ownCloud development in January

January was a month of preparation for ownCloud 8 (and recovery from the holidays!). Most of the activity was aimed at fixing bugs – but there were also some interesting new developments. In this post we’ll pull together activity from development lists, blogs, GitHub and other places. Tips are very much welcome! Ping Jos with your input.

The biggest items this month were the many improvements in the desktop client (sharing links from the file manager!), preparations for the ownCloud 8 release, a lot of performance work in core and a much improved passman app.

You can read a report covering development from December here.

Development

January saw the merging of 325 pull requests, which was down from the almost 400 merges in December. About 50 of these were marked as fixing bugs, including the golden ‘showstopper’ tickets but in reality there were many more PR’s involving the improvement of existing functionality in preparation of the release so feature-wise there are fewer than usual. This is how it should be, of course, during a feature freeze!

the ownCloud core repo

Core had 177 PR’s merged. Let’s go over the highlights!

In the user interface department, there was:

A lot of performance work took place, much of it related to what we already described in the blog about blackfire.io

Several of these performance improvements require a cache like APC(u). Part of this functionality is built in into PHP 5.5 and higher but there is still room for improvement and it is recommended to run APCu.

Other changes that went into core include:

  • One of the major features of ownCloud 8– full content width search results by butonic, made it in on January 6 and some refinements came in later including scroll to file in folder
  • A big LDAP user cleanup made it into both oC 7 and 8–removing users from the ownCloud user list when they are removed from the LDAP server
  • You can now download logfiles (and you’ll be warned if it is over 100 mb)
  • A timeout was added for notifications. Some more work would be needed to modify all notifications to benefit from this
  • Adam Will made it possible for the css/js asset directory to be relocated (‘assetdirectory’) This allows the directory where CSS/JS asset collections are written to be changed, in case \OC::$SERVERROOT is not writable
  • Finally, adding a method to set/unset multiple config values with one write makes writing to config.php more robust

ownCloud Apps

The Android app now has a file upload dialog with thumbnails thanks to TobiasKaminsky, and rhabbachi wrote an initial implementation of a download folder function in the Android app, which is now merged. The iOS app got the ability to share data with other iOS apps thanks to this PR.

The Desktop client gained the ability to share links from the desktop file browsers, work started by by Azelphur and finished with this PR by rullzer (more related code here). Rullzer got the folder list in the tray icon sorted. ckamm refactored the account logic in the client to prepare for the much requested multi-account feature  and thanks to ryo-on we have much improved NetBSD support and chrodan submitted a patch to hide Ignored files in the recent changes context menu of the client. Combined with the work by the core client team fixing bugs, adding other features and improving performance, desktop client users have an exciting 1.8 release to look forward to. If you want, you can help test the upcoming release! You can grab binaries on the bottom of the install page and help us get this release out.

Other changes include:

The above is little more than a taste of what has been going on. apps.owncloud.com has also had many, many updates and new apps. Just a few highlights:

  • The passman password manager, at almost 4000 downloads, has gotten some serious new features, including a user friendly first-time wizard explaining its inner workings. The app has also been made mobile-friendly and several bug-fix releases have come out over the last weeks.
  • A user registration script is now available. It would be a cool feature to have in ownCloud and the author is encouraged to submit his work to the Apps repo if he’s able to maintain it!
  • Big updates to the polls app–Tasks is almost, but not quite, ready for ownCloud 8 and there’s a new embedded video stream app update.

If you want to get involved in coding on ownCloud – check out this page! People who want to fix issues in core or who want to build an ownCloud app will find links to the documentation. But if you are interested in translation, documentation, testing or anything else that helps ownCloud – you too should visit the contribute page!

Discussions and blogs

Conversations on the ownCloud development list included many announcements related to the upcoming release as well as conversations about API’s, the ownCloud Dolphin plugin, viewing medical DICOM images and much more. You can join the discussions on this page.

The ownCloud news page, aggregating blogs by ownCloud contributors, also had the usual activity. Post about ownCloud’s 5th birthday, our appearance at open source events SCALE and FOSDEM (find a calendar of more ownCloud events on owncloud.org/events), a blog about performance improvements going into ownCloud, and three blogs about what’s new in ownCloud 8 for users, system administrators and developers.

Please note that if you’re an ownCloud contributor, you should get your blog aggregated on owncloud.org/news! Ping Jos with your RSS feed.

We hope you enjoyed the read!

 

Note: what we describe here is code going into ownCloud as part of an open, collaborative development process. There is no guarantee the technologies developed, even those merged, will make it to a release: bugs or other concerns might force the code to be removed again; and further additions or changes can modify its behavior. This blog is meant as a way to allow you to follow what goes on in development.

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