During the weekend of October 27-28th, we held the first Great Lakes ownCloud Developer Meetup in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was also the first developer meetup outside of Europe for ownCloud. The ownCloud community and, in general, the KDE community is mostly European and this was a satellite event of the larger ownCloud meetup held during the same weekend at KDAB Berlin. Over the weekend we had seven people attend. A great turnout for the first ownCloud meeting in North America and hopefully there will be many more great meetings to follow.
I just got back from the openSUSE Summit and it was a great experience! Thanks to Bryen Yunashko and Alan Clark for organizing the fun event. There were many people interested in ownCloud and my session was well attended. I’m hoping to see some new contributions and bug reports from these Summit attendees. openSUSE users should have no problem getting started with ownCloud thanks to the ownCloud in a box appliance available in SUSE Studio. Read more…
As you may know there is an ownCloud developer meetup in Berlin in October. Some of us won’t be able to make it, so we’re holding our own meetup a little closer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The meetup will run in parallel to the developer meetup in Berlin, there is a 6 hour time difference, but we’ll try to find a time to do a Google+ hangout or something with the people in Berlin. The date is October 27th – 28th. We’ll be doing some programming, brainstorming, and discussing ideas for ownCloud. Everybody is welcome! Let me know if you’re interested.
The Share API is coming along nicely, but there is still a long list of todos. I’ve written a guide in the ownCloud Developer Centre for using the Share API. It is for any app developers wishing to implement sharing in their apps. The guide is relatively short and I believe this shows how easy it is to setup sharing because of the power of the Share API.
I’m considering organizing a session next week in IRC to help developers use the Share API. It would be awesome if sharing was implemented in as many apps as possible in time for the ownCloud 5 release. Is anyone interested?
Last summer it started with file sharing, now it’s time to share everything in ownCloud! This has always been in the back of my mind and now it has become a reality.
Sharing in ownCloud 4 suffered and had a bad reputation due to many issues. File sharing was hit by a number of bugs because of changes outside of sharing, and other apps started their own implementations of sharing. It was not always a satisfactory experience for the user. It was time to rethink how sharing works. The result is the new Share API in ownCloud 5.
I just finished adding support for mounting Dropbox and Google Drive in the external storage user interface. These took a while longer than the other storage backends because both require OAuth authentication. It is a fairly simple process to configure both in the user interface, but Dropbox has one extra step. Dropbox requires that developers create an ‘app’ that is registered with Dropbox in order to access their API. Unfortunately, ownCloud can’t take care of this part because the app must be approved by Dropbox and the app key distributed with the source. This would allow someone to potentially violate Dropbox’s policies acting as ownCloud. No worries though, mounting your free 2 GB of storage at Dropbox is still possible. It requires that you create an app with Dropbox and then provide the app key and secret to the external storage configuration user interface. Go to My apps at Dropbox and create an app. Select ‘Full Dropbox’ for access level.
Now grab the app key and secret and paste these into the corresponding fields for the Dropbox storage (please don’t attempt to apply for production status). Click the ‘Grant access’ button and you will be redirected to the Dropbox website to give ownCloud permission to access your account.
Your username and password at Dropbox is not stored on your ownCloud, instead a token and token secret are stored that represent your account.
Your Dropbox files should now be available through ownCloud! The last step only applies to mounting Google Drive, no app key or secret is necessary. Have fun with your free 7 GB of storage space!
One of the features that I worked on for ownCloud 4 was the mounting of external storage directly into your ownCloud. No longer are you limited by the storage capacity of the server ownCloud is running on. Despite being labeled as an ‘experimental’ feature in the release announcement, many users requested help configuring it. With no user interface available and limited documentation to configure the external storage it seems all users were confused and frustrated. So, I set aside a few days and tasked myself with finally creating a usable user interface to configure external storage. This is the result of that work:
To add an external storage backend to your ownCloud head to Settings -> Admin or Personal. As an admin you can mount external storage for any group or user. Users are also allowed to mount external storage for their selves if this setting is enabled by the admin. The first step is to set the mount point, this is the directory that the storage will be mounted to. Next, select a backend from the list of available backends. ownCloud currently supports: Amazon S3, Dropbox, FTP, Google Drive, OpenStack Swift, SMB, and WebDAV. Local file storage can also be mounted that is outside of your ownCloud’s data directory. Users are restricted from mounting local file storage in the Settings -> Personal page, because this is a security risk.
Once a backend is selected, more configuration fields will appear. The configuration fields requested vary depending on the selected storage backend. For example, the FTP storage backend needs the following configuration details: url, username, password, root (optional), and an option for ftps://. The root option is the directory at the external storage that will be mounted.
This is available in the master branch and will not be included until the ownCloud 5 release. Documentation for manually configuring external storage is available at ownCloud.org. No error checking has been implemented at this time, so make sure all configuration fields are entered correctly.
Support for mounting Google Drive and Dropbox through this user interface will be added later in the week. These require some more work because of the OAuth authentication.
The development of ownCloud has increased rapidly in the past weeks and the release of 2.0 is approaching. The media player branch was merged into master and the user interface has undergone huge changes. There are also many new apps in the works, including an addressbook, calendar, and bookmarks. I’m sure there will be more discussion on the new features once ownCloud 2.0 is released. Read more…
I have good news this week. First, I’m still here because I passed the mid-term evaluation for Google Summer of Code. Thanks for passing me Robin. Second, I was successful in completing my goal last week and now have everything setup so others can start experimenting with sharing files. Read more…
As usual I ran into a couple more issues this past week that prevented me from completing many of the items on my Todo list. I also forgot to finish a couple of things like copying files, because it isn’t part of the web frontend. Read more…