movies and I have to say I don’t see anything all that different from a single pane Transmit window. And nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary, unless you’re not showing it or descrbing it. How would this change my workflow from Transmit?

    Create an FTP client that sits in your finder as a distinctly colored OS X window and behaves like a finder window that you can drag and drop to for downloading/uploading/editing with animated icons to show upload/download status and shows up in your open/save dialog boxes in any application.

    That will be an application thats workflow-altering.

  2. @ John

    That’s why we’re moving toward expanding the private beta. We announced Flow way early — in February, and we had only started working on it in October of the previous year. Trust me, we’re aware that in the eyes of public, we should be shipping, but in terms of the actual development cycle, we’re perfectly on track. We own up to that mistake.

  3. Flow is the definition of vaporware. The developer is constantly talking the talk, but has produced *nothing.* Yet writers still publish articles like this claiming it to be revolutionary. Could we save our praise until it actually ships?

    Also, with all this talk about Panic apps I feel I should mention Coda too. It does server side editing and integrates FTP and text editing in a sweet package that is actually shipping.

  4. I’m currently using Transmit but if you think that its UI couldn’t be easier you’re trapped in a limited perspective of what a UI can/should be. I hope Brian does get it right…I’m amazed that nobody else has.

  5. I’m not sure how much easier Transmit’s user interface could be. It’s extremely powerful, has a load of features and works spectacularly.

    That being said, more competition is always good for the consumer, so I’ll definitely check it out when it’s available.

  6. @ Marc

    I’m not sure it was properly explained, but Flow’s featurepoint isn’t “having lots of connections.”

    It’s being the first client that was actually designed from the ground up for what people use it for. It’s all about User interface and User Experience, areas things like Transmit aren’t impressing people with. If Transmit works for you, terrific. But the industry is screaming for a client that actually focuses on these things, and until now, their needs have not been met.

  7. Panic’s Transmit does:

    FTP with implicit SSL
    FTP with TLS/SSL

    Finds servers via bonjour. Also works with iDisk (.Mac).

    I don’t get where you guys are living, surely not earth?! I’m a switcher for only a year and a half and I found Transmit in my first month.

  8. I have been using Fetch with TextWrangler for a while now. Great for editing config/source files on other systems. Fetch isn’t free but TextWrangler is.

  9. When are developers going to produce sftp clients, or build sftp support into their clients? Much of the world of file transfers is going to an encrypted model, and ftps (SSL FTP) just doesn’t seem to be well supported, especially when, as an administrator, I can support one daemon (ssh) which supports both secure shell login as well as encrypted file transfers.

    SFTP is currently used with software like rsync, which does remote backups on *nix operating systems, including Mac OS X. It is now supported in Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 (although they call it ftps, sftp works like a champ).
    Just an FYI, if you are looking for a GUI sftp/scp client, try Fugu. You can download it at I’ve been using it for a couple years, but it would appear it hasn’t been actively developed since around July of 2006.