[Owncloud] Hi list + some ideas

François K. daitheflu at free.fr
Wed Nov 3 09:50:14 UTC 2010

Dear ownCloud team,

Please let me introduce myself. My name is François, I'm a nearly-27 years old guy living in Strasbourg, France. I'm a Linux user since a couple of years and I work as a sysadmin.
Well, I have to say that I'm very excited about ownCloud. I was looking for such a thing for a long time, and I even thought about developping a similar piece of software by myself.
So, as I'm really interested in this project, and as I have a little spare time (I guess), I'd like to contribute. I studied developpement, and more specifically web-oriented languages such as HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript. I've some experience in web applications development so... I'm might help a bit :)

For now, let me start with some ideas. I've installed and started to test ownCloud yesterday. I've also read the wiki pages. I might have missed some pages, so please excuse me if I point things that are already planned. Please also note that I haven't studied ownCloud source code for now. Finally, my goal with this email isn't to criticize but rather to be positive. So please don't misunderstand what I'm saying, I don't mean to be rude, it's just my bad english :)

Well, first point that surprised me after installation is that you get an empty "files" space. I thought ownCloud would provide some folders, just like the one you have when you create a new user account on a Linux system (think about /etc/skel). I expected to have a "Documents" folder, a "Music" folder, an "Images" folder, etc. I think that it could also ease the development of plugins (the "Music" plugin knows where to find the music files). Is this something planned/studied ?
A nice feature in Mac OS X (I'm managing Mac OS X computers at work) is that every user has a "Public" folder in its home. This is a special folder : everything stored in it is public. So this is where you put things to make them available for anyone. Also, the "Public" folder contains a "Dropbox" folder where anyone has a write-only access. This is very useful when you need to share a file with only one person. You just have to drop the file in his "Dropbox" folder. Of course, the owner of the Dropbox folder has read and write access. I don't know how sharing files is planned, but I think this kind of mechanism is very interesting. If I want to share a file with everyone, I put it in my "Public" folder. If I want to share a file with John, I drop it in John's "Public > Dropbox" folder. To my opinion, it's much more simple than setting permissions on each file.

Allright, regarding users management, I think it would be a good idea to have an "email" field for each user. This could be useful when the admin needs to contact his users. Or plugins might need it too (cron jobs or whatever). Also, (but I believe that it's planned), ownCloud should give the hability to set a quota for each user (and check the quota whenever it's necessary).

I'll finish with this third idea (I have tons). I think ownCloud needs some polishing. I've always been very interested in ergonomics, GUI, and users experience. And I believe that some things can be done to improve ownCloud usability. I'll try to make some mockups in the next few days if it's ok for you. Just let me know. Oh, regarding this, is there some policy regarding dev technologies ? I mean, for example, HTML5 provides a nice new way to handle uploads. Are you already supporting these or do you wait until it's fully supported by all web browsers ?

Oh, also, I started to make a simple pictures gallery PHP script a few days ago. If you think it can be useful, I'll gladly share it. A bit of work would obviously be needed to adapt it to ownCloud.

Waiting for your comments,
Best regards :)


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