Community | development | Infinite Scale

“Multi Genetic” Open Source

Sharing some thoughts on our approach with ownCloud Infinite Scale
ownCloud secure cloud solution for filesharing

The CS3 community

Earlier this year, the Cloud Storage Services for Synchronization and Sharing (CS3) conference took place – a very important event for all ownClouders. It is a great event, where once a year, we meet the science community from all over the world to discuss topics around applications built on Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) and collaboration tools.

This event is extra exciting for us at ownCloud because we contribute significantly to the CS3 project into Reva and other parts and at the annual CS3 conference, we get firsthand feedback.

Reading this you might start to wonder, if we are building our new flagship product ownCloud Infinite Scale on Reva, a component that is not directly controlled by the ownCloud company but coming out of the CS3 community? Indeed, from a classic commercial perspective, this could be interpreted as a challenging situation. For me, however, this actually illustrates what community is all about: We are sharing and combining efforts to build something big. Bigger than one company alone could envision. The result bundles all knowledge, usecases and experiences that all involved parties bring to the table. And companies like ownCloud will specialize on certain aspects and offer commercial support.

The challenges

Of course, all this comes at a cost. Discussing things and coming to conclusions is a time-consuming effort. Building and maintaining trust between all entities of a project is the central component in making any project a success. This is not a technical task, but often one that is harder to handle than expected in the first place. However, it is absolutely key that every stakeholder in a community is confident that he/she can meet his/her goals, otherwise one or the other will gradually limit contributions.

Our approach

Many projects, especially company-driven ones, choose a different approach to open source. Their primary focus is not really on reaching out to the members of a community for significant contributions, but more on generating a “follower community”. This way they stay in full control of the fundamental decisions, have the benefits of open source and – if all goes well – build up a community of fans who applaud new ideas and help create popularity.

While that can be a fast and successful open source model, depending on how powerful the company behind it is, I am very happy that ownCloud is part of the CS3 community where we are in “deep” collaboration with CERN and other entities, as described above. Together, we are aiming for the best possible solutions that we can envision together.

And even if this approach may take a bit longer, for me that is the best way to come up with solutions that our users need: Born out of a bigger ‘gene pool’ than just from one company.

Related resources

If you would like to watch t the talks we contributed to the CS3 conference, follow the links below:

You might also want to watch a talk I delivered in March at another community event on ownCloud Infinite Scale at the “Chemnitzer Linux Tage” – (in German).

I am also happy to present you the latest release of the ownCloud Infinite Scale Technology Preview.

I appreciate your feedback in our  forum, chat or in GitHub. Feel free to reach out, should you have any questions:

Klaas Freitag

About the Author

Klaas Freitag is since the beginning an essential actor in the ownCloud community. In the role of the CTO Klaas influences the development of ownClouds products and pushes the development of Infinite Scale.

Klaas Freitag elsewhere:

Klaas Freitag

April 29, 2022

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