Guadec 2015 – Topic 1/5 – Owncloud and GNOME – Should we make it our UbuntuOne/OneDrive/iCloud/Google services?

Recently I show to you the effort we are doing for cloud provider tight integration on the desktop in my previous post here: https://csorianognome.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/cloud-providers/

At that time we had to figure out how everything should look and what cloud providers can provide or need. The good thing is that I meet one of the core designers of Owncloud, Jan-Christoph Borchardt, and we talk and discuss for long time about what could we do to have a better integration and make the GNOME desktop shine with cloud providers like no-one.

So we though that for files integration a custom view when you click a cloud provider in the sidebar will provide the best experience, so you can have a list view similar to the actual files view but with headers indicating files shared by you, files that you are sharing, root folders that you are syncing and favorites (probably we also want favorites UI for the whole nautilus)

Also we though it would be cool to get rid of the desktop client UI and tray icon and provide a direct desktop experience with a conjunction of sidebar menu, right click menus, nautilus custom view, and gnome-online-accounts support. This, with the cloud providers work we already did, should be fairly easy, and will provide a better experience than other OS like MacOS, Windows or Android.

On the other hand I saw Owncloud is actually start to provide some more nice services like notes, contacts, email, documents live editing, etc. which provides what google services provides, but open source and willing to collaborate with us for its integration.

We also though that maybe it’s time to provide some kind of backups and settings/background/ssh keys/bookmarks/passwords/installed apps/contacts/etc kind of synchronization. So what you can do, is when your system is installed you could add an Owncloud account, and it will offer the option to get your configuration that you were using previously, recover the Owncloud backups of your data and continue backing up those folders. In this way you could reinstall the system without the need to do anything manually to have the previous state of your system, and without the fear of losing your data and configuration. I can imagine this can be implemented just backing everything needed to a custom folder like gnome-settings-backup in your Owncloud root adding some metadata.

So this starts to look like UbuntuOne/OneDrive/iCloud integration, and I think all of them are very doable (to some of them we already wrote most part of the code) and that it could be interesting to offer more and more in cloud integration to GNOME.

I understand that there can be other cloud providers, so don’t worry, everything will be optional and you could use whatever provider you want, but I think that currently Owncloud is the best option for you.

I’m happy that Jan invited me to the Owncloud conference in Berlin on 28 August, and I will probably go to set the base for files integration, which is the first step and the one we already have code working, and to discuss more and settle some design for the other ideas.

Cheers everyone!

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14 thoughts on “Guadec 2015 – Topic 1/5 – Owncloud and GNOME – Should we make it our UbuntuOne/OneDrive/iCloud/Google services?

  1. So will you be able to add multiple owncloud instances in the future like the sync client will be implementing in 2.0? Either way, yeah for more owncloud stuff happening in gnome 🙂

      1. A “small fee” per se doesn’t cover the actual costs, either you have a team focusing on this, maintaining it, producing more and more money from it, or either it doesn’t worth the effort sadly… But I think relying on 3rd party providers should be okay, so you can use even your own server (but yeah it would be awesome and much easier for me to just have my @gnome account)

  2. If the settings backup is simply based around shuttling a file back and forth, it doesn’t really need to be tied to any particular cloud provider, does it? The implementation should probably simply offer to use whatever remote storage mechanism the user sets up (or let them pick one if they set up several).

    One thing to consider is that the user might not want to apply all stored settings to all devices. Some may be implicitly tied to particular hardware configurations.

    1. indeed, as it’s written in the post “everything will be optional and you could use whatever provider you want, but I think that currently Owncloud is the best option for you.”
      Is it not clear enough? (honest question)

      1. Not when syncing my 400 Gio hard disk… Just works with Seafile…

        And from my knowledge, owncloud arch is poor in comparaison with git model from seafile.

  3. Where is the right spot to send own suggestions, what features would be cool?
    I personally would love to see features like e.g. integration of versioning or check-out/check-in.

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