AccessPlusPython is a Python module containing a simple application for sharing directories with RISC OS machines running Acorn Access peer-to-peer file sharing software.
File sharing under RISC OS is fairly well supported by a number of clients and servers for various protocols. Many of these are used on mixed machine networks where interoperability between different operating systems requires that a commonly supported protocol is used. However, on networks which have traditionally been composed of Acorn computers using the ShareFS filing system and Access+ sharing application, the introduction of workstations running other operating systems typically requires a change to the methods used to share files.
This package aims to ensure that a degree of uniformity remains by giving RISC OS machines, running Access "on top of" an Internet Protocol stack, access to files residing on workstations able to execute threaded Python applications.
The access module
This module currently provides all the functionality of the AccessPlusPython package. It is a snapshot of an experimental attempt to present the contents of directories on a Linux workstation to an Acorn client machine, running the Access peer-to-peer sharing system on top of an Internet Protocol stack. Due to the limited testing environment available, a number of assumptions may have been made in its development which may cause it to fail on any workstation other than the one on which it was developed. Caution should be exercised in running the application; in particular, you should not use it unless:
· You trust your fellow users on your local network.
· You are on a secure network, separated from public networks by a firewall, where broadcasts to the local network are contained and on which your current Access peers are safe from exploits by remote users.
The Access protocol does not appear to be tremendously secure. If you are running it on top of the IP stack then you may be vulnerable to various exploits by people who can send data to the relevant open ports on your computers.
· You have informed other network users that you are running the application, particularly those using the Access sharing protocol, and have explained any possible consequences that failure may bring.
Note that this software, when malfunctioning, may cause its RISC OS peers to hang or crash. File transfers, in particular, can be unreliable when certain buffer sizes are used.
· You have a backup strategy in place and have safeguarded your valuable files.