The idea of SparkleShare sprouted at the GNOME Usability Hackfest 2010 in London, where a couple of designers came to the conclusion that they didn't have a good Open Source collaboration tool to share their work (for more background, read ā€œThe one where the designers ask for a ponyā€).

They didn't like how the good collaboration tools were proprietary, and that using them meant having to give up privacy, control and other rights. What they needed was something that they could run and control themselves, without having to depend on other companies.

I decided to start the SparkleShare project. SparkleShare is written in C# and runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows. I did most of the design and coding on it and learnt a lot about software development in the process. Though the project wouldn't be possible without the dozens of contributors who submitted even the smallest patch. Special thanks go to Jakub and Lapo for work on the lovely application icon.

SparkleShare Setup

The goals were to make a file sharing tool that just works, reducing the need for configuration and maintenance, use existing infrastructure where possible, and provide a simple and helpful application that gets out of your way.

SparkleShare creates a special folder on your computer. You can add remotely hosted folders (or "projects") to this folder. These projects will be automatically kept in sync with both the host and all of your peers when someone adds, removes, or edits a file.

SparkleShare Setup

SparkleShare uses the version control system Git under the hood, so setting up a host yourself is relatively easy (often you'll be able to use infrastructure already set up for this purpose). Using your own host gives you more privacy and control, as well as lots of cheap storage space and higher transfer speeds.

  1. Hak5: Setup Your Own Private Cloud With SparkleShare
  2. Network World: Time to drop Dropbox: Sparkleshare reaches version 1.0
  3. H Online: Collaborative synchronisation service SparkleShare hits 1.0
  4. LWN: Beta-testing SparkleShare
  5. SparkleShare: Freie Dropbox-Alternative zum einfachen Dateitausch