Proprietary Enterprise version

Well, I’m afraid the answer to that is was just a deal to make money with another company - Struktur AG.

Nextcloud now has a proprietary Enterprise version (with different code), which gets security fixes before the community, and a number of proprietary extensions for key functionality. The original “moral” reasons given for the split from Owncloud are now pretty obviously debunked, along with their “Values Statement”.

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Where did you get that from? Are you referring to the Office-Suite licensing stuff?

No, incorporating open core software for part of the default functionality is a separate problem.

This point is about Nextcloud Enterprise.

What is Nextcloud Enterprise?

To better deliver on the needs of our customers, they have access to a special Nextcloud Enterprise build pre-configured, optimized and hardened for the special needs of large scale, production-critical enterprise deployments. Nextcloud Enterprise provides the following key benefits:

  • Improved reliability. Nextcloud Enterprise receives additional quality assurance to provide the highest degree of reliability and offers a longer life cycle.
  • Improved scalability. Nextcloud Enterprise is pre-configured and optimized for the needs of large scale production at enterprises, rather than home users.
  • Improved security. Nextcloud Enterprise customers get priority access to security and stability fixes to guarantee smooth operation out of the box.
  • Certified integrity. Nextcloud Enterprise is a guaranteed proven, certified code base for legal compliance like GDPR and HIPAA.

Asked about this on github, it was confirmed that the Enterprise version is different than the normal build, in the same way that RedHat differs from Fedora, although they say the difference is minimal. But, however minimal it might or might not be, the point remains true.

the difference between RHEL and Fedora is far, far larger than between the Nextcloud enterprise build and the normal build - that difference is minimal. And we’d like to be able to keep that minimal and keep doing everything in the open and for free, even though that means less developers working on Nextcloud.

Hello @Semjel,

you already started discussion at GitHub. So why starting another discussion here?

@tflidd Should we close this issue?

I didn’t start this topic - it was split off from another thread by a moderator.

Also, the discussion on Github has been closed, and it seems a reasonable matter for the community to discuss. Probably reasonable to close the issue on github, since the decision was made, and that’s not really the place for those discussions.

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RHEL and Fedora are totally different and don’t have a lot in common (except that at some point Red Hat takes it and makes its new RHEL out of it). I suppose the difference would be more like Centos and RHEL (which are mostly identical except for things like subscription-manager which is of no use to Centos users)?

Yes, I wasn’t making a comparison to differences between RHEL/Fedora - that just came up in the conversation on github.

The point is that in that conversation, it was made clear that the Nextcloud Enterprise does differ from the “normal” build, which is quite a significant shift for the project.

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These are your conclusions. I’ve read it and I don’t understand it that way.
What is your goal? Do you want to cause trouble? Do you want to badmouth the project?

I wasn’t aware of this, I just wanted to split it from the other topic because it didn’t seem limited to Office-Suite-discussion. There are already many points discussed there, and you have some response from Nextcloud.

Such things don’t mean that the code of Nextcloud itself has to be different. You can also buy VM-images of the free Nextcloud version, just you don’t have to set it up yourself and go through all the details…

Well we can turn all arguments around. But over the time, from the all in the open development and discussion, we come around office features that are only available for free for a certain amount of users (not clearly communicated), stop of the production release channel (is it really the problem, if the company doesn’t want to continue, could it be done from the community), … so a few things users discovered by accident or were just confronted with an already made decision. However, I didn’t feel any limitations by these decision (the way I use Nextcloud).

Problem for Nextcloud is probably that some companies don’t want to pay for any subscription even if they can afford it. These companies try to get free community support where I supposedly help some nice person on his personal setup, but finally I’m helping someone to do his paid job. And these people don’t fix documentation or help developing apps.

I don’t know, I’m not sure if such discussions lead to anything. Regarding the relationship with the company, it would be better to discuss this with a few people of Nextcloud in person. There are hackatons, Linux conferences, the Nextcloud conference where they attend. Certainly not everybody can make it, if there were a few people from the Community would be great.

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I think that is simply what the words say - if the difference between the Enterprise build and the normal build is “minimal”, then the difference exists. How else are we supposed to understand it?

No, and what is your goal - to dismiss anyone with concerns about the direction of the project as a troublemaker?

My goal is to point out the problems of the direction Nextcloud has taken recently, and how they conflict with the originally stated reasons for the creation of Nextcloud. And there are plenty of people who also see the problems. The ultimate goal would be to make the powers-that-be reconsider their direction of travel, and keep the project closer to that original understanding.

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No, it’s just that I can’t understand why one addresses and clarifies this once instead of doing it in many places and then in several topics.

The best thing to do is to contact Nextcloud directly and discuss it. This is a user forum and there are rarely employees of Nextcloud here.

Yes, I understand that, and that can be a problem for open source projects. And the way that some companies choose to deal with that is to go with the open core model, like Owncloud. But, one of the stated points of Nextcloud was to get away from that strategy, which they described as fundamentally unsustainable.

The problem is that many of us decided to go with Nextcloud on the basis of that understanding (and, in my case, advised others to do the same.) But now, it appears that Nextcloud is sliding towards that type of strategy, and switched to arguments defending it, rather than rejecting it.

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I thought this was a community forum, and Nextcloud was supposed to be a community project.

I think discussing within the community is entirely appropriate. TBH, I think being told to go and discuss it with the company is again a reflection of how attitudes have shifted.

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it’s a fair point, and they probably have to live with it that certain people/companies just use it without paying. Question to discuss, what could they offer for paying customers that is acceptable? Special licensing or code reviews?

Well, they actually discussed this in the past, and Frank covered it at his talk at FOSDEM 18. Essentially, the customers were intended to be large enterprises, who would actually want to have a commercial support relationship with the vendor. Which, in terms of the enterprise mindset, makes total sense - they want the security and reliability of that type of relationship.

But, again, in that same talk he specifically rejected the idea of offering a different product to paid customers, and pointed out that open core is an unsustainable business practice that poisons the relationship with the community of a truly open source project.

https://archive.fosdem.org/2018/schedule/event/nextcloud/

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No, I am supporter spending my spare time to support users here. I am a not a project leader or developer.

Please stop twisting my words around in my mouth.

I’m really not trying to twist your words

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that’s telling me to go and talk to the company.

But, the point I’m making is that it reflects the fact that things have become much more about a company/users divide.

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From the beginning of Nextcloud it has been the same like now.
In this forums (user or community, whatever you prefer) you rarely see employees of Nextcloud. They use GitHub as their primary platform.

So I really cannot see any “attitude shiffting” related to my point.

The fact that Nextcloud staff tend to ignore the forums and stick to github has been the case for a long time. The shift I’m talking about is that the project has become much less community-oriented over time. Originally, they said they were going to have a community partnership foundation to steer the project, but they’re clearly not interested in that anymore. My point is that I felt that being told to go and discuss these issues with Nextcloud, instead of on the community forum, was reflective of how things have gone, and that divide.

The problem with github, is that it’s really for discussing specific technical issues, and when resolved, closing the ticket. It’s not really the place for discussing general concerns about the project. I didn’t start the conversation over there - it was a request to remove the open core restriction on the Nextcloud fork of OnlyOffice, and some debate followed. In the end, they refused to do so, and then closed the issue, which, in terms of github is fair enough.

But that doesn’t mean the community shouldn’t discuss concerns about the direction of the project on the forum, which seems the appropriate place for such ongoing discussions.

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May I ask what those extensions are?

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