Josh Kayani

Josh Kayani


Hey, I'm Josh Kayani, a student and fledgling software developer. Here, I rant and rave about tech and other topics.


Google Drive as a collaboration tool



Tags: Development

Smart Most developers use some sort of version control, either through full-blown corporate systems, or the super amazing tool Git, paired with the equally amazing online repository system, Github. Being a novice developer, I have yet to start out with either of the two technologies; while I plan on doing so soon, I wanted to share my experiences with using Google Drive as a collaboration and version control system, especially for code projects.

Google Drive has come a long way since it’s first incarnation as Google Docs. There’s an amazing built-in revisions tool, one that I use nearly all the time, that can be acccessed from a simple right-click on a selected folder. In it, you can compare numerous revisions (just like you’d expect), and easily restore older versions of a document or file. It’s a lot simpler than Github, and achieves what I think to be the primary purpose: simple, quick, version control.

Google Drive is very easy for novice devs, or even non-devs to use, which makes it an ideal choice for any form of collaboration. Drive is also highly extendable with apps, so an app like Butt 9 can come in very handy when a quick fix is needed for a particular piece of code.

Drive can also be used to host your files on a server, so if you have a website you want to test, you can use Google Drive for that too! All you have to is navigate to a URL formatted like so: http://googledrive.com/host/[FOLDER_ID_HERE]

The folder ID can be found in the Drive web app by navigating to the folder, and then taking the alpha-numeric string that comes after #folder in the URL.

You can even beautify the URL through services like gdriv.es, so you’ll end up with a much easier to remember URL to access your site. There are also ways to link up files hosted on Drive to a custom domain name if you have one, making the service all the more plausible for actual use. Drive is extremely handy for initial development, and even for hosting small-scale sites.

There’s much more about Google Drive I’ve yet to discuss, but most of those features are worth discovering for yourself rather than talking about them in a blog post. Try it out, and see if it works for you business/school/whatever.