Current state of the Text app - contributions welcome

Hi, I’m Max! I am working on apps like Text and Collectives and currently hired by Nextcloud for this.

At the office team we’ve been working together with Daphne on how we can better connect our work with the community. We’re using the Text repository as a playground to experiment and become more open and live up more to our values of free software and mutual help.

We’re very happy to see an increase of community pull requests (code change proposals) to Text lately. They really help us and we would like to use the opportunity to make the development process more open and inclusive, to allow for more contributions from the community. In this forum post, I outline the vision of Text, the reflections of the team we have gone through, and we also have a call to action: who wants to become a Text contributor? :slightly_smiling_face:

Text vision

Text is meant to be an easy to use editor including visual markdown editing. It is shipped with Nextcloud by default and also serves as the base for some other apps, like Collectives. It is also integrated, for example, in Talk and we are working on other integrations.

Being a core part of Nextcloud requires the app to have minimal technical debt and be very stable and reliable to use.


Last year a new team has been created to take care of office-related products, which includes the Text repository. We’ve been improving Text with new hires and a fresh look at the code. We try to refactor and simplify the code to make it easier for newcomers. This is and will always be an ongoing effort.

There was quite a bit of a backlog of many open issues that were not triaged or even looked at. We addressed this over the last two months. We triaged all open issues, looked at them, reproduced them, prioritized them and we’re working to solve them one by one. The result is that the repository started with over 200 issues, and now there are 140 issues left (of which some are new).

For some time Text was mainly company-driven, with the main bulk of work coming from company employees. For a while now, Susnux, a community member, has been contributing a lot - but there are very few other community contributors. We understand that it can be scary to get involved in such a complex project that is under active development. At the same time we would love to invite more contributors.

We are working with Daphne to see if we can do something about this. To start on this, we first reflected on our development process. With the team we made a mindmap of how we think the process looks like, and we are now trying to identify roadblocks and problematic points so we can maybe come up with ideas to make the work on and around Text more inclusive and welcoming for contributors.

Who would like to contribute to text development?

As we’ve gone through our backlog we are confident we can respond promptly - so we are ready to welcome more community contributions.
Text is complex - but it’s also possible to learn about it step by step. We try to be very responsive to help people who want to get involved and we are also happy to jump on pairing calls.

We created some good first issues that might help you get started. Rather than jumping at fixing the issues ourselves we try to first provide context and code pointers to how we think they could be tackled. One starting point might be Format markdown code for tables · Issue #3516 · nextcloud/text · GitHub.

Please let us know what you think about this

  • How can we help you to get started?
  • What do you think about the above mindmap?
  • If contributing to text is not for you - is there anything we could do to make it more appealing ?

I’m curious about your responses. Also feel free to join the text and collectives chat.


I appreciate the openness and the hard work to triage all these tickets - it’s what the whole Nextcloud project needs most in my opinion.

However in the suggested ticket regarding Markdown Tables there is an unanswered question since multiple weeks. This is showing a general problem with community contributions: Tickets need to be very well specified to be easy for newcomers to pick up.


Yes. I totally agree. I answered the question in the ticket. It’s a good illustration of the point you are making.