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I would ask you a question about the design of Google Drive in terms of synchronization of files among users.

Let me describe a simple scenario with the usual Alice (A) and Bob (B) personas.

  • A creates a gdoc and start writing inside it. Then, she decides to share this file with B, giving him a writing permission.
  • B receives the notification and finds the file under "Shared with me". Therefore, he can start editing the file.

Thus, the question is: the B's file is only a copy on B's Drive space of the A's file or it is a simple pointer? In other words, a synchronization process is implemented between A and B documents but they are physical files or the B's file is a pointer so B simply writes in the A's copy?

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They behave as though it's a pointer. No one outside of Google knows if they use separate physical files "under the hood" to achieve this.

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