ownCloud and Open Source with Kiteworks

Hey there!

Last weekend many of us have been visiting beautiful crazy Brussels and meeting thousands of open source humans at #FOSDEM. It was awesome, wasn’t it? Still, some rumors were spread about ownCloud and open source and the future of code, project and community.

Beware, don’t believe everything you heard from some of our competitors, they are probably just malinformed. Most of the rumors are obviously just spreading FUD, especially when there’s rants and whispers without sources saying ownCloud was dead or will be proprietary. That is plainly wrong, and there’s a FOSDEM presentation (PDF) (about the 5 Million user setup in the Bavarian school cloud) that shows the truth - we are fine and getting more and more new, very large customers, like most recently the European Science Cloud! And mind: We are winning these opportunities and tenders BECAUSE we are much more open source than our competition.

“ownCloud is the Open-Source-Brand of Kiteworks. Full Stop.” (CXO David Walter at FOSDEM)

AFAIK, already in December, Kiteworks signed legal documents that clearly show the huge open source commitment. Even more so, Infinite Scale was actually the reason for the merger. KW wants a modern, high-tech, high-availability, endlessly scaling and OPEN SOURCE backend. And that is exactly what the new stack from Go to cloud native microservices and more has to offer.

You don’t believe that? Then watch my colleague’s presentation at FOSDEM. Our CXO David Walter spoke to some thousands of listeners in Libre Universite de Bruxelles largest auditorium, and he made it perfectly clear: #kiteworks bought us BECAUSE of the superior technology in #InfiniteScale. No more Lamp needed … :slight_smile: No more PHP woes with a gazillion old apps, no more PHP update trouble and farewell to PHP library or version hell. There’s a huge commitment to Infinite Scale here, and the merger is the proof that we’re ahead of our competition. By far.

Here’s the link to David’s Slides (PDF):

The full video will be linked here soon:
FOSDEM 2024 - How to Build an Open Source School Cloud for 5 Million Users


Thanks for summing this up. Is there any way to find out how “Pledge to sustain open-source innovation for at least five years” could be interpreted? What does it mean for Infinite Scale development in the more far future?

I mean, five years is not much if you want to use oCIS to build a sustainable cloud solution in some enterprise or public sector environment. What about the Bavarian schools, CERN, EOSC, etc.? Are there contracts or other commitments to continue the current open and transparent development and licensing after those five years?

It’s pretty simple. OCIS is a project that shows how OSS licenses work, it has always gone farther than any competitor. Other projects limit usage to 500 users, we don’t nor have we done such. ownCloud 10 (as others) require CLAs, we don’t. Somewhere there’s a whitepaper I wrote about the licences involved, but there’s hardly any other OSS software product lest private cloud as free and open as ownCloud Infinite Scale.

ATM, I think the community needs to step in and contribute code – I’ll try to do so, too. There’ll be no relicensing or any such thing within the next 5 years, the legal document is binding, that’s for sure, there’s a contract. So that is very cool, given the fact that that (as usual with new, innovative products) could be done in an employee meeting, AFAIK. Can any competitor offer that reliability? I don’t think so.

I left ownCloud on March 1, thus I am an independent community member again. :-). All we - the community - can do is create contributions, that is the best way to make sure that OCIS also stays OSS in the long run. There’s no evidence of any plans to change anything, but it would be easy for KW to apply changes. Again: They don’t plan to, if someone says otherwise, that’s a lie or malinformation.

However, we can show them (and I know there’s many great OSS guys inside OC doing so atm) the benefits of OSS and a great community. There’s already forks and stuff around, and that is great. What I saw at CERN, if you look into EOS and what they are doing - see FOSDEM - is absolutely amazing, but not suited perfectly for enterprise usage. Adapting that is and has always been the benefit that ownCloud brings and brought in, always, no matter any lies that competitors spread. :slight_smile:

Anyway, in five years Open Source in general will be in a state where memory-safe languages will be more the standard than what LAMP/PHP was when OCIS was started (Even POTUS Biden wants those by now :slight_smile: ). I admire the ownCloud guys that took up the responsibility, I admire folks like Klaas Freitag for their vision and those like Holger Dyroff for their endurance and belief through four (?) years of expensive development, all free for anybody. And then there’s those gifted GO!-Developers. It’s amazing. Thanks for having been a part of that. OCIS 5.0 shows that once more.

BTW: Here are some of the articles I wrote and helped writing about the move to Go. We may have been the first, but others will follow, and the large scale science edu and enterprise community honors that.

What an awesome ride that was!

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@mfeilner Thanks a lot for the additional insights and comments! Very much appreciated!

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Take all my musings and writings with a grain of salt, please. From my former employees, i received the feedback of being a boss with strong opinions and a big openness for compromise.
(“Meinungsstark und kompromissbereit”) - I like that.