When will groupfolders be stable?

Hello,

I have several folders shared with groups, and I really need to migrate to group folders, because if you delete a user, the files that he/she created will also be gone (biggest design flaw of Nextcloud imho).

I am waiting for more than a year now until groupfolders looks stable/safe enough to use. Not happening. There is even an issue that tracks known bugs 🎯 📚 📕 FAQ ➕ KNOWN ISSUES · Issue #1414 · nextcloud/groupfolders · GitHub I don’t know any other Nextcloud app that has this/needs this. And then I randomly stumble upon an issue about files not appearing in search Files in group folders don´t get indexed in search when user/group has no sharing rights · Issue #1033 · nextcloud/groupfolders · GitHub and it is open for almost a year and not even a single comment?! Wow.

Why is groupfolders such a mess? I thought it is used by the big Nextcloud customers, so it should be stable? Also it’s an official Nextcloud app…

Its all about the difference between open source and closed source software. In open source software, all of the bugs and glitches are out in the open for all to see, whereas in closed source software, all of the bugs and glitches are covered up and hidden by the software vendor in order to pretend that the bugs and glitches don’t exist.

Case in point; the microsoft webdav client has been nearly hopelessly broken for EVER. Its not even able to remount a webdav share upon login. This basic functionality bug has been outstanding since introduction, and there is no sign of fixing it.

ALL COMPLEX SOFTWARE HAS BUGS. There is no exception.
The only question is whether the bugs will have a significant impact on your use of the product.

Group folders works extremely well. Only one fairly minor glitch that impacts me, which is that things get really slow quickly if you don’t clean out the trashcan. For this, I just run a daily cron to clear it out; 0 0 * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/nextcloud/occ groupfolders:trashbin:cleanup -f

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I agree with what @Larry_Boyd says. And to be honest, I don’t necessarily find these issues so serious that I would have to say that Goup Folders are a mess or unusable. The only thing I have to partially agree with is about the issue with the trashbin.

I say this as someone who has to deal with SharePoint and MS Office in the company where I work. If you think there are no problems with commercial products, you’re wrong. And our SharePoint admins would be happy if they had such a clear list of “known issues” and thus knew exactly how to work around the problems that arise from time to time even with these expensive commercial products.

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Thanks for your answers. So you think that this is normal, and that no additional resources should be assigned to this, an official part of Nextcloud?

Can you please share a link to issue about the trash bin slowing it down? I could not find it Issues · nextcloud/groupfolders · GitHub

@Larry_Boyd Does “cleaning out” mean permanently delete everything everyday? Because that is not an option for us, it’s the whole point of trash that you can restore deleted files (for us, within 4 months, then permanent deletion is ok).

My point is, I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Regular sharing with groups is not good because I cannot delete users. Groupfolders is much more buggy than regular sharing, so I can’t use that either. So I wait another two years? But why should the situation be different then?

You could program the cronjob to only delete files in the trashbin that weren’t modified for a specific amount of days…

I understand that the issues concerning the trash bin can be a knockout criterion up to a certain point. On the other hand, I would not consider the trash bin as a reliable instrument for a backup/restore procedure on any file system. This is rather something where a user who notices that he has deleted something by mistake can restore it at short notice.

if you do nightly backups of the entire file system and keep several versions, such a file could also be restored later and perhaps a file system like ZFS or BTRFS that supports snapshots could be part of this strategy to be able to restore files more easily. Of course, in most cases such a file restore process would then require a manual process that cannot be carried out by the user himself. Personally, I would live with this flaw. Because you need a backup concept anyways, if the data on this server is important to you.

I would recommend to setup a test server and play around with it. And if you are aware of the issues that can arise and you take appropriate measures to midigate those issues, I think Group Folders can absolutly be used in production. Btw that’s what professional sysadmins do most of their time: Midigate issues, some of which involve extremely expensive commercial software :wink:

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Nobody suggested that bugs should not be fixed. I’m not sure what you mean by “additional resources should be assigned” – there are bugs, and there are people working on bugs, and it is on a priority and skill basis. Feel free to contribute to the efforts if you believe that there should be more resources.

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Just curious, have you actually personally encountered any group folder bugs, or are you calling it an unstable mess based solely off stuff you read?

I have two very large group folders since NC 16 and have had zero problems.

If it’s so vital to your organization, maybe you could contribute.

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Of course everyone needs a backup strategy and trash bin is not a replacement for that.

@KarlF12 No. Before migrating to group folders I did some research. I don’t want to deploy it when I look at 🎯 📚 📕 FAQ ➕ KNOWN ISSUES · Issue #1414 · nextcloud/groupfolders · GitHub – note that not all problematic issues are listed there but some of the items on the list are links to automatically filtered lists. It just seems like a really bad idea to deploy something like that. I’d rather live with a lot of deactivated users than deal with those new bugs. Note that this ist not only about some very specific cases, but some bugs affect everyone, e.g. trash bin problems. Test server is a good idea. We use a nextcloud hosting provider (not vps), so I have to check if that would even be possible. Also, they still keep our cloud at NC 20 because there are too many bugs with NC 21, and there are two serious issues with group folders that are fixed in 21.0.3, so I have to wait anyway.

@Larry_Boyd IMO, the present is the best predictor of the future. So unless you assign more people, or more volunteers start to contribute, in two years, some of the group folder bugs will be fixed but there will be new ones, possibly as severe as the current ones or worse. I will be in the same situation as now. So in my opinion, Nextcloud GmbH should assign more resources to group folders, or they/we need to find ways to attract volunteer developers. Any ideas how to achieve this?

@Larry_Boyd Can you please share a link to the issue about the trash bin slowing the server down from your comment ? I could not find that issue on github.

@Larry_Boyd Please clarify, does “cleaning out” mean permanently delete everything everyday?

Two people have suggested to contribute – we would be happy to contribute donations for specific issues or for the group folder project as a whole, but bountysource is not used anymore, so we can’t. We cannot afford to hire a developer to work on this, and none of us has the skills to do it themselves. Nextcloud subscription is waaaay too expensive for us (yes, even after contacting them and asking for discounts).

Group Folders works fine for my (basic?) needs since NC16, aka Group Folders v.4…

If you don’t have a contract with NC GmbH, the only metric whether to use an app should be your experience. A good portion of GitHub issues is edge cases. You might never encounter them…

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