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English Nextcloud Open-Source-Software server

A personal cloud with Nextcloud – But How and Why?

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

Categories
English Nextcloud Open-Source-Software Software

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

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 ;)

 

Categories
English Nextcloud

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

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 :)

 

Categories
Nextcloud Planet

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

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.

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Nextcloud Planet

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 2 – Documentation, GitHub, Barbecue

The morning started with carrying 6 bottles of Fitou wine from the hotel to the office because in the evening there will be a barbecue.

Concerning my success with documentation yesterday, we discovered today, that someone merged another pull request that did exactly the same than mine. So today in the morning we decided to revert my changes.

Afterwards I created another page about the password policy app and theming.

It was interesting for me to see the different approaches used by different people to use Github. The general way to work seems to be

  1. create a branch from the master.
  2. edit the branch and commit the desired changes
  3. create a pull request
  4. someone has to look at your pull request and merge it to the master
  5. depending on the changes the pull request has to be back ported to the stable10 and stable9 branch. Back porting is a bit complicate because you have to “cherry pick” single commits. For the cherry picking you have to copy several id’s (commit id, pull request id) and the whole process can easily become a bit complicate :)

There are two possibilities to use Github. You can use the command line on your Computer and type the commands manually or you use the browser, navigate to https://github.com the browser and do it online. The browser version ist a reduced set of commands and its possible to do easy changes. Joas told me it was invented to allow people with no clue how this works to be able to do small edit when they are allowed to.

Next Step – I have to learn these magical git commands and use the command line -> https://git-scm.com

Stay tuned :)

In the evening we had the barbecue. Andreas, the sales guy said “Oh, that’s a nice nerd barbecue”.

I enjoyed the evening/night and returned at 3am to the hotel.

Categories
English Germany Internet Nextcloud Open-Source-Software Planet

Nextcloud Hackweek – Day 1- People, Cloud, Vision, Documentation, Pizza, Beer

Yesterday I started my trip to Germany for attending the hackweek at Nextcloud headquarters in Stuttgart. The photo on top is taken where I started from. As you can imagine one has to be really motivated and curious to leave a place like this ;)
I arrived on time today in the morning, my phone noticed the right SSID but I didn’t found the entrance to the office.

Where is the Nextcloud hackweek?

Luckily I was not the only one (@oparoz was lost too) and finally @nickvergessen picked us up.

Buero

The day started with a discussion about the agenda.
At 11am we had a kind of plan:

Schedule Stuttgart August 2016
Schedule Stuttgart August 2016

As often at events like this WiFi wasn’t working. Same here, if more than 10 people tried to connect. Finally we found a few cables and adapters to provide everyone with internet.

Bjoern and Lukas played around with the theming feature …

Frank talked about the vision, goals and idea of the Nextcloud company. That’s the vision:

Furthermore, the goal is to make the world a better place. It sounds initially maybe a bit old fashioned, but in my opinion it is a very nice goal!

I was then researching what I could do and joined Andreas, Philip and Daniel on a talk about Nextcloud Partner models. After that I decided to help out with missing documentation.

Unfortunately, I’m not perfect with git commands. Julius helped me and I actually managed to commit a small documentation for anonymous uploading of files created (File Upload via Public Link).

I missed the discussion about the new planned features in the contact and calendar app (have to ask tomorrow).

Did you know that Jos has a dog named popcorn who is attending the hackweek too?

In the evening we had Pizza …

Pizza

… and finally a beer at Palast der Republik.

Palast der Republik

On the way back to the hotel I learn a lot about PokemonGo :)