doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Whatever happened to …


This is something that I haven’t thought about for a long time. It came to the forefront of my brain this week when I read a couple of stories like this:

Mozilla set to remove FTP support from Firefox

It was a long time ago when this was a daily routine for me. I was daily updating a personal work website. People would count on it regularly. In the beginning, the website was actually created with a text editor. I’d work on whatever I was doing, test it locally in a browser to make sure that it looked OK and then upload it to the server. I used an FTP (File Transfer Protocol client to do the deed.) Depending upon the computer I was using, I’d either use WS_FTP, Fetch, FileZilla, or just directly in the browser I was using at the time. If I recall correctly, it would have been Netscape.

WS_FTP, in fact, was so powerful, I used it as a file explorer on my Windows computer since it had more power and functionality for me than the Windows Explorer utility.

Later, when the Ministry of Education licensed Dreamweaver for the province,the FTP functionality was built right in. It was important that each of our schools had a regularly updated web presence and so I had our webserver supervisor create a login/password for every one of our school and then a barrage of workshops followed. In particular, our CIESC (Computers in Education School Contacts) made amazing websites that were unique to each school. No templates here.

How about you for a Sunday web publishing insight…

  • Do the applications, WS_FTP, Fetch, or FileZilla ring a bell with you? How?
  • Did you use another application?
  • Do you have an FTP client currently installed on your computer?
  • Bonus geek points if you can remember the default port for FTP. (No Googling…)
  • These days, it’s seldom that you see school websites that are unique. Typically, they’ve been replaced by a template so that all schools look the same.
  • Many people use a hosted system for a web presence. What’s your choice and why? (WordPress, Blogger, Google Sites, …)

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to know your thoughts.

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8 responses to “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Didn’t FTP use 2 ports – one for signal one for data? 22 and 23?????? Resisting urge to look in /etc/services

    Don’t forget to “set file type binary”


  2. Haha! I have 100% no idea what you’re talking about!


  3. That’s deep, Mike. I just recall it using 21. Now, I need to do some digging.

    Lisa, this was definitely a different time. Our tools are so much more friendly these days.


  4. I still use FTP all the time (and yes, I remember the whole ‘set file type to binary’ thing. These days I use WinSCP. It’s a quick way to upload a lot of data to my website (think presentations, video, audio, etc).


  5. You said “No Googling,” so I asked someone who knows. He replied, “No, not on the home device.”


  6. Alfred Thompson Avatar
    Alfred Thompson

    There is a command line ftp standard with Windows 10. I use something else but it’s been a while so I forget which one. It’s on a different laptop. I use it mostly to upload new pages to my personal web site. I used ftp quite a bit when I was working on my Masters degree. That was pre-world wide web so anonymous ftp sites where how companies and universities shared documents with people. Did a lot of my research that way getting files from universities and corporate research groups.


  7. […] Sunday –  Whatever happened to … FTP? […]


  8. […] Whatever happened to … – doug — off the record […]


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