A New Way of Handling Large Course Drop Box Downloads
Downloading all the files in a Drop Box in courses with 200+ students or in courses where students upload large (200MB+) files has been problematic. You would click the "Download ZIP file" link and wait and wait and wait and wait, and sometimes you'd even eventually get an error message instead of a ZIP file. This is becuase it takes time to ZIP up large files or large numbers of files. Go ahead and try making a ZIP file of a 1.7GB folder on your computer. It takes about 7 minutes, which is much longer than a normal request should run on CoursePlus. The CoursePlus team has been looking at ways of working around this issue, and we've come up with a solution which unltimately benefits everyone.
If the total file size of all the files submitted to a Drop Box exceeds 300MB, you will get an email message when your ZIP file is ready. If the total file size of all the files submitted to a Drop Box is under 300MB, the ZIP file will start to download shortly after you click the "Download ZIP file" link in the Drop Box. By taking this route, we avoid the problem of requests for the ZIP file for large Drop Box downloads from timing out.
A side effect of this change is that the total time it takes to create ZIP files of all submissions to a Drop Box has been reduced. We're using a totally new system behind the scenes to create the ZIP files, and it's much faster overall than the old way in which ZIP files were created. Although you may have wait for an email to come in to actually get the ZIP file of all submissions to a Drop Box, the total time it takes to create that file will be shorter than if you sat and waited and waited and waited on the Drop Box page.