Thought I'd update my Dropbox dilemma, as I had occasion to contact them yesterday and now have the story straight from the horse's mouth.
This is what I asked:
2) Using the Linux desktop software, I found that dragging/dropping a directory into my Dropbox directory (which I installed in ~, i.e., /home/grace/Dropbox) caused it to MOVE there. For example, if I dragged/dropped my ~/documents directory to Dropbox, it became /home/grace/Dropbox/documents. This is not good. I don't want my directory structure changed. Is this how it's supposed to work? I've ended up linking (via the OS, using the ln command) files/directories I want to backup on Dropbox, as copying them there means having twice the disk space taken up and moving them there is not acceptable. The linking method is definitely not my favorite method, but I'm not seeing anything else that's workable/acceptable for me.
And this is their response:
Also, it's not currently possible for Dropbox to watch your current file structure, but some users have had success creating symbolic links to these locations outside of the Dropbox folder. Dropbox will sync the files that the symbolic links point to and won't physically move the files into the Dropbox folder.
You've probably deduced that this was actually the second question I asked. The first had to do with red X icons that had mysteriously appeared on a few of my files [when viewed in the DB desktop software]; those files were no longer updating [which I could tell when I viewed their date-stamps on the DB site]. I read their help page about the reasons for red X icons, but none of those issues applied.
Interestingly--and consider this when you're deciding how good their above reply is--they said those files had been created with extended attributes/xattr, and that's why they were missing. You can imagine the fun that followed!
We back and forthed, with me telling them that CANNOT be the issue because, A) I've never created files with extended attributes, and, B) the files were NOT missing, they had suddenly acquired red Xs and were no longer updating.
Somewhere along the line they also said that I should upgrade my OS (without even knowing what version or distro I'm using) and that would solve the problem.
The problem resolved itself, as the files in question ended up losing their red Xs and resumed updating. So when I last e-mailed them to let them know the issue was resolved, I dropped the bomb on them that I have 28 years of experience with *nix, and when I SAY extended attributes are not the problem, I MEAN they're not the problem!