ownCloud development in the first half of November – and how you can help

work in progressThis is the bi-weekly ownCloud community update for the first weeks of November. 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.

The rapid pace of development in ownCloud from October continued strong in the first weeks of November. Biggest items in the covered period include a migration to bower for managing 3rd JavaScript libraries, the ownCloud News app making it to 4.2, UI improvements in the Android app and of course the big news of the ownCloud 1.7 client release and the ownCloud 7 Enterprise Edition. In security news, ownCloud 7.0.3 brought not only many feature, stability and performance improvements but also fixed several potential security problems.

In more recent news, we are planning a bug triaging day on Friday the 5th of December, providing you with an opportunity to become part of the story of ownCloud development!

You can read a report on the last two weeks of October here.

Development

The ownCloud community handles over 350 pull requests every two weeks, so as usual we group them by core and apps. Besides the move to bower, a lot of cleanups took place in Core and work was done to improve the accessibility of ownCloud. The shorter sharing URL’s merged a while ago turned out to be more invasive than first thought and required adaptation of code in various other areas of ownCloud. The news app is at 4.2 and we include an overview of what you get for upgrading. The Android app remembers the last share location, has nicer dates and plays video full screen – many other apps were improved or updated as well.

ownCloud Core

Some especially interesting pull requests:

If you want to get involved in coding on ownCloud – check out this page!

ownCloud Apps

Since our previous article, the News App made a big 4.0 release and moved to 4.2 since then. These updates bring many improvements, in part thanks to a switch to PicoFeed as feed parser library, and in another part thanks to much work to polish the user interface. A quick overview:

  • updates are faster since News now uses http cache headers and locations are saved in the db (which means it gets rid of an extra http request for most feeds)
  • News now uses ownCloud internal proxy settings
  • You can turn off article purging by setting a negative number
  • The new release features better error messages. For example, News will tell you if the ssl cert is invalid rather than giving a generic error message like x or y or z caused it to fail
  • The improved compatibility allows you to add feeds which were not possible to add previously
  • Another new feature is that you can subscribe to youtube playlists
  • To make it easier to find the item you want to read, you can now use the a shortcut to scroll to the currently active feed in the navigation, and the next/previous shortcuts scroll to the active entry if it isn’t in full view
  • Even more helpful is the sorting by title and name
  • And much, much more!
  • Unfortunately, the calculation of the guid changed so you’ll experience your current read feeds showing up as unread once

The new version is thus faster, more compatible, uses smarter error messages when things go wrong, is easier to use and has many new features! Find information on installation and reporting of bugs here.

Another app which made a big step forward is the JavaScript XMPP Chat app. It offers a real-time chat app for ownCloud with OTR, SMP and video calls (WebRTC) and version 1.0 with a list of improvements far too long to mention here. The coolest include the addition of an unread flag, XEP-0147 URI Scheme Query support, has-come-online and silent notification request and many UI improvements like resizable chat windows, scroll bars in the window list and much more. Planned features include multi user chat, video conference and encrypted file transfer. Check out the github repo for details, code and helping out!

androidThere have been many more app improvements, including:

The ownCloud app store features apps for the web interface of ownCloud. There were over a dozen updates in the first half of November, including:

  • The PDF Mime app updated ownCloud 7 support with version 0.2 – this app uses the browsers’ build in PDF support to view PDF files while the Video app was updated to 0.0.6. This app allows you to play back videos through browser plugins
  • New is the Files Clipboard which allows you to copy and paste files all over your ownCloud. Though simple, this app offers nice functionality! Find the source code here if you’d like to have a look or want to contribute
  • Also new is Sky Search, which is described by its author as “This is a modified version of george19 app search_public. Added option to search by MIME types Interface to Search Public Files. I developed this for my site skycrowds.com but figured I would share.” With already over 40 downloads, guess the sharing worked!
  • The email client Roundcube was updated to upstream version 2.5.2.187, bringing bug fixes in the area of logging
  • The Secure Container app uses client side encryption (in the browser) to offer safe storage for text files. The update to 0.5 is noted to allow drag’n’dropping entries into a different folder, brings a refined responsive design and has some small bugfixes
  • The ownCloud Dashboard app, providing an overview of what is going on in your ownCloud, made it to 1.2, introducing the ability to allow or disallow groups access to certain statistics
  • The user_cas app is at 1.2, having been migrated to ownCloud 7 and including a LDAP user mapping
  • Other updates include an upgrade to the ownCloud ORC reader improving ownCloud 7 compatibility and some fixes to Old Menu, an app that brings back the sidebar with apps from ownCloud 6. The Geoloc app was updated to 0.4.2.0 but we couldn’t find out what was improved, while the One Time Password Backend version 2.5.1 fixed some bugs

secure

Security updates

In security news, 8 security issues have been published as fixed with ownCloud 7.0.3. If you have not yet upgraded, you are urged to do so! You can find a list of the issues and the CVE identifiers at our security advisories page. As a good security citizen, ownCloud requests CVE numbers, disclosing vulnerabilities in ownCloud at MITRE. The advisories become public about two weeks after an update with fixes has been made available so admins and security providers can keep track of the security state of their infrastructure. The change log will only mention ‘security issue’. You can get keep track of latest ownCloud updates by subscribing to the ownCloud announcement mailing list.

ownCloud takes security extremely serious, which is why we practice full disclosure of issues. If you have found a possible security issue in ownCloud, please consult this page for steps to fixing responsible disclosure.

Mailing list conversations

There were the usual announcements on the mailing lists like the releases of ownCloud 7.0.3, 6.0.6 and 5.0.18 as well as the very exciting ownCloud Client 1.7 release. Otherwise, there were the usual technical discussions as well as an announcement that the news app was pulled from the app store, due to the complexities surrounding the installation of this app. Improvements are coming in ownCloud 8 but for now, users who want to install the app will need to put in a little more effort.

You can join the discussions on this page.

Other ownCloud happenings

The first two weeks of November featured some big news. It started when ownCloud Desktop Client 1.7 was released with many new features and improvements. Read this blog for a great overview! Not much later, ownCloud 7 Enterprise Edition was made available, making data from the many Enterprise data silos accessible in one place.

There’s always more on Planet ownCloud. Great posts include:

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.

assembling packages with materials to send outFollow what is going on!

To keep these articles from growing infinitely, we only cover a small part of what is going on in ownCloud, and with a delay. To be up to date with the latest developments, follow our twitter account, Facebook page, our G+ page and on Diaspora!

Events

We recently published a blog about ownCloud events. Find a calendar of ownCloud events on owncloud.org/events. If you would love to meet and discuss ownCloud with like-minded people but nothing is happening close by, consider organizing an ownCloud meetup! Check out this page on how to get started.

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