Seafile Server 5.1 Comes with Brand New UI

It’s been about 5 months since the last major update of Seafile server (5.0). Now it’s time to release something fresh! Seafile server 5.1 includes quite a lot of UI re-design and improvements. In addition, the Django framework is upgraded to v1.8, which no longer support Python 2.6. The change to Django v1.8 also improves security since it’s the LTS and gets more security fixes.

There are a few major changes to the web user interface.

Flatter Navigation

A long-time critics about Seafile’s web UI is that it uses two navigation bars, one at the top and one on the left (see the screenshot below). The rationale of the old design is that we thought groups are collaboration places with files and discussion. So it’s better to put groups on the same level of navigation as files. The top bar is the level-1 navigation, while the left bar is the level-2 navigation. But this old design confuses many users. And it’s inconvenient to switch between the groups page and files page.

old-design

The new navigation reflects our recent thinking on the importance/priority of a few features. As we discovered that the discussion feature is a minor feature, it is better to hide it and make the file navigation flatter and simpler. Thus in the new design, an uniform left-side navigation is used that combines the files from mine, shared, groups and organization. Now the users don’t need to frequently switch between file view and group view.

5.1-group-view

Grid View

Users can now use grid view to list files in a folder. Previously it is only available in share link.

5.1-files-view

Library Operations

In the new version, operations for library, like rename and history settings, are put directly in the library listing page, much like operations for folders. This makes operations on libraries more similar to operations on folders/files. It’s more intuitive for users.

5.1-library-ops

Improvements on web UI is a continuing mission of Seafile. There are more to come in the future. Any suggestions are welcome!

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