1971 – A time before some of us were even born (well me anyway!) in April of this year the first FTP standard RFC 114 was published, over the coming months revisions were publish in RFC 192 and RFC 265 then later RFC 354, many more RFC’s would be published over the year following that initial publication and it wasn’t until June 1980 that the modern FTP was published, naturally there were more RFC’s following that to bring us to what is available today.
38 years on from that original publication of the standard and some companies that are moving large quantities of data between servers are still using FTP as the protocol of choice… are they crazy? Let’s face it FTP is cheap, it has to be since it has been around for so long, way before desktop computers had even entered our imagination, but having a cheap service doesn’t necessarily mean that the solution is cheap for the business.
FTP as we know it has many flaws when we look at it in pre-media, for me the main flaw was always organization, followed closely by file support, looking at just these two items in a little more detail we can see that when you log onto a standard FTP account (not even in pre-media, but try any public FTP) you will see no more than a file system, therefore the taxonomy of the storage needs to be organized extremely well for you to find what you are looking for, but wait we have another problem, to include any type of information about the files you will need to store them in folder upon folder due to the limitation of file name length…. Big down point.
Then if that wasn’t bad enough, if you are in pre-media and exchanging Apple Mac files, you need to compress them all first, yes even today still with OSX certain file types must be compressed to retain their resource forks, not so much the case when you are using OpenType fonts, but let’s face it, how many companies have forked out the cash to upgrade their font libraries to OpenType, and how do you control what’s coming in from others…. you can’t! Oh I hear you say, you under the font licenses you shouldn’t be sending fonts….! Yes we know, show me one company that actually adheres to the out dated font licensing laws, and show me one way that the industry bodies can monitor and enforce those laws! I thought not, so that practise will carry on forever!