ownCloud Planet

Frank Karlitschek
ownCloud 7 is out!
July 23, 2014

ownCloud 7 I have just published ownCloud 7!

This awesome release brings many new features. Among them, I’m most excited about the server to server sharing.

Server to server sharing is a first step in true federation of data with ownCloud: you can add a folder shared with you from another ownCloud instance into your own. Next step would of course be to also share things like user accounts and data like chat, contacts, calendar and more. These things come with their own challenges and we’re not there yet, but if you want to help work on it – join us for the ownCloud Contributor Conference in Berlin next month!

A close runner-up in terms of excitement for me are the improvements to ownCloud Documents – real-time document editing directly on your ownCloud! We have been updating this through the 6.0.x series so the only ‘unique’ ownCloud 7 feature is the support for transparently converting MS Word documents, but that is a feature that makes Documents many times more useful!

There are many more features, you can find more details on the ownCloud website. The official announcement blog post is here.

A big THANK YOU

This would not have been possible without the hard work of the ownCloud community, so a big thank-you goes out to everybody who contributed! We have a large team of almost 100 regular contributors, making ownCloud one of the largest Open Source projects and that makes me proud.

Of course we have a lot of work to do: revelations of companies and governments spying on people keep coming out and our work is crucial to protect our privacy for the future. If you want to help out with this important work, consider contributing to ownCloud. We can use help in many areas, not just coding. Translation, marketing and design are all important for the success of ownCloud!

The release of ownCloud 7 is not only the conclusion of a lot of hard work by the ownCloud community, but also a new beginning! Not only will we release updates to this release, fixing issues and adding translations, but the community now also starts to update the numerous ownCloud apps to ownCloud 7.

Expect more from us. Now, go, install ownCloud 7 and let me know what you think of it!

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ownCloud
ownCloud 7 Released With more Sharing And Control
July 23, 2014

Dear contributors, friends and fans! The ownCloud community is proud to announce the release of ownCloud 7. Eight months of planning, coding, discussing and testing have brought massive improvements in sharing and collaboration while putting you even more firmly in control of your data. Watch this great video to get an overview of the new and improved features in ownCloud 7!

sharing overview
See what files are shared by whom

Share More Than Ever

First off – ownCloud 7 is about sharing: Server-to-server sharing makes collaboration between you and somebody on a different ownCloud installation as easy as on a public cloud, while still giving you the privacy and control of a private, hosted cloud.

Sharing is more flexible and transparent – files shared with you are no longer confined to a single “shared” folder and the Files app shows what files are shared by who. As administrator you have more control with options like disabling sharing for some user groups and ensuring shared links expire in a timely manner and are protected by passwords for others.

Faster, Easier and With More Control

ownCloud 7 also delivers an improved user interface and faster responses, while introducing mobile web browser support. The new, powerful File Activity Notifications can be finely controlled and updates can be sent to you by mail, configured easily with the new Email Configuration.

mail templates
Configure emails send to users

If you manage an ownCloud, you will see improved User Management with easier group handling, search, filtering by group and a single, scrolling list putting all users at your finger tips. You can control access to External Storage by groups and decide how it counts towards the users’ storage limits and you can modify the Email Templates to control the communication of ownCloud to your users.

A more complete overview of what is new in this release can be found on the ownCloud website.

Get it while it’s hot

The new features and refinements make ownCloud better than ever. You can download the latest release from our installation page and find documentation on installation and use on doc.owncloud.org.

get ownCloud 7

  • The ownCloud apps on apps.ownCloud.com are not yet all updated for ownCloud 7. If you are an app developer or are interested in writing an ownCloud app, see the app development manual to get started.
  • ownCloud 7 is translated at least 80% in over 30 languages. If you want to help translate ownCloud to your own language, help out here.
  • There are many other ways to join the ownCloud community and contribute to making ownCloud successful. See our contribution page to get started.

We look forward to your feedback. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, follow and share this release via #owncloud7 on twitter, Google+ and Facebook and don’t forget to tell others about this ownCloud release!

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ownCloud
ownCloud development week 27 and 28
July 22, 2014

oC 7 in action!
oC 7 in action!

This is the bi-weekly ownCloud community update for the weeks of June 30 to July 13. These updates pull together activities from development mailing lists, blogs, coding work and everything else community members share with us. Tips are very much welcome! Ping Jos with your input.

Biggest items last week were the work leading up to the release, with sneak previews on the ownCloud blog and further stabilization work. There was also activity in the ownCloud app area.

Read the report on week 25 and 26 here.

Development

As we’re getting ready for the release of ownCloud 7 (tomorrow!), most changes are related to improving stability and behavior as well as fine-tuning the user interface and interaction. On July 3rd, Frank created the stable 7 branches, opening development for new features, a bit of which has already started to happen.

Core and apps

Get your ownCloud apps!
Build your ownCloud app!

On apps.owncloud.com:

Other development updates

ownCloud 7 launch
help promote ownCloud 7!

The release of ownCloud 7 is Wednesday the 23rd (yep, that’s tomorrow) You can join us for a live release hangout!

Over the last week Frank released a series of release candidates and calls for testing, see the mailing list archive of the ownCloud test pilots. If you want to help test ownCloud in the future, join this list!

There has been quite a bit of discussion on the ownCloud Read Later design mockups, triggered via the mailing list. If you are interested in application user interface design, consider joining the design team.

Other ownCloud happenings

Muktware wrote about WebODF integration in ownCloud.

On the ownCloud community blog we featured a series of sneak previews of the upcoming ownCloud 7 release:

ownCloud-Contributor-Conference-300x240

We also proposed to organize release parties and asked for help promoting ownCloud 7.

There are ownCloud events taking place! You can meet fellow ownCloud users and developers at ownCloud meetups or see us at conferences. We are also organizing an ownCloud Contributor Conference for existing and interested potential contributors to ownCloud. It takes place from August 26 to 31 in Berlin, Germany. Find a calendar of ownCloud on owncloud.org/events.

ownCloud meetups are a chance to learn more about ownCloud or even to get coding work done. If you know of other (regular or not) meetups or are interested in organizing one yourself, check out this page on how to get involved.

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ownCloud
ownCloud 7 Sneak Peek: ownCloud 7 for developers
July 17, 2014

create!ownCloud 7 is less than a week from now, and we’ve been doing some sneak peeks to give you insight in the many new features and improvements. This final installment is for developers: what has changed for ownCloud app developers and coders writing ownCloud support into applications?

Integration

An important area of changes in this release allows better ownCloud integration in applications.

For native/desktop applications, the Overlay Icon API was introduced. Now that the shared folder has been removed from the ownCloud file view, users will need a visual representation in the desktop client to indicate which files are owned by the user, and which files are shared with the user but owned by someone else. This API provides the desktop and mobile clients with the ability to know which files are shared, so that the desktop client and mobile app can place the shared file or shared folder icon appropriately on files stored on ownCloud files.

For ownCloud App developers and integrators Webhooks enable easier ownCloud integration into their applications and tools. It follows a publication / subscription model (pubsubhub) where apps can publish an event, and other apps can subscribe to this event. Developers create an app that registers itself with the published event manager. From that point forward, any time the event occurs, a POST is made to the URL provided by the subscriber to notify them of the event. Apps can subscribe to the notification event, unsubscribe, set a URL to respond to, set a lease time for the subscription, and provide an optional digest used for security purposes.

Get your ownCloud apps!
Build your ownCloud app!

Easier development

Another main area of improvement is better access to the ownCloud innards, making it easier and faster to write apps or talk to the database. The most important changes:

  • Better controllers for App Framework
    We provide an easier interface to implement controller classes, making app development a little easier.
  • Simple database layer for App Framework
    This makes it easier for app developers to interact with the database, not requiring them to write all SQL statements by hand. See here for documentation.
  • Support DB connections via sockets
    We can now connect to MySQL via sockets, not just through the network layer.
  • Easy CORS implementation for App Framework
    The CORS implementation allows a developer to implement a web api which can be used by other pages/apps running on a different domain. By default today’s browsers disallow communication to other domains. CORS allows more flexibility than only same-origin requests, but is more secure than simply allowing all such cross-origin requests.
  • Up to date app development documentation
    Last but not least, the developer documentation got updated, providing a big help for app and core developers. Get started here!

ownCloud 7 is not just exciting for users and administrators: it brings significant improvements for developers. We are looking forward to see what apps and functionality you come up with! And remember, there is an ownCloud Contributor Conference coming in about 5 weeks, where you can get involved in coding ownCloud apps, third-party integration and data syncing.

These are all the sneak peeks we released:

Find more details on owncloud 7 in the feature list!

You can discuss the features of #owncloud7 on twitter, Google+ and Facebook and don’t forget to tell others about this ownCloud release!

Share this and other sneak peeks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share their messages.

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Jos Poortvliet
ownCloud 7 awesomeness
July 17, 2014

One of the things I love from the Free and Open Source software world is that doing things in the open simply leads to better solutions. Resources are often constrained, polish might be lacking, but frequently from the seemingly chaotic processes emerges brilliance.

The upcoming ownCloud 7 has one of those things: server to server sharing. You see, for a long time, I and others have been asking the ownCloud desktop client developers for a feature: support for syncing multiple ownCloud installations. That way, files from our corporate ownCloud installation (of course we dogfood here at ownCloud Inc.!) and my private ownCloud could both be synced to my desktop and laptop. Unfortunately, while it has been on the todo for a while, it just kept pushed down by more urgent feature work.

While you could get it to work already by running multiple clients and playing with the config file locations, it seemed a bit brittle to me and I just accepted this feature wasn't there yet.

Only today, during my bike ride to c-base, did I realize that ownCloud 7 actually introduces this feature. And I even wrote a sneak preview about it! It is the server to server sharing that solves this issue.

What is Server to Server sharing?

Let's step back. What is the major thing that 'private' clouds don't have which public clouds do? Other than the NSA snooping, that is...

Well, you're all alone, of course. If you want to share a file with another student from uni, you have to create an account or use a shared link. He/she will then have to visit your ownCloud to be able to work with you. It gets quickly messy with a lot of files.


This is where Server to Server sharing comes in. You can simply share a link and your collaboration partner can add this, either a folder or a single file, to his or her own ownCloud. They can put the file wherever they want in their folder structure (we've gotten rid of that rigid shared folder concept in ownCloud 7!) and work with you like the file was on their own instance.

That means they can also locally sync the file with their sync client by just putting it in a folder that is synced!

Boom. You don't have to create and manage multiple server accounts in your sync client, creating a folder on your system for each server you work with. No, you just add the share to your ownCloud and put the files wherever you want - in one folder, or grouped by subject - whatever works best.

Now tell me that isn't awesome ;-)

There's more

Of course, this is just a first step to bringing ownCloud servers closer to each other. Our goal is full 'federation' of data: transparent sharing between servers so they can act as one cloud, protecting privacy while giving you the convenience of sharing, collaborating and communicating with friends, family, collegues and more. Once you connected to another ownCloud, you should be able to share files with the users on that server seemlessly - and other data, like contacts or music! You should be notified when things are shared (a news feed!) and be able to comment and chat. This however still needs work. If you're interested in helping to make this happen, consider joining us at the ownCloud Contributor Conference from August 26-31 in Berlin, Germany!


* Note that you can have kind-of server-to-server sharing with ownCloud 6 by manually mounting folders from other servers via webdav. This of course comes with various limitations (you do have to give out webdav credentials, to name one) so the new server to server sharing is a massive improvement...

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