I would like to suggest a goal for Nextcloud which in my opinion could complement really well the already existing ones.
For me as a user, the main reason to use Nextcloud is to have the full control of my data. Yet up to now there is some data that I cannot use (and so fully control): the data about my data. All the information on my files, my contacts, my emails,… could be really interesting if more easily accessible. I know that at first glance this can be seen as some speculation of a data geek… but I’ll try to explain why this is not true
There are two simple objections to an easy access to this data:
it is clear that everything is simple if we are talking about a single person cloud. If we are talking about a big multiuser installation we will have to define who can access the data (I guess @LukasReschke could give useful insight)
the “normal” user does not want to play with the data files of his/her own files (I think that @jan would say this…). True, but the target is different:
- all the “curious” (statisticians, social scientists or whatever) who are willing to read the data
- all the developer who can reuse the data to give an easy reading to the normal user
But the developer can access the data already! I have the impression that this is not so simple, correct me if I am wrong. I think that up to now the only developers who can easily access the data about my
contacts are the ones working on the contacts part of the core and on the contact app. They do not want to provide too much information that could not useful or disturbing for many users; this is correct.
Yet, if it would be possible to “query” the contact app and the email app, a developer (who does not belong to the “contacts app team”) could build a widget for the dashboard (see @Holger_Dehnhardt work) that summarizes which are my contacts to which I write more emails: another could use the position to calculate the distance between contacts (maybe I am interested in that because I am a sales
representative…); a third one could build a widget or an app that shows me my social graph. And so on. Clearly different users have different needs and it
should be possible for them to use the data in the best way for them.
I think that this could bring to a lot of useful services; it could have also an interesting “pedagogical side effect”: a lot of people could not fully realize the wealth of information that this kind of data bring; using the information for themselves and their own goals could be eye-opening.
I do not have the possibility to contribute to the programming but I am more than willing to contribute with discussion and data visualization proposals. I also have some knowledge of statistical programming, if useful.
Thank you for reading!!!