Syncing your Personal Cloud with Nextcloud Desktop Client

Nextcloud - Launcher

After installing Nextcloud Server und Nextcloud iOS app last week, I noticed that there was no Nextcloud desktop client for OS X available on their website. One of the most important things in my personal cloud is the synchronisation between my Nextcloud server and my desktop. The reason for the missing desktop client was simple. The existing OwnCloud client worked perfectly together with Nextcloud 9.x and it was not an easy for the Nextcloud team to fork the desktop client.

After the upgrade to Nextcloud 10 I noticed that Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X were available and I was quite happy.

In this blog post I’ll show the installation and configuration of the Nextcloud OS X client.

Installation

Download the desktop client from the Nextcloud website (https://nextcloud.com/install/#install-clients).

Nextcloud - Download page desktop clients
Nextcloud – Download page desktop clients

The downloaded file is called Nextcloud-2.2.3.4.pkg. With a double click on the name you start the installer.

Nextcloud - Client Installer
Nextcloud – Client Installer

Just click the Continue button and go through the Installation. You can accept the default values.

After the Installer finished the installation you can start the Nextcloud desktop client by searching the app in Spotlight Search,

Nextcloud - Spotlight search
Nextcloud – Spotlight search

or click on the Nextcloud icon in Launcher,

Nextcloud - Launcher
Nextcloud – Launcher

or click on the app in the Applications directory in a Finder window.

Nextcloud - Finder - Applications
Nextcloud – Finder – Applications

Nextcloud Connection Wizard

When you start the app for the first time Nextcloud Connection Wizard will help to setup the connection between your server and your desktop client. First insert your Nextcloud server address and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Server Address
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Server Address

Next question are user credentials. Insert your username and password and click the Next button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - User Credentials
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – User Credentials

These values are enough to connect and the connection wizard asks what you want to synchronise and where your local folder should be. I want to synchronise everything and the folder name is ok.
Click the Connect button.

Nextcloud Connection Wizard - Setup local folder options
Nextcloud Connection Wizard – Setup local folder options

Everything is set up now and you are asked where to go now. Access your Nextcloud Server in a browser window or open a local Finder window with your synced data.

Nextcloud Connection Setup - Everything set up!
Nextcloud Connection Setup – Everything set up!

Depending on the amount of data you are syncing it might take some time until all files are downloaded. A good possibility to have a look at your desktop. You probably see your new Nextcloud folder with plenty of green sync symbols and the Nextcloud icon in your menu bar on top of the screen. If you click the blue Nextcloud icon, a menu opens and beside other options you see how long syncing will take and how much data is involved.

Nextcloud - Syncing
Nextcloud – Syncing

That’s it! My data will be synchronised between Nextcloud Server, the iOS app and my Desktop!

You can add as many user accounts as you wish. They will be all synchronised!

Nextcloud - OS X Desktop Client - Settings
Nextcloud – OS X Desktop Client – Settings

Summary

My personal cloud consists for now of the Nextcloud server, the iOS App and the OS X client. All my photos and other files are now synchronised.

Links


tl;dr: Nextcloud desktop clients for Windows and OS X are available – download, install and use them!

How to update your Nextcloud from version 9.53 to 10.0

Updating to 10

Et voila, the first upgrade to a new major version is necessary. Yesterday the Nextcloud team released Version 10 with plenty of new and shiny features. Everything will get better, faster and more secure. (Release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now!). Thank you for that!

How to upgrade?

What has changed is the version of Nextcloud server. The iOS app works with both versions well (9.x and 10.0).

So how to upgrade the server?

A first look in the admin dashboard tells me, that there is no update available and my version is up to date.

Nextcloud 9.53 - Updater
Nextcloud 9.53 – Updater

I know it better because I read the release announcement and they say there is a new version! The sad truth is that the Updater in Nextcloud 9.53 doesn’t work. Unfortunately it is not possible to upgrade to the next version via a button click! The Updater will be fixed as soon as possible and I know it is a lot of work but for me and my personal cloud it will be a challenge.

Upgrade on shared hosting

As you know, I’m running my Nextcloud on a shared host and I installed it via the amazing web installer. Because of the broken Updater I have to do the Manual Nextcloud Upgrade as described in the documentation. The general workflow is the following:

  1. Backup files and the database is in general a very good idea!
  2. Move all Nextcloud files to a backup directory or simply rename the Nextcloud directory to [name]_old.
    [Update]
    Don’t forget to backup/save and copy back your data directory (see first comment from Luke).
  3. Download and unpack the new Nextcloud files in the [name] folder.
  4. Copy the /config/config.php file from your saved version to the new version

Depending on you hosting environment you can copy the files via command line, FTP or a tool like cPanel.

Now access your Nextcloud in a browser. The installer will show the database update screen. Click the Start Update button.

Nextcloud 10 - Database Update
Nextcloud 10 – Database Update

Plenty of update steps will be shown

Updating to 10
Updating to Version 10.0

and … your done! That’s it! You will be redirected to the login screen.

Have you noticed? The form fields are shaking if you try to login with wrong credentials

In the admin area you can check the Nextcloud version … and … it’s Nextcloud 10 – congrats!

Nextcloud Version 10
Nextcloud Version 10

Don’t forget to delete the old files and hopefully this was the last time that we have to do an upgrade like this 🙂

And now take a bit time to read the release announcement – Secure, Monitor and Control your data with Nextcloud 10 – get it now! and play around.


tl;dr: The upgrade from Nextcloud version 9.53 to 10.x works well!

Nextcloud Photo management and sharing

Bicycle

As promised in my last blog post I’m back with a few experiences concerning Nextcloud Server, the Nextcloud iOS App, managing photos and of course the whole sharing thing.

Nextcloud iOS App

Over the last days I took some photos with my mobile. The upload to my personal cloud (Nextcloud) works perfect. Inside the iOS app is an area for photos where you can see them ordered by date. You can touch, swipe through, favorite and do basically everything that you expect on a mobile.

Nextcloud iOS App - Photos
Nextcloud iOS App – Photos

If your iPhone is low on space it’s possible to optimise the situation by removing the photos after upload and store just optimised versions inside the iOS app. I can confirm, that it saves space (of course I have the “cheap” 16GB version).

Nextcloud iOS App - Optimizations
Nextcloud iOS App – Optimizations

Managing and sharing Photos in the Browser

So far I have no Nextcloud client on my MacBook. At the moment I only use Nextcloud in my browser. When the iOS app uploads the photos, they are all stored in one folder (photos). In Nextcloud core is an app called gallery and an app called gallery+. Gallery+ is a fork of gallery and seems to be more modern.

Gallerie+ provides a dedicated view of all images in a grid, adds image viewing capabilities to the files app and adds a gallery view to public links. Compatible with Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer 10+

To be honest I don’t understand why they are delivering two gallery apps in core. Just enabled gallery+!

[UPDATE 2016-08-28 – see first comment] The gallery app (without the +) is the way to go. In Nextcloud 10, the gallery+ app ist not anymore shipped!

 

Nextcloud - Enable Gallery+
Nextcloud – Enable Gallery+

Features of Gallery+

  • Upload and organise images and albums straight from the app
  • Large, zoomable previews which can be shown in fullscreen mode
  • Sort images by name or date
  • Per album design, description and copyright statement
  • Image download straight from the slideshow or the gallery
  • Switch to Gallery+ from any folder in files and vice-versa
  • Ignore folders containing a “.nomedia” file
  • Browser rendering of SVG images (disabled by default)
  • Mobile support

Meanwhile I have a few more photos and it’s easy to create additional folders and drag the photos into these folders.

Nextcloud - Move files
Nextcloud – Move files

You can switch at any time between the gallery and the file view.

Nextcloud - Switch to gallery
Nextcloud – Switch to gallery

Tags, Comments and Favorites

It’s possible to add tags and  comments to a photo and mark it as favorite. All favorites are behind the Favorites link.

Nextcloud - Tags, Comments and Favorites
Nextcloud – Tags, Comments and Favorites

Of course you can also rename, download and delete photos.

Sharing photos

After organising my new photos I want to share them.

This is in general possible by creating a share link and send it to your friends. The interesting thing for me was the amount of possibilities to share in the share dialog.

Nextcloud - Share dialog

Sharing with other personal cloud users

It’s possible to share your photos with a user or a group in your Nextcloud installation. Depending on your environment this could be for example your family, your friends or a project group. We haven’t talked so far about a federation of clouds (a topic for another blog entry) so just accept the fact that it’s possible too to share your photos with a remote user. A remote user is a user in another personal cloud. There is a standard for that so it doesn’t have to be Nextcloud. In this case you have to insert the [username]@[domain] and Nextcloud sends a notification to the remote user.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

The remote user has the choice to accept or decline. If your share is accepted you get an email notification (if it’s configured in the admin area and if you provide your email address).

Nextcloud - Sharing - notification email
Nextcloud – Sharing – notification email

All shared items are visible behind the links Shared with you, Shared with others and Shared by link.

Nextcloud - Shared with you

I noticed that remote users cannot see comments, tags and favourites.

Share with the public via link

The other possibility to share photos is via a public link. You can create the link in the share dialog. If it is super secret, you can set up a password and if if it should be a temporary link you can setup an expiration date.

This is the link to the bicycle photo on top … try it!

https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/QfkHLzlrzKCruI4

 

Administrator Settings

It might be necessary to configure some settings in your admin dashboard to allow all those features.

Nextcloud - Sharing settings
Nextcloud – Sharing settings

Summary

Since a few days I use the Nextcloud iOS App, Nextcloud Server and the Gallery+ App to manage my photos. So far it works well. Next step will be to install a client on my MacBook to sync all the photos.


tl;dr: You can manage and share your photos via Nextcloud

6. Display Content

Figure 4: Default frontpage

back to: 5. Create Content

After you managed to create content, you need to think about how displaying it. This sounds simple but it is quite important. In the last chapter we created an article and featured this article on the frontpage. Visitors can see the article only by visiting the front page.  

The frontpage

The standard frontpage (Home) has the menu item type Featured Articles. When you access the Main Menu in Menus → Main Menu you probably noticed the little “home” symbol. It means, that this menu contains the link to the front page (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Main menu with Home link
Figure 1: Main menu with Home link

You have different configuration options while editing the Home link. The featured articles menu item type offers leading articles, intro articles, columns and links. To understand how it works, we need a few articles. For the sake of simplicity in our example, just copy your first article. The copy process is possible in the Save dialog and in a batch dialog. Select the article you want to copy and click the Batch icon (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Copy articles in a batch
Figure 2: Copy articles in a batch

If you have more than 4-5 articles (don’t forget to “feature” them), you can try out the different options. Go to Menus → Main Menu → Home and take a look at the Layout tab. You can see one leading article, three intro articles in three columns (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Layout in Home menu link
Figure 3: Layout in Home menu link

Figure 3: Layout in Home menu link

On your front page it appears like in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Default frontpage
Figure 4: Default frontpage

Categories, tags and menu links

Joomla offers three possibilities to structure your content: Categories, Tags and Menu links. Each article belongs to one category. Categories can be nested. Menu links can point to articles or categories or they can point to a set of articles as with the featured articles for the frontpage. You can add an unlimited amount of tags to each article.

This simple and easy extendible structure offers amazing ways to display content.

As you already know, Joomla!’s templates are offering positions. Positions are places where you can place your content and your navigation elements.

Joomla!’s content display system is the arrangement of modules and the components on predefined templates positions.
 Each page can have exactly one component and an unlimited amount of modules.

Categories can be created and managed in Content → Categories.

Menus can be created, managed and filled with links in Menus → Manage (read more about creating a menu in chapter 4 – It’s all about users, permissions, modules and articles)

A navigation on top

An empty Joomla page has a “Main Menu” at position-7 in the default template. In the Protostar template position-7 is in the right sidebar, but let’s assume, we want to have the main menu on top. To achieve this goal, go to Extensions → Modules → Main Menu and move it to Navigation position-1. In the Advanced tab change the value of Menu Class Suffix to “ nav-pills” (there’s a white space at the beginning!) (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Menu Class Suffix
Figure 5: Menu Class Suffix

It will change the class attribute in the HTML code and when everything is correct, your navigation should look like in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Navigation with Main Menu
Figure 6: Navigation with Main Menu

Articles in categories can be displayed in “blog style” like on the frontpage or as tables of articles. Both are highly configurable. You just need to check out a few menu item types.

With these few tools you can create amazing layouts.

Nextcloud – Installation on shared hosting & first steps

Nextcloud - First Login

back to A Personal Cloud – But How and Why

To run your own personal cloud you have to install the server component somewhere. After that you can access it from everywhere in the world with every suitable device. The best and most personal scenario would be to do that on your own machine in the place where you live. It is possible to do it on a PC or even a Raspberry Pi but unfortunately the upload speed of many internet connections is not high, so often this option isn’t an option. For example in the little village in France where I live the upload speed is 0.8 Mbps.

Internet connection speed
Internet connection speed in Fitou, France

The second best choice is a shared hosting environment. You have to pay for it (<10€ per month), it’s easy to handle and managed by the hosting company. Usually you can create databases, FTP users and more features.
You could also go for a cloud or a dedicated server but then you have to deal with server updates and configurations and it’s probably more expensive.

The easiest way to set up your personal cloud in a shared hosting environment is the Nextcloud web installer.

Installation

The Nextcloud web installer checks the dependencies, downloads the Nextcloud files from the official server, unpacks it with the right permissions and the right user account. Finally, you will be redirected to the Nextcloud installer.
You’ll find it in the download area (https://nextcloud.com/install/#instructions-server).

Nextcloud - Webinstaller
Nextcloud – Webinstaller

Download the file setup_nextcoud.php, upload it to your shared hosting environment and point your web browser to http://[your_domainname]/setup-nextcloud.php.

The Nextcloud Setup Wizard appears. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Setup Wizard
Nextcloud – Setup Wizard

Now you have to decide if you want to install Nextcloud in the current directory (enter a single “.” to install ), or in a subdirectory (default name is nextcloud).

I want to have my personal cloud in the current directory so I enter a dot.

Nextcloud Setup Wizard - Directory
Nextcloud Setup Wizard – Directory

Now the web installer loads all the necessary files from the Nextcloud servers and tells you that Nextcloud is installed. Click the Next button.

Nextcloud - Web Installer - Success
Nextcloud – Web Installer – Success

Next step is to decide whether you want to use SQLite as a database or MySQL/MariaDB. The advantage of SQLite is that it is inbuilt in PHP and if you have a shared hosting without a database SQLite would be the way to go. But for performance reasons, especially when using the desktop client for file syncing the use of SQLite is discouraged.

Because I want to do exactly this I decided to create a database and a database user in cPanel (administration tool of my provider) and use it for my personal cloud. Fill the fields with the db credentials and choose a username and a password for the admin account. Click the Finish setup button.

Nextcloud - database configuration
Nextcloud – database configuration

Your database will be used and configured by the Nextcloud setup wizard and after that you see the big welcome screen.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Your Nextcloud server is now ready to use. You can use apps to sync your data from your mobile and your desktop.

But before we install clients, have a look around. Behind the link with you name in the right top corner are most options to configure your personal cloud. In the left top corner are the active apps. You can add more apps by clicking the +. In the middle of the screen are the default folders Documents and Photos with some example files. In the left bottom corner is a settings link which displays the possible settings depending on the page you are. Remember that you are now connected as the godfather of users with all possible administration rights.

Nextcloud - Dashboard
Nextcloud – Dashboard

It’s a good idea to create a user account for each “real” user in your cloud and leave the admin account for administration purpose.

Create a user

Creating a user is simple. Click on your user name -> users and add the desired person. You just need a name and a password. Then you can logout and login again as a “real” user. When you click the same menus as before you’ll notice that it’s not possible anymore to add apps or configure your personal cloud.

Nextcloud - Create User Account
Nextcloud – Create User Account

Even if we haven’t configured anything else, it’s possible to use your personal cloud. You can play around and upload a file via your browser.

iOS Client

I’m using an iPhone, so I install the Nextcloud App (0.99 Euro) to sync my files and automatically upload my photos from my mobile to my shiny new personal cloud. In the app you can just enable the camera upload.

Nextcloud iOS App
Nextcloud iOS App

BTW – this is the first photo I took after activating the photo upload and it simply worked. #mehappy

Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud ;)
Wohoo! The first photo in my personal cloud 

What have I achieved so far?

I was able to setup the Nextcloud server on my shared hosting space. I installed the iOS app on my mobile and configured the automatic camera upload.

My photos are now in my personal cloud!

For today it’s enough, I’ll take a few photos in the next days and come back soon with my experiences.

A personal cloud with Nextcloud – But How and Why?

How to ...

As you may have noticed I attended the Nextcloud Hackweek last week (day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5). I decided to help out with documentation in Github and I did a few little changes. The documentation ist separated into an Admin-, a User and a Developer Manual. I struggled a bit with the organisation of everything on Github (master, stable10, stable9) but step by step I’ll manage. What confuses me most was the fact that I personally used ownCloud/Nextcloud as a file syncing mechanism like Dropbox. Attending the hackweek I noticed that Nextcloud is and will become so much more.

I want to give a few examples

  • upload your music and listen to it on your mobile or at home (like in iTunes)
  • Edit and share your documents (like Google docs)
  • upload photos, that you have taken with your mobile automatically and manage and share them (like Flickr)
  • be a part of a federation of Nextcloud users. What is federation and why is it useful? (This is really unique and important)

  • why it is a good idea to control your own data?
  • run it on your server at home (on a Raspberry Pi or a MacMini or whatever)
  • use it as your own telephone provider (with the Spreed integration)
  • store and sync all your contacts and calendars via Nextcloud (like iCloud)
  • read your emails in Nextcloud (via mail app)
  • use nextcloud as your news aggregator (like google reader)
  • offer all this features to your friends or your company (because you can 🙂 )
  • and of course … sync all your documents between your mobile and your desktop (like Dropbox)

This is just a small list of features that is interesting for me as a consumer. But I learned from the past:

If something is interesting for me, there are usually millions of consumers outside that find it interesting too!

My Plan

My plan is to try out the feature list by myself, describe my experiences in my blog, contribute to the documentation (User, Admin, Developer) and spread the word about Nextcloud in general.
It would be also nice to have more localised documentation in German, French and other languages.

First steps

I’m still running our “cocoate cloud” for file syncing. When I’m really sure about a feature I will add it there. If you are interested and not able to setup your own Nextcloud – just ping me for a user account.
So far I wrote blog entries in German language for the Novatrend blog. A general one about the the fork ownCloud -> Nextcloud and one about package managers, snap and the Nextcloud snap package as an example Paketverwaltung und Snaps unter Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Next article: Nextcloud – Installation on shared hosting & first steps

5. Create Content

Figure 3: Read More link

Back to 4. It’s all about users, permissions, modules and articles

Creating content is hard! Every piece of content is a story. And a story can be good or not that good and thus attracting visitors or bore them. Thousands of books on the subject of writing stories have been published, a lot of people have taught the lore. 
I have a relatively easy task to cover just the technical part 🙂

What is an article in Joomla?

Technically, an article consists of

  • a title (headline) and an alias (in the url)
  • the text (a mixture of text, images, and other media)
  • a category where the article belongs to
  • additional tags to describe the article
  • an author and an alias for the author
  • access permissions
  • a language the article is written in
  • meta data for search engines and other robots

and a lot of options how, where, to whom and when the article is displayed.
 You already wrote an article in the last chapter and this was not complicated. Just a title is necessary, all the other fields have a default value or are optional.

Let’s go through this list 🙂

A Title

It’s a little, but an important part.

  • It needs to be crisp and short to attracts readers and it’s handy for you because the title appear in lists of articles on the website and as lists of articles in the control panel.
  • the title appears as the page title on top of your browser window and it can contain the site name too. You can configure this behaviour in 
System → Global Configuration → Site → SEO settings → Include Site Name in Page Titles
  • it can appear in the URL of that page and it’s up to you how to setup the URL
 System → Global configuration → Site → SEO settings.

The Text

In Joomla, the text of your article contains a part that is displayed in lists (teaser) and the rest of the article. This rest can be structured by page breaks, so that a long text results in 10 pages each with a table of content. But step by step :).

When you create an article you will do this with the help of an editor. Joomla uses a rich text editor (TinyMCE). That means, it is not necessary for you as the author to learn HTML tags. The editor looks like a text processor window on your PC (e.g. Word, LibreOffice) and it is easy to understand the icons (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Rich text editor
Figure 1: Rich text editor

 

If you hover over an icon with your mouse, there appears a tooltip with the description of the function the editor performs when the icon is clicked on

Note:

It is possible to install different editors, for example the Joomla Content Editor and it is also possible not to use any editor. Joomla itself comes with two editors and you can configure the default editor in System → Global Configuration → Site → Default Editor.

The default settings allow your users to choose between the available editors by themselves in their user account. You can disable this feature in Users → Manage → Options → Frontend User Parameters.  

Paste from Word

The worst case of editing happens, when people paste from programs like Microsoft Word. Even if the situation gets better there is still NO REAL WAY to get the same formats on a website that is based on HTML by pasting from a text processor like Microsoft Word that is based on binary formats or “complicated” XML. The editor offers a “Clean up messy code” icon but it will not clean up logical errors or differences in the markup. Please keep that in mind when you talk to your users 🙂

Insert Images

In the third row of the editor window you’ll find a button called images. It offers a dialog to choose existing images from your inbuild Joomla image library and it allows you to add images to this library by uploading them.

  • You can manage your library under Content → Media
  • You can drag images in the content window of the editor.
  • Joomla! will NOT resize your images, so be careful with big photos!
    The best solution: your images have exactly the size in pixel you want to have them on your site. There are several extensions available for solving the resize issue and the Twitter Bootstrap framework that is used in Joomla 3.x, is helpful for responsive images.

After you have inserted an image from the library, you can configure (add attributes to) that image by clicking the image icon on top of the rich text editor (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Using the rich text editor
Figure 2: Using the rich text editor

References to other articles

The button Article in the third row of the editor window allows to link from an article to another article which is quite useful. This feature requires the Editor group permission.

Read more

Articles will appear in lists and on an article details page. On lists, the text should be limited to avoid confusion. With the help of the Read More button you limit the article text. Set the cursor in your text where the Read More break should appear and click the Read More button (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Read More link
Figure 3: Read More link

Embed a YouTube video

This is not only about YouTube videos but it is a good example for text filters. If you try to embed a YouTube video with the typical code

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/UF8uR6Z6KLc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

you notice that it is filtered by the editor and by Joomla. This is not a bug! It’s a feature 🙂


For security reasons

Joomla uses so-called text filters (System → Global Configuration → Text Filters) to filter the following tags: ‘applet’, ‘body’, ‘bgsound’, ‘base’, ‘basefont’, ’embed’, ‘frame’, ‘frameset’, ‘head’, ‘html’, ‘id’, ‘iframe’, ‘ilayer’, ‘layer’, ‘link’, ‘meta’, ‘name’, ‘object’, ‘script’, ‘style’, ‘title’, ‘xml’.

Unfortunately, we need to insert an <iframe> tag to embed videos from YouTube (and several other services).

So, how can the problem be solved?

One solution could be to trust your authors and create a White List (System → Global Configuration → Text Filters) for the authors, editors and publishers group (Figure 4) and then tell TinyMCE the <iframe> is not evil anymore (Extensions → Plug-in Manager → Editor-TinyMCE → Edit → Plugin → Prohibited Elements) by deleting the word iframe in the prohibited elements field.

Figure 4: White List for several user groups
Figure 4: White List for several user groups

 

After you have changed these filter mechanisms, it is possible to copy and paste the embed code into your article. Keep in mind that you need to switch the editor to the HTML view by clicking the HTML source code icon (<>). Afterwards, a popup window with the HTML code of the article appears. Now paste the embed code where the video should appear (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Inserting the iframe code into the article
Figure 5: Inserting the iframe code into the article

 

Click the Ok button and you already can see the video inside the editor window. After saving the article the video will appear on your website (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Article with iframe code
Figure 6: Article with iframe code

 

Now you can embed code from several platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.

Using macros in a text

It is possible to use so called macros in your text. A macro is an expression or command that is replaced with something different (e.g the embed code of your YouTube video).
Theoretically, we could write in our article text (not in the HTML) something like this

and some magic could replace this with the appropriate embed code

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/rX372ZwXOEM [105]” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

The only problem is that this transformation is not a part of the Joomla core package. If you want to use macros, you need to install additional extensions, mostly so called plug ins.

Content in a module?

When we created an article, we used the content component of Joomla. Another possibility to create content can be a module.
A module is a content element that can be positioned on your website. A menu, for example, needs a module to be displayed. The Login box is also a module. You can create as many modules with predefined functions as you need and position them in the predefined area in the template. Joomla comes with 24 pre-installed modules. You can see them with descriptions under Extensions → Modules → New (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Available Modules
Figure 7: Available Modules

 

It is possible to create a module that contains HTML text like an article (Custom module). And it is also possible to upload e.g. a background image for each module and to publish the module time based. It is not intended that custom HTML content in modules is created by “normal” authors. Content creation in modules is more a “Manager” or “Administrator” task. Try out the Custom HTML module. Create one, add some content and choose a position (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Custom HTML module in control panel
Figure 8: Custom HTML module in control panel

 

You can use the rich text editor and all the features that are available to write, format and enhance article text. You can even configure on which page the module should appear (tab Menu Assignment) and when it should appear (time based publishing). 
After saving, your custom HTML module appears on your site (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Custom HTML module on website
Figure 9: Custom HTML module on website

Figure 9: Custom HTML module on website

If more than one module is located at the same position it is necessary to bring them into the desired order. You have to choose a filter and click the filter icons once. After that, just drag the modules in the module manager to the desired place (Figure 10).

Figure 10: Reordering of modules
Figure 10: Reordering of modules

next chapter: 6. Display Content

 

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 5 – Version 11, Foundation, Conference

Farewell - see you in Berlin!

Today was about the features of Nextcloud Version 11, “the foundation” and the first Nextcloud conference.

Nextcloud Version 11

The first meeting was set up to collect and decide about features for the upcoming version 11 of Nextcloud. Each feature has it’s own history and story, e.g. 4 Byte support means, among other, Emojis support ;). Each feature has also it’s own difficulties or uncertainties, e.g. Sharepoint!
Some of the new features are a result of cool architectural ideas on one hand and are necessary (or super nice to have), but could affect on the other hand plenty of code, e.g. the improve federated sharing feature or the new Updater.
Some features are part of a bigger picture like the spreed.me integration.

The meeting was very efficient and tasks were assigned to participants. This doesn’t mean that they have to deliver as soon as possible. But it is a commitment to get things done with the help of others because it’s of course not easy impossible to assume how long it will take to finish some of the tasks. Here the meeting result on the whiteboard:

To do list for Nextcloud 11

Afterwards Morris created the issue Nextcloud 11 overview #745 and tflidd the forum post Planned features for NC 11 . It’s remarkable for me to see the transparency, openness and speed of the whole process.

The Foundation

After lunch, we had the “foundation” meeting. How to organise the structure of an entity, involve the community, users, Nextcloud clients, partners, individuals in general? How to give them the possibility to get influence on roadmap, architectural changes and many more. How to handle the trademark in a fair way? How can Nextcloud GmbH help? How can the entity that will be formed help Nextcloud GmbH? How to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders and protect the trademark against “evil situations”. Answers to these questions are not easy in open source projects and depend also on national and international laws. It’s a complex topic and it’s handled differently in the three Content Management Systems I have some insights in. In Joomla for example the trademark is owned by Open Source Matters.

OSM has the roles to own and manage the assets of Joomla, such as the domains, trademarks and copyright

There is no big company behind Joomla.

In Drupal it belongs to the founder Dries Buytaert.

Any license granted under this policy, is legally granted as a sub-license by the company Dries Buytaert BVBA (company number 0893.231.032), which is mandated by Dries Buytaert to evaluate the applications and assign sub-licenses of the Drupal trademark on behalf of Dries Buytaert (http://drupal.com/trademark).

Dries ist also the CTO of Acquia, the company behind Drupal AND he serves as president of the Drupal association!

Automattic, the company behind WordPress registered the domain name in 2006 and gave the trademark 2010 to the WordPress foundation (A New Home for the WordPress Trademark). But beside the WordPress brand Automattic runs 10 other services (Automattic Services).

It’s a big decision and it takes time, considerations, a lot of feedback, consulting and discussions what’s the best solution in the current situation of Nextcloud GmbH in general and Frank Karlitschek in particular. To make it even worse it should has to be solved as soon as possible.

The Conference – Sept 16-22 – Berlin

The Nextcloud community will be meeting at the TU Berlin from September 16 to 22 for a week of talks and coding around the next generation private cloud technology.
Friday opens with a focus on scalability and federation, with special workshops and meetups around these subjects. Saturday and Sunday are kicked off with a keynote and lightning talks in the morning while we get together around various subjects in the afternoon in workshops, learning and sharing together.
The conference is focused on making Nextcloud better, through discussion, coding, packaging, designing, translating and more.

https://conf.nextcloud.com

See you there and thanks again for the possibility to attend the Nextcloud Hackweek 😉

 

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 4 – Spreed, Version 10, Burger

Christian and Jos - Hackweek, Nextcloud

Today we had a meeting about the integration of Spreed into Nextcloud. With Spreed you can make phone calls, send messages and do video conferences (may be even more). It is a cool service which will be integrated in Nextcloud. Your Nextcloud installation of the future will have then something inbuilt like Skype. Simon told us about the way Spreed works and we discussed ways to integrate it nicely in Nextcloud. After the meeting I was curious and installed the iOS App of Spreed. Ivan, the developer of the app showed me how to use it properly (the profile photo was an accident 🙂 ).

Spreed.me App

After, I changed the ordering in the Documentation (the last three days made me a git pro 🙂 ) https://github.com/nextcloud/documentation/pull/113.

In the afternoon I attended a meeting about the “polishing” of Nextcloud 10 which should be released as soon as possible.

Nextcloud 10

Frank went through all the pages and it was very motivating to see how good it works but of course there is still plenty of stuff that “cries” for improvements.

Beneath other things, there is a new app inbuilt called Password Policy. It tests the used passwords against a long list of known passwords and you can configure the way passwords have to be “constructed”. We had an intense discussion about the question “how long should be the minimum length of the password”. In the end Frank used a decision app on his mobile and it helped to take a decision. The default setting will be: Passwords should be minimum 6 characters long! (of course you can change that setting 🙂 )
Decision App

The result of that meeting led to a quite big issue Release review polishing #735. Help, if you can!

As yesterday, normal business stuff happened and I’m very greatful to have the opportunity participating a full week behind the scenes of Nextcloud.

In the evening it started to rain, so it wasn’t really  possible to walk outside without getting wet in seconds.
RainWe all went back to the office and finally decided to take the S-Bahn (or U-Bahn) to have Burgers at Bonnie & Clyde 🙂

 

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 3 – GitHub, Playground, Mail App & the Forum

Playground

Today I created a playground on my github profile to become a bit more familiar with command line git commands. After my bad experiences from yesterday using visual tools and the browser I created my own repository and edited everything via command line. I started simple and created a file, edited it, created different branches, learned about the formatting stuff, how to cherry pick and so on.

Today was more like a normal business day here at Nextcloud office. Plenty of meetings, developing, and some interesting discussions about previews for shared files, how to structure and organise the documentation, the mail app (How to add email to your Nextcloud server), the music app and plenty of other topics.

One of the “not so easy discussions” appeared on the forum (Nc just a dirty deal?) already 13 days ago. Jos, the community manager, decided to close the thread but later on he reopened it. Because I’m quite close to the topic at the moment I wrote also something.

In the evening we went to Bonnie & Clyde. A Burger pub near the hotel. The pub played an important role in Nextcloud history. Directly behind the pub was the former office and in the same distance the hotel people were staying.