Well, who is NC here? The company? We don’t sell or make this… And if we did, it was for customers.
The volunteer community? You’re a part of it as much as anyone…
Sorry, if nobody steps up, of course nothing happens. You seem to expect that somewhere, magically, people appear and do stuff. That’s not how the world works.
WRT health of the forums & community, I can’t say exactly what’s good or bad, all I can do is look at statistics - they look good. Of course, that’s quantity, not quality. The yearly stats are showing a growth in activity as well.
Sometimes there are apps out there where the current maintainer vanished but somebody fixed the app in a PR (in a several cases just by incrementing the version number), maybe something similar to “non-maintainer uploads” like Debian handles severe (security) issues would make the situation better?
One of the problems with open source projects is that as they get bigger the people who were developing the initial cool features don’t want to maintain them. That’s because often people who develop open-source do it because they’re entrepreneurial-type people. So once they’ve created a solution to a problem they want to move on to the next new and exciting thing.
Nextcloud the company only really provides support to things that allow for it’s developers to continue to get paid, and Outlook support is in much higher demand than Thunderbird.
Lots of topics of discussion here around this; are the companies that use Thunderbird freeloading by not funding for a developer, do they understand the cost, should governments be supporting open source software because it’s open vs. private, etc. etc.
Ultimately it’s probably in poor taste for Nextcloud to advertise an extension and not have it maintained, so possibly there could be a tag or a widget added to the App page that more clearly states that the app is not officially supported, and possibly another widget below that that that links directly to a Liberapay or Caterse (brazilian open source software equivalent to kickstarter), that would show how much money is needed for a developer to spend their time on updating the software.
I think everyone has the best intentions in mind but there are some work processes and technological solutions that would allow for funding to be made more clear for certain apps/extensions.
I see this with NodeBB a lot where someone created something really cool, and then it hasn’t been maintained in a year and a core update breaks it, it’s a shame because the core developers mean well but they can’t keep everything up to date. There has to be a critical mass of users/developers and Nextcloud isn’t there yet. Very few open source projects get there because or they do and then the freerider problem kicks in. I think better organization of app sites that integrate crowdfunding is one potential solution, but maybe a rocket.chat for nextcloud could create a more tight-knit community, or maybe there is another model. Or possibly we just need to be patient and as more companies and governments adopt Nextcloud, the ecosystem will build and more people will create and maintain extensions. /rant.
There is one thing about the developers, they loose interest after some time and then others (or Nextcloud) must step in to maintain the feature. The bookmark app was at some point only maintained to keep it working and recently, a few people invested some more time. The news app, it’s currently only supported to make it work in the new version.
There is a different thing about testing, we are still experiencing some problems with incompatibilities after new releases. For apps, this should be show, however, when it’s only about increasing the serial number, this should be done before the master release. And of course other software (clients, plugins, …). I suppose there is an internal testing plan for Nextcloud, perhaps there should be an open one as well. Some people might be willing to test but they perhaps don’t know what.
as far as i know TB doesn’t update automatically to v60 so far. which means you must have done it manually… maybe mozilla didn’t roll it out to everyone for a good reason?
the common way of testing a new version is: installing it on a test-system and check it out. and then update/upgrade the working system after every test has successfully passed on the test-system. (ya, that’s a bit of work, indeed)
so why do YOU blame anyone here, at all? since i only see a lack of YOUR own responsibility here. (so much for:
@ashgoodman I am very glad you like the product and welcome to the community (if you are new, I did not check your user profile )
The community code of conduct is there for all of us. An honest answer can be given without a bad attitude, and I think what we should remember is that an open source community is 99% of the time people doing it in their spare time, and for the love of the comnunity. So unless someone pays for the service, and even then, I think no-one is entitled to anything. Yeah paying for a service may make you entitled to a feature, but does not make you entitled to being a jerk. Just my 2c.
The problem is that it is a bit unpredictable if apps with really awesome features get deprecated without any replacement. I think this hurts the app ecosystem in the long run because with a rapid release cycle features could go away rather quickly. To be on the safe side this limits the use case of Nextcloud narrowly to the official supported features with a bunch of apps possibly going away rather fast.
Many valid points have already been brought forward. I want to add one thing and hope I’m not crashing the party here. Long story short: I could invest so much more time in developing apps if stuff was documented.
Without any go-to-place I always have to invest a lot more time to even get started and to get little things up-and-running, instead of focussing on the actual functionality of the app.
Little real-world-example: I’m developing an app with multiple pages. I found out how to create routes and a left-sided nav by looking at other apps. Now, I have no clue how to active a nav item when it represents the current page. Can’t find this info anywhere. Have stopped working on that app, because it’s too much effort to start again. (The app is not public, yet. To be fair, there is a lot more missing than that nav entry highlight. But if I knew where to look for the missing info, the app would already be in a better state.)
Here are some nice examples of how projects document their APIs, and by doing so attract developers:
You might read this post in your head in a frustrated voice (because I might be a bit frustrated writing this ) However, at the end of the day I love the nextcloud community and the things that make nextcloud special. Just wanted to put this “rant” in writing in case anyone agrees or disagrees.
maybe you haven’t fully got behind the idea of open source and the business plan of nextcloud, inc?
nextcloud, inc is selling support for nextcloud software to make a living. that’s their main goal. so @jospoortvliet is doing exactly what he is paid for by nextcloud, inc. - doing marketing for his company.
maybe it would get clearer if you try to imaging founding your own company which sells support for nextcloud software… and you would hire a marketing guy for your company. i bet he would write something likewise.
because it’s the truth. though isn’t probably neccessarily what you wanted to hear/read.
NB: of course you could fire everyone you’d like to in your own company. nextcloud, inc is a germany-based company… so “hire & fire” isn’t as easy as in the US (e.g.)
Hey, don’t feel bad. I’m sorry that our documentation isn’t as great as we wish it could be - you’re entirely right of course. Our developers do their best but they have deadlines, customer projects and support to deliver - so often, documentation comes last, especially as it isn’t fun to do. Could we pay somebody to do documentation? Sure, but there are 10 other things we need to hire people for and sadly there is only so much money we get paid by customers. That’s the downside of giving your software away for free
Help is of course welcome. I’d love to invite you to our Community Week in Stuttgart later this month and of course you’re welcome to any other events, like our conference. Perhaps a few engineers can sit with you, help you with your app AND work together to create some nice documentation for the next person who comes to figure things out.
@JimmyKater you are 100% correct. Ok, no, 99% - it is Nextcloud GmbH, not Inc