ownCloud's Founder is Leaving, But the Platform Marches On
The extremely popular ownCloud open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds has just reached a new milestone with the release of ownCloud 9.0.2. You can move beyond what services such as Dropbox and Box offer by leveraging ownCloud, and you don't have to have your files sitting on servers that you don't choose, governed by people you don't know.
Even as ownCloud markes its milestones, though, there are some concerns being raised about ownCloud CTO and founder Frank Karlitschek resigning from the company. His open letter announcing the move points to possible friction created as ownCloud moved forward as a commercial entity as opposed to a solely community focused, open source project.
According to his letter:
"I founded the ownCloud project a little over 6 years ago with the goal to enable home users, companies, universities and big enterprises to host their own cloud services and files. In a world with growing threats around security, surveillance and espionage, this idea is becoming more important every day. 4.5 years ago I co-founded ownCloud Inc, a company that supports enterprise use of ownCloud and drives the development of ownCloud forward."
"...The company could have done a better job recognizing the achievements of the community. It sometimes has a tendency to control the work too closely and discuss things internally. But overall, the balance was not too bad."
The letter adds:
"The community has grown tremendously, with contributions by almost 1000 people over the last 6 years, over 80 every single month. Nothing is perfect."
Meanwhile, the latest release of ownCloud includes support for scrolling in the announcement center, the ability to check if the index has been set before attempting to use it, updates to the latest AWS (Amazon Web Services) SDK version, and the ability to display the right message when "Files Drop" links are deleted. Complete details are here.
Finally, if you're new to ownCloud, we've compiled some useful guidance options you may be interested in. Here they are:
Take a guided video tour to ownCloud 9 here.
The FLOSS Manuals ownCloud Guide. As we've reported, FLOSS Manuals' guide to ownCloud is completely free, and a good starting point. Before diving into it, you may want to gain some familiarity with what ownCloud is, which we covered here. The FLOSS Manuals guide is aimed to be a complement to the existing documentation at http://doc.owncloud.org. It has sections on how to share files, calendars, contacts and more in the cloud, and optimize security. There is a whole section on SysAdmin tools, which makes experimenting with ownCloud easy.
Leverage the Pi. In this post, you can get easy instructions for running ownCloud with a Raspberry Pi device. Very cool.
Video Tutorials. For some people, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the good news is that there are lots of video tutorials that help you set ownCloud up in minutes. You can find lots of them on YouTube, including specialized ones that can get you going with applications in the cloud.
Twitter Resources. You can keep up with social postings surrounding ownCloud on Twitter, either through the official channel https://twitter.com/ownCloud or the community channel: https://twitter.com/ownClouders.
Forums. Finally, ownCloud has lots of useful forums that you can dive into for more resources. There are many specialized tutorials on the forums. Starting here is a good first step.
Go Mobile. Don't forget that there are mobile clients for ownCloud, which can help you get much more out of the platform. With these clients, you can remotely access an ownCloud server, browse your files, download assets and more.
The nice thing about having your ownCloud deployment in place is that you can access files and applications from anywhere. You also control the security of your setup, and you don't have to worry about security breaches. Hopefully, you'll find some good resources for getting started above.