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S3 "folders" in console UI


I get the whole non-hierarchical object storage concept, I just wonder if I'm missing something or if "folders" that aren't really folders are handled inconsistently in the web console:

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So "folders" can be created and they can also be uploaded, but they can't be (recursively) downloaded. Is that supposed to be like this? I know I can just use the cli for that, but I'm thinking about users who feel more comfortable with a GUI... any idea what's going on here?



2 Answers
Accepted Answer


You are right, S3 is a flat structure and there is no "folders". "Folders" actually just an empty object (0 bytes) just to keep a path (key) after all files with this path were deleted. You are able to upload "folders" because you are actually uploading many files with a specific key (path), but you couldn't download folder because this is not a real object, it is just a bunch of files with a same key (path). In other words to download "folder" you need to initiate download of many object as separate calls, CLI is doing it for you, but browser couldn't do that,

answered 2 months ago

Thanks for your reply, Aleksandr. Like I said, I do understand that S3 is supposed to be a flat object storage space.

What I don't get is why AWS would design it like that, then re-introduce the concept of folders by treating object names with a '/' at the end differently, and then leave out half of it by not implementing downloads in some way that is at least somewhat intuitive. For example, create an archive of files with the 'folder' prefix and offer that as a download if someone marks a 'folder' and clicks the download button.

The way it currently works makes it impossible to use the S3 console as a means for sharing files, because people will start creating and uploading folders that others then can't download - inevitable chaos :(



answered 2 months ago

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