[Discussion] How should contacts work?

Recently I’ve been playing around with NextCloud 14 to give a talk on it and I’ve also confirmed this is an issue on my v13 instance. I’ve run into an oddity with contacts that I’ve never noticed before due to my previous usage. I’m hoping someone can tell me that I’m just overlooking a setting somewhere.

The issue is that if I’m in the web GUI and click on the contacts icon next to my user icon in the top right, I get an initial list of users. This list is a combination of local NextCloud users and my contacts. When I start typing it filters down on users as expected. However, when I click on the bottom item “Show all contacts” I am taken to my Contacts page, but I don’t see any local NextCloud users there.

The local users are set so their profile picture, name, and email are set to “Contacts” which indicates on the drop-down that it is available to the local users and trusted servers.

So the questions are:

  1. Should I be able to see other local users in my contacts?
  2. Where are the setting(s) that control this feature if its something that might just be turned off by default?
  3. Is this a known bug? (I did some searches before posting, but didn’t find anything relevant)
  4. If this is expected behavior, why does the “Show all contacts” take me to the contacts page without displaying local users?

At the moment, Contacts doesn’t show you the users on your Nextcloud server. This is something we’ve discussed a bit and we would want to add that, but it’s work that hasn’t been done yet.

It will probably also rely on the Circles app, which should be integrated in Contacts at some point. At the moment, Contact is being migrated to Vue (a new JS framework) which makes it up-to-date with the rest of Nextcloud and makes it easier to develop further and integrate with other apps.

Help is welcome, of course! You can get involved in github - https://github.com/nextcloud/contacts see the bottom of the page for how to do your first pull request! We’d be happy to help you get started.

Both scenarios have their right to exist.

On the one hand you can have a Nextcloud instance running to provide your workers, customers, family, … an app service, like as a (private) replacement for e.g. Google or Microsoft services. The users will use the file service, the calendar and contacts for their own personal needs. For example they have Nextcloud contacts or calendar integrated in their mobile phones. In this case all Nextcloud users should be isolated from each other and have e.g. clean contacts. And maybe because of privacy they should’t even know which one uses this Nextcloud service, too.

On the other hand, Nextcloud can be like a centralized workspace, which provides tools for its users (workers, community, …). These users do not act for their own but together and therefore they use exactly these tools. So it is very useful, that these users find and know each other. Here it would be an advantage, if “everybody” is available in contacts, etc.

But as in a company/community, there are hierarchies, permissions, teams and task sharing, even in the second use case, there should be a demand for hiding or forbidding information about others, so the approach of integrating circles/groups in contacts and user search would be great.

And it sounds that you are working on something like that. Nice. I’m looking forward to it!

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Thanks for the response Jos. This was the type of information that I was looking for. The help files are not clear on this subject.

I’ll take a look to see if any of the related tasks for this feature are in my skill set, but I don’t believe they will be.

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