First of I have to say I’m a bit worried about your announcement. I’ve been using owncloud since version 5 and I think it is the best cloud solution out there.
Your explanation does sound convincing and since you guys want to focus on community rather then venture capital I am considering jumping the ship. But I would like to hear from you some assurances before hand. Might be still too early but maybe you have answer to those questions already:
How can you guarantee nextcloud will survive over next years? What if community or customers stay with owncloud?
How can you re assure similar fork won’t be happening any time soon?
You say migration should be painless, which makes sense since the code base now will be pretty much the same. Do you plan on painless migrations in the future? In order to move buisness or larger projects, we need to be sure where we are going, therefor a lot of us will wait to see how things develop. How long before codebase will differ so much migration won’t be possible? Do you consider creating tools to facilitate and maintain painless migrations in the future?
Will app developers have to choose between OC or NC in the future? The worst that could happen is when community app developers have to choose between one of the Clouds.
So, the main thing we wanted is a sustainable company. A company that doesn’t go away soon, that isn’t forced by a bad funding situation to make stupid decisions, or to limit itself and not work with partners as much as possible.
How can we ‘prove’ that we achieved that? Well, that’s kind’a hard, I guess, unless we ask Niels to show his bank account numbers
You can see that spreed.com and Spreed.ME do run a very healthy business. That will continue and grow - they need engineers and note that the product already includes ownCloud. Which is great and can be improved by us! That’ll be fun and good for users.
We, together, will built a healthy, stable, long-term focused company. Or better, as Spreed.ME is already that, we continue one and add more expertise and development power to it. Together they are called Nextcloud. We are stable and healthy, financially, as healthy as it gets.
Now to your other questions.
A similar fork? Well, if Frank and the rest of the engineers lose trust in Nextcloud, we won’t have to fork as this time, we will make sure the company won’t fully control trademark and code. No more CLA. Trademark in a foundation. So this is the first and last time a fork happens, unless of course ppl would disagree with the majority of the community. That is a different type of fork I suppose.
About the future - my crystal ball isn’t too great. Of course, initially it will be easy to stay in sync. It depends a lot on the speed of development of both code bases and the direction. We will sure try to stay compatible, our team has experience with the code base (duh) but at some point, yeah.
We want to avoid that. It also depends on where both projects go, though. It is true that for oC you need a CLA and you won’t need that for Nextcloud, but I think the main factor will be how quick they develop. At least for the next few months this won’t be a problem and I think that, before the end of the year, it will be clear where both projects are going. That was also with LibreOffice and OpenOffice (now at Apache), I think it won’t take too long on the developer side. For users it will be harder to decide, the old name is familiar. That will take more time.
Thanks for explanation. I understand it’s hard to predict the future, but just wanted to see your take on that, and I’m satisfied with your answers. You guys sound more honest, specially with your approach to CLA.
I’ll be testing nextcloud as soon as its out. I hope a lot of community members moves as well and most importantly app developers. But that should be more clear within next few months (hopefully migration will still be possible then).
It it would be good to know upfront which OC or NC update will break painless migration so that we can make the decision to jump the ship. (I myself will try run migrations in my test env before each oc update.)
As for how things are looking so far, you have my sword!
As for now, our idea is to make migrating a no-brainer. We don’t have worked out all the nifty details (as some of those rely on changes in ownCloud core that could be reverted), but we have an overall idea.
For the usual ownCloud administrator migrating will probably be as easy as uploading a single file, adjusting a single line of config or enabling a custom app. We aim to provide migration paths starting from ownCloud 8.0 up to ownCloud 9.1.
I like that very much! Since I am still on version 8.2 due to our installation being in heavy use. And I do want to support this step. Mainly because of the different philosophy and the spreed.me background.
While I’m notsavvy to the underlying code, I imagine that for the first release at least, we should just be able to modify where ownCloud looks for updates, modify that and then deliver Nextcloud just as an update. I’d be curious to hear the dev teams thoughts on this.