GSoC 2017: GNOME and Nextcloud

During this summer I’ll take part in the Google Summer of Code, working together with GNOME and Nextcloud to improve the out of the box cloud experience on the Linux desktop.

The integration of Nextcloud services within the GNOME desktop environment is already quite good, as gnome-online-services provides file browsing as well as calendar/contact/task sync with existing GNOME apps. Nevertheless the integration of the Nextcloud desktop client for file synchronization still has lot of room for improvement. Especially the initial setup of file synchronization is a high barrier for non-technical users.

Tasks during GSoC

By now the client demands that the user already has an account on a Nextcloud instance. Providing the setup wizard with a simple list of hosting providers will allow users to find a provider they trust and register an account from within the client.

Furthermore the integration with the GNOME desktop environment will be improved by extending the existing file context menu and file icon overlays. Also basic integration the the cloud providers API proposed by Carlos Soriano will be added, which will be a first step to remove desktop environment specific code. I’ll also work with Carlos in order to extend the existing API draft, to provide more functions that might be useful to certain cloud providers.

GNOME as well as KDE both provide a simple sign-on service that allows users to enter their credentials for web services like Nextcloud (gnome-online-accounts and accounts-sso). The Nextcloud client should make use of the accounts created there as well as add accounts when setting them up in the client.

Depending on the remaining time I’ll also dig into the notifications integration of the Nextcloud client. With the upcoming Nextcloud 12 release, notifications become an even more essential part of the user interaction. Since the current client implementation is quite minimal there is a lot of room for improvement.

Working in the open

All work on the Nextcloud client will be done in public over at the Nextcloud GSoC repo, where you can also find some more details on the different steps that will be implemented during GSoC. Everyone who would like to discuss or has some ideas on how we could further integrate Nextcloud with the Linux desktop and especially with GNOME, feel free to head over to GitHub and join the discussion.

I’d also like to thank Roeland Douma from Nextcloud as well as Carlos Soriano from GNOME who will be mentoring me during the coding period. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming months.

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