Today 2015 end and 2016 begins. So I want to use the opportunity to look back what happened in the ownCloud world in the last 12 month but also in my personal life.
I’m very thankful to work with so many skilled, friendly and dedicated people in the ownCloud community to push this idea and product forward. This is just amazing.
So what are the most awesome things to look back on?
I announced a year ago that 2015 will be the year of polishing and performance improvements for ownCloud and this exactly what we did.
ownCloud 8.0 was released in February, 8.1 in July and 8.2 in October. Every release was a major release with significant changes under the hood additional to the normal bugfix releases that we do in-between.
The focus areas of this major releases were:
Polishing and bug-fixing
The ownCloud community fixed a huge amount of smaller bug and problems in corner-cases that makes the ownCloud experience a lot smoother. We also rewrote several core pieces of the code base. A big example is the Encryption feature for 8.1. And currently we are rewriting Sharing for 9.0
ownCloud got significantly faster in 8.0, in 8.1 and again in 8.2. The difference for admins and users is very noticeable especially if you use it ownCloud together with PHP 7.
We introduced full server to server federation in ownCloud 8.0 and refined this more with every release. The upcoming ownCloud 9.0 will feature another huge step forward early new year. In August I published the Federation API spec that we are currently pushing forward with different organizations and partners. This is super important for the long term strategy of ownCloud. I plan to write a longer blog post especially about Federation soon.
It is getting more and more important for users to do more with their files then just syncing and sharing. Because of that we are introducing social and collaboration features in ownCloud. Examples are Favorites in 8.0, Notification in 8.2, the activity stream on the Desktop with the latest Desktop Client and a lot more will come in 9.0
Design / UI
It is the mission of ownCloud to not only provide a tool that is great from a technology stand point but also something that is super easy to use by everyone. In 8.0 and 8.1 we restructured some of the settings and added links to the documentation which also git a lot better last year. In 8.2 we did the next step and redesigned the full Web UI. More will come in the future. A great user experience is a core task of ownCloud.
But ownCloud is not only the Server. The Mobile and Desktop client also got significant improvements last year. The iOS app got full syncing and the Desktop Clients got the most requested feature which is multi-account. You can now sync several ownCloud Servers at the same time.
But of course more things happend then just software releases. A personal milestone for me we our this years Contributor Conference in Berlin. Over 150 contributors from all over the world attended to work on ownCloud for a week. We grew again by 50% compared with last year. This is really nice and impressive. The ownCloud community rocks! And the conference for next year is already fixed
Then we launched a bunch of initiatives and projects. To many to name them all here. For example the User Data Manifesto 2.0 was launched. ownCloud Proxy and a Community Appliances makes running ownCloud super easy. We are collaborating with Collabora to bring LibreOffice Online to ownCloud. We are collaborating with WD Labs to build and sell nice devices with ownCloud preinstalled, we relaunched owncloud.org and we work with HackerOne and launched a security bug bounty program to further improve the ownCloud security.
And we improved the process for getting apps approved.
You can get involved!
ownCloud Inc. grew again significantly this year and I’m really happy how we are able to build a fast growing company in fair collaboration with an open source project. We also got a few nice customers. Unfortunately a few very nice ones don’t want to be names but some well known ones are listed on the ownCloud.org homepage.
The ownCloud community is the source and foundation of the ownCloud development. I´m super happy that we are growing significantly and that more and more people join us to drive ownCloud forward. If you are interested to contribute to the ownCloud server, Desktop Client, Mobile or in any other way then join us. It is fun!
Obviously 2015 was also a very interesting and exiting year for me personally. I still enjoy it to live in Boston. It’s definitely and interesting and unique experience to be based in the US. As always I did a ton of travel to different conferences which I enjoy a lot. I’m still like to ride my Triumph Thruxton trough the beautiful nature of New England. I’m also doing more and more photography which I like a lot. If you are interested take a look here
So what is coming in 2016? The next big milestone is ownCloud 9.0 which is scheduled for early next year. This will feature massive improvements in a lot of areas. But I don’t want to spoil all the interesting details yet. After that we will do regular time based releases again next year so that is won’t get boring for users and contributors. We at ownCloud are absolutely committed to keep on innovating and building a better and more powerful product than our proprietary competitors. ownCloud is not the open source reimplementation of a proprietary software. We see ourselves as the innovation leader of our space.
There are so many great and interesting ideas for ownCloud floating around. So it won’t get boring soon. Everybody is welcome to join and become part of ownCloud.
Thanks to everyone who made this year such a great year. I´m looking forward to keep on working with awesome people again to push ownCloud and the ideas behind it forward. Let´s make the world a little bit better together.
Thanks and take care in 2016