Well, they are a different issue from the Enterprise version of Nextcloud, but I consider them part of the overall issue, and were part of my original post.
It is currently possible to compile OnlyOffice without restrictions, but I’ll be curious to see if they put up barriers to that, now they know people are actually using it as open source software, and not the freemium software they really intend. As far as I know, the code for the Nextcloud Talk High Performance Backend is not open source.
But you can’t blame Nextcloud for the shortcomings of OnlyOffice. I’m not sure if it was Collabora or OnlyOffice, but one could be compiled without restrictions. It wasn’t easy and not well documented. In that case you would say that Nextcloud should officially bundle apps that are completely open source (no paid/enterprise features)?
I’m pointing out that some functionality is restricted to the proprietary version. At this point, I’m interested in being clear on what is the case, not what should be the case.
The part I’m trying to clarify here is that there’s no special service that Talk would have to provide to allow interoperation with VOIP calls - it’s just a software feature that can be enabled or disabled.
I would say that offering optional integrations with third party software of all kinds is fine. But, I think once you start creating your own forks of open core software (including the deliberate restrictions), making them a default part of the Nextcloud distribution, and doing a deal to sell proprietary versions to unlock the restrictions, then you enter murky territory, that, taken with all the other issues, starts to make the commitment against open core look very questionable.
If you’re happy enough with that, that’s great. But, as I say, leaving aside the question of what we find acceptable or not, the point is that this is a matter of restricting functionality to proprietary versions. Whether particular functionality is important to you or me is not really the point.
So since day one, we said we wanted to follow the Red Hat business model. And RHEL is an enterprise build of Fedora. That is what Nextcloud Enterprise is. Now yes, the difference between RHEL and Fedora is far bigger than NCE vs normal Nextcloud, we don’t want to be maintaining two products so the main difference is currently the theme, default apps and the different updater server, through which we can deliver certain fixes relevant for large deployments faster. Will the difference get bigger in the future? Maybe, but it would only affect large instances - clusters at least.
This entire RHEL strategy benefits home users but is a bit less nice to a specific type of businesses:
Those who monetize Nextcloud by offering ‘support’ to other companies without a backup support contract from us.
I guess perhaps the people who complain work for one of those and that’s why they are unhappy: they get paid to support Nextcloud but don’t want to have to pay our engineers for backup in case something goes wrong. Others that do this include @autoize which also heavily complained lately about being limited in this.
Now to be clear, companies that use Nextcloud themselves and don’t pay us - totally OK. If you decide it is worth the risk of not getting a subscription, that is your right, that is exactly what the AGPL is for. Go for it. Good luck. Sure, I believe that it would help you AND Nextcloud to get a subscription, but if we can’t convince you of the value of our work, or if we don’t offer any value for you for whatever reason, that is on us. Nothing wrong with you.
(I do NOT feel that we have to go out of our way to make your life easier, ref the discussions about the production channel and other things. Sorry. We make Nextcloud for home users. We make it as easy as possible for them. If you, as a company, use that, well - it isn’t meant for you. Nextcloud Enterprise is. My personal motivation has NEVER been to make companies happy. It has been to help users protect their private data. And companies pay the bill, so we make them happy. But if they don’t pay, why care?)
I DO have a problem with the companies who’s ‘business model’ is to essentially offer fake support to OTHER companies for 2 main reasons:
It is bad for business users. They often think they got a real support contract. And a support contract is like an insurance: you have a problem? It gets fixed. Well, that is if you have a contract with us, indeed. But not if you got a contract with a random third party that actually can’t fix any real issue because they don’t employ a dozen Nextcloud developers but, maybe, a sysadmin or two. It is like a health insurance that only covers a splinter in your finger but doesn’t do anything if you break a leg: a problem in the Apache setup they can fix, but if there is a real problem in S3 support for your storage back-end, they have to ask on our forums or github and hope somebody fixes it . In effect, you are not paying for support but for somebody who asks on our forums for help . We end up getting panicked calls from other people’s customers who are very upset and don’t understand how they could see a Nextcloud logo on a website and paid for support but don’t get help. Of course, those IT companies break our trademark guidelines and what they do is illegal. We try and contact them and point out that their dishonest business practice is bad for customers and that they violate our trademark but it is hard to solve it without suing dozens of companies and we prefer to do work on Nextcloud rather than pay lawyers. We’re not Oracle If we offer them to become partners, and we’re usually real nice, offering support for free or very little for their existing customers or the very small ones (under 50 users), they still complain that it costs money for bigger customers. Well, yes, we have to pay to make Nextcloud better and we work for you, that costs money… Anyway, if you want to talk about that - chat with our partner manager at the next conference and be amazed
Of course, this behavior not just hurts Nextcloud enterprise users and customers but also takes away resources from other areas that would have helped private users. These fully paid people go bother volunteers on our forums (like in this and other threads) asking for help (!!!) and bother our engineers who are nice and want to help home users - some of these IT companies even go as far as to create fake accounts for their employees on github and this forum to ask for help in multiple ways, or complain on issues pretending to be home users. Or emailing our employees privately (recently a dozen of our engineers all got the same email from a company pretending to be a private user with a large deployment… right…), all to get free support for their PAID customers… And of course, the money they get paid by their customers does not get used to improve Nextcloud but goes to the shareholders of whatever company they work for.
There’s a nice third-party blog about this issue here:
Now they break our trademark guidelines with their dishonest business practices, but there is otherwise not much we can do - the GPL of course allows this. And when it comes to small companies that do some support for home users, or various charities that host for people, we are happy to give them permission when they honestly come and ask us (and that happens, luckily). And again, I have no problem with companies that use Nextcloud themselves and don’t pay us. Just those that offer fake support.
Now I don’t enjoy these conversations, as they are deeply negative, and some people seem to insist that ‘doing open source’ means ‘working for other companies for free’. I find that ridiculous, but such entitlement is a real problem in open source and a constant irritation and demotivating factor. I’d like to propose we close such discussions and block such users. If you get paid by a business with such deceptive practices, you don’t belong on these forums. This forum was for home users, volunteers who help each other…
It’s most definitely not. It’s an enterprise build based on a fedora snapshot: fedora itself is nearly rolling. RHEL/CentOS freeze software versions at release time and then backport every security fix into them. They are extremely different products.
I have no problem with people monetizing their work, of course; but I ask: is an enterprise-level, but unsupported “CentOS” based on NCE possible? (I am not asking you to make it, only if the source is out there)
Well, we think as well of users that might use such storage back end and which are still interested community users. And what I like about Nextcloud that you have all these features and nobody does say that is only a feature for enterprise users. However, some of these “community users” have surprisingly large setups. Perhaps we should be a bit more careful when community users with very few contributions ask for quick solutions.
And as community user, I don’t want to work for their support for free.
If you buy a support that is much cheaper than the original one, well there is a reason for that.
that was running through my mind for weeks now. and i wanted to create an own thread for it (not that i am someone being able to help big times).
this is true… and @jospoortvliet as much as i understand that NC GmbH is aiming towards bigger companies… maybe you wanna (again) put thought into offering support for HU/SBOs as well. directly. it could even earn you some bucks.
I run 7 Nextcloud « Community » Servers for different clients.
It ranges from 3 to 50 users.
I don’t fakely advertising on Nextcloud.
I am honest with the client about this open source project saying that i can give low support (little debuging, backup) but if they have a bigger issue, they have to take a paid support at nextcloud.com
They pay me for the support of computers and services (Nextcloud can be one of them)
But i don’t have special support form Nextcloud Inc because i never run on a disaster situation and the cost is too expensive. I always have a good full backup everyday for rolling back to 6 days if i want.
I would be happy if i can find a partnership with us for a fair price because i don’t really need support for the moment but the dev needs money.
But i’m really annoyed by the Collabora partnership they had back in the days whereas LibreOffice Online where better to embrase. Then they have another partnership with OnlyOffice which really put brakes to the « unlimited connection » compilation (old documentation …) and they advertise it so much… i feel really sad . Because it’s in default with Nextcloud Hub
Yup. As I said - the difference is so minimal, it boils down to the theme Yes, we might increase the difference some day if there would be things that are bad for home users but good for businesses for example*, but it isn’t anything like fedora vs RHEL.
For example: Nextcloud Enterprise does NOT try to install ONLYOFFICE. if a customer wants that, they should at LEAST get the docker version Nobody should use this build in solution for more than 10-15 users, it’ll be slow. And our customers have sysadmins who can handle docker. This office integration is a typical example where we did something SOLELY for private users.
Hum, sorry, what is HU/SBO? Small/medium enterprises? Yeah, our idea is that people like @Nemskiller should be able to get a partnership contract with us - for the small type of customers he has, we want to be very cheap or even free. Now at the moment, we don’t have a really good offer there. We DO have something better than “buy a 50 user contract for each of your customers”, by the way, we let partners buy support per 500 users at a much lower rate. But at the moment our sales team just doesn’t have time to handle hundreds of these small partners and discuss with them, which I personally find very frustrating and sad but we have to make choices in where we spend our time. (it is also why we are hiring sales people including sales engineers, pls help us find people!) That is also why I would not want to be and did not mean to be negative about what he does, his business, and similar ones - and he should not expect an email from us about him abusing our trademarks or something like that.
And there are 100s of people like @Nemskiller who do a genuinely fair job at taking care of the Nextcloud of a local bakery for example. And with our focus on larger customers, we don’t even WANT to try and compete with such people. But for every 100 @Nemskiller people, there are 1 or 2 companies that with a straight face tell a 10.000 people company that they can set up and maintain a Nextcloud just as well as we could, and they don’t need to pay us. And if we contact them to discuss a partnership, they will straight up tell us what one of them said to our head of sales:
Look, we can solve most problems. And when we can’t, we just ask your engineers on github, and they often reply very fast. And if they don’t, we just tell the customer we can’t fix it. Yes, some walk away, but most don’t have such problems, and we don’t have to pay you anything.
Which is of course exactly the kind of dishonest business I was describing early, resulting in some of their customers coming to us asking if we can please please help… Oh, and these companies - yes, they are cheaper than us. That is easy. They don’t actually employ developers, they don’t contribute to the product, they are sysadmins. And our partners are sysadmins too, customers need sysadmins. But they also need somebody who can actually fix the hard issues…
All of this is an evasion of the point, and an attempt to dismiss those pointing out the contradictions by inventing a tale about our motivations, entitlement, and “dishonest companies”(!). In my case, your imaginary cynical narrative is very wide of the mark. As it happens, I am retired, but I do some voluntary work for a number of organisations, including helping them select and set up their open source software.
If we strip away the aspersions and PR spin, you actually confirm the point at hand – that Nextcloud now has a separate proprietary version, against your own “Values Statement” and all the talk of the past.
What’s happened here now seems sadly obvious. At the time of splitting from Owncloud, the rhetoric was all about the evils of open core and proprietary versions. That played extremely well to those of us that believe it’s important to stick to truly open source software, and not get locked into open core solutions. But, now that position is no longer useful, there is a hard pivot to rhetoric defending those things, and denigrating anyone who calls this out as entitled leeches.
Sadly, I am not at all surprised by your suggested solution of banning me and shutting down the conversation. You may think you are helping the situation with your approach, but, FWIW, I can tell you that the people I’ve shown your responses have been quite shocked. You can ban me if you wish, but Nextcloud’s recent conduct is now being discussed outside this forum. I think your attitude has been extremely unhelpful for Nextcloud’s reputation.
@Semjel I have to tell you that I have one personal problem with what you write in the forum.
It is true that your repeated questions helped to clarify some aspects on the license and on the strategy of Nextcloud GmbH. Without those questions we possibly would have had less answers from them. This does not mean that I do not appreciate all the details that @jospoortvliet gave us and the time he spent in answering, yet I also acknowledge the value of the questions and the importance of principles.
At the same time it is also true that your tones make me less willing to read the forum and to log in.
For example I do not get the exact purpose of your last answer. I have the impression that now the positions of everyone are clear.
What are you looking for? Do you want repentance…?
You yourself say that you are actively talking in a negative way both inside and outside the forum. It is clearly your right, but it is not a situation that can last for a long time (clearly IMHO).
If the responses of Nextcloud do not/will not satisfy you maybe you could leave and try to find a better community.
If you still think that you can contribute to steer the community, than this has a meaning…
Let me stress the fact that I am NOT at all involved with Nextcloud GmbH, I am just a simple member of the community.
I would love to have a council of Community Users that addresses what’s good in Nextcloud, what can be good as further development, what is wrong and to be listened by the Nextcloud inc.
In order to have a strong link together and to really know what is the main line Nextcloud inc. want to follow.
I get pretty sad by the lack of clear communication thoses months by the Nextcloud team. They faced (still) issues but they don’t really speak about them.
Like the problems with the disagreements between the community and the devs about the Nextcloud Virtual Drive Client.
The postpone of NC Virtual Drive Client and the lack of explaining about that
the so long bugs that had client v.2.5.X to v.2.6.3… Now everything is much better with v.2.6.4
the crisis with the solution of embrase OnlyOffice in Nextcloud Hub (18) and the entry of open core philosophy.
the New Photos App that replaced Gallery without a lot of features and broke some workflow of some clients. (It’s better now and should be totally repaired in 18.0.3)
We get some news times to times from @jospoortvliet, but his answer comes late most of the time or don’t start a dialogue between Nextcloud and the community.
I really love Nextcloud in his core function : Sync files ! It does it right. I love the Contacts / Calendars App using Dav.
Please be open to dialogue with the community. Github isn’t really the good place for that, and this Discorse also but we need to have more discussion between « US ».
I find ironic that, in my opinion, most of the point raised by him are secrets in plain sight.
Following a bit Github, even if I am not a programmer, I sort of knew that Nextcloud 18 was a bit revolutionary (and not evolutive). This both for the photo app and for the calendar app.
The photo app was a brand new app to replace an old (and tested) one.
Following the discussions in Github I can see that now you are thinking to realize features long asked in the gallery app and deemed impossible. It is clear that in the first version some important functionalities skipped; this should not happen and you @jospoortvliet explained the problem.
Yet maybe a better communication could be possible. I do understand that you need a bit of hype for marketing reasons, this is needed for you to get more clients and it translates to new features developed for my cloud. I also do understand that you try to maintain the right compromise between developing in plain sight and having material for the “hype effect”. Maybe a guideline in the forum on how to deal whit x.0 versions could help.
As a comparison (and @georgehrke can correct me if I’m wrong ) I have the impression that also calendar 2.0 was a revolution, both in the frontend and in the backend. Reading the forums it seems to me that it was a silk revolution. This means that if you are too good nobody notices but does not deny that better communication could maybe help.
I do not mean more communication. For example I have the impression that you gave a lot of information on the client but not in the right way. I understand that maybe it is simply a difficult problem…
I have the certainty that communication on Virtual Drive and encryption is lacking. You have issues, could you please let us know if we have to wait or not…?
I am lucky because I do not NEED one of those features, yet I can understand the frustrations of the users waiting for them.
Maybe, as you are trying to have your contributors week in remote, you could try to involve a selection of representative forum users for discussion and suggestions… This could lead to something useful. @jospoortvliet this is just a proposal and I myself understand some potential defects in it.
If you like, I’m open to brainstorm it.