ownCloud Sprint Review: Tiles view in Infinite Scale, Scoped Storage and more

Over the last two weeks, developers at ownCloud worked towards substantially improving the platform, and also fixed existing bugs. Among these, the most significant improvement is the support for a tiles view in ownCloud Infinite Scale. Furthermore, the new clients for Android and Apple devices now come equipped with interesting features. What's more, Infinite Scale will now receive user notifications in the web UI and an automatic server detection. An event log and history service with notifications are in the development stage.
Screenshot ownCloud Spaces

The tiles view in Infinite Scale offers several features, including a selection model, tolerant check boxes, shrinking images, plus Actions, Quick and Main menus and a resizable view.
Another new feature in ownCloud web was requested by the community is the status widget now also shows the average upload speed.

The performance of the ownCloud Infinite Scale web interface has been significantly improved by modifications to how it uses the HTTP PROPFIND method. Infinite Scale now obtains rendering information for the file list faster, which in turn makes the display much more efficient. The amount of requests has been reduced by as much as 50%, which has lightened the workload of the server and ensured that its response is lighter and faster, even in instances of high volumes of shares.

ownCloud Infinite Scale will soon provide a user event log and a Space history. The first draft of the architecture for „History and Notifications“ has already been completed. Once this feature becomes available, users can register for events and receive notifications about the same.

Spaces histroy and event log

Figure 1: A first draft of the history and notifications event log

Another new feature of Infinite Scale is automatic Server detection for the ownCloud clients. The Webfinger protocol is specified in RFC7033 and is supposed to help find servers and services. By simply raising an unauthenticated request, a client can find out, for example, the correct identity provider for his Open ID profile. By doing so, users will also be able to ask for the ownCloud instances that they have access to.

Apart from that, the developers also added an expiration feature for the trash bin, which permits to purge files from the disk after a predefined expiration time, helping in housekeeping. This is implemented also for Spaces. The general administration view now displays additional information for the user, including server information that previously used to be available only in the console. In addition to that, administrators can now customize the branding for all clients by uploading a custom logo.

Android Client now supports Scoped Storage and Document Provider

The Android team has been working on the stable version oc-android-3.0.2 and on the upcoming release of 3.0.3. Spaces now supports Scoped Storage, the Documents Provider and the „Open With“ and „Send File“  actions.

Spaces on Android

Figure 2: Spaces now also supports Android’s Scoped Storages and the Document provider.

Improvements for iOS clients include navigation improvements and persistable browser location. The sidebar selection is now in sync with navigation, lightweight history results in memory/CPU savings and users can now benefit from State Restore and open files in new windows (on iPads).

The desktop client’s upcoming version 3.2.0 is likely the last 3.x release, while the team continues to work on version 4.0.0. In the last two weeks, there’s mostly been non-visible bugfixes and deployment changes, but the key new feature for OSX clients are the Mac M1 binaries (as a preview feature).

Markus Feilner

Februar 15, 2023

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