1. 18
  1. 10

    My feeling is Nextcloud are compromising the quality of their core features by expanding out to try and do everything else (the shit quality apps Kev talks about). Although for the same reason I don’t mind it lacking a backup app, I’d rather use a first class backup tool outside Nextcloud than rely on them to get that right.

    1. 1

      That’s a great point actually - I’d rather use a first class backup solution than a half baked one.

      1. 1

        Nextcloud the company only focuses on some of those apps, and the “Official” label in the app store doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is involved in developing that app. It can be confusing to figure this out though, especially because a lot of people from the company still support and help out with the community-developed apps even though they aren’t necessarily the company’s priority.

      2. 10

        They are completely different use cases from my observation.

        I run NextCloud on my VPS so that I can access my calendar, save contacts, and share files with people. NextCloud is not a NAS even if some people use it as one.

        A Synology (or any NAS) is internal to your main network and is where your bulk data lives. It has special filesystems and other low level code for dealing with physical hard drives and data is shared with other local hosts over SMB or NFS. (Or remote hosts over VPN if you have the bandwidth.)

        1. 3

          For me NextCloud was always primarily an alternative to Dropbox, Google Drive etc., so I can understand the post. I don’t have a Synology personally but I tried NextCloud often and found the same issues over and over again: The file-syncing wasn’t reliable (macOS), calendar and contact sync never worked correctly.

          A lot of friends love their Synology NAS systems, not just because of the file sharing features (it’s not just SMB/NFS etc. but also a Dropbox like Desktop client) but also for the reliable Calendar and Contacts sync, there’s also a feature to make it available from outside of your home network.

        2. 5

          Never heard of Synology, but article linked to a NAS company and didn’t mention if their software is commercial or FOSS?

          1. 4

            I’m fairly sure it’s predominantly closed source.

            1. 1

              Synology are proprietary, but I think the underlying OS is based on Open BSD.

              1. 3

                It is Linux based

                1. 1

                  Perhaps you’re thinking of TrueNAS which is based on FreeBSD. (A Debian-based version is also in the works.)

              2. 3

                Neither. One isn’t open source. The other is a PHP-based toy with large, undeserved popularity. Perfect for a strawman. I take issue with the presentation of such false dichotomy.

                The article reads like an advertisement. This is particularly manifest in the conclusion. “Need a <opensource software package>? $product has it!”. Oh well, then maybe I’ll just buy standard commodity hardware and install a much better maintained distribution, open source and with a much larger community than synology’s blackbox appliance and its hardware-tied ecosystem.

                1. 2

                  I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. Synology sells it’s own hardware (that the software is presumably optimised for), is expensive (relatively to NC), and the hardware is not upgradable (in most models)..

                  I built my item NAS and run unRAID and run NC. It’s okay. It feels bloated, and everything feels like halfway done. But all apps I use get constant updates so I’m sure it’ll be better next year. Heck it’s free and OSS can’t expect more.

                  As an aside, the NC mac app is garbage. Constantly crashing and not updated in months.

                  1. 1

                    I think if you compare the core functionality of Synology and NC then you’re right - one is a NAS the other is a file syncing application. However, both have apps that overlap in their feature set - contacts & calendar, file syncing, online document editing, email etc. These are the kind of tools people tend to use on their home server.

                    When comparing the overlapping features, Synology comes our way in front. Honestly, I don’t understand how NC is so popular.

                    1. 1

                      I think NC is popular because of OwnCloud but I only started using it last year. I looked at Synology and Qnap and others, and chose NC to get upgradability and no vendor-lock in.

                      1. 1

                        The scopes are different though, and the underlying technology is different. This limits what can be done with Nextcloud compared with Synology.

                        As an example: take a BitTorrent client. For a platform like Synology this is easy because they can take an existing BitTorrent client and integrate it in the operating system offering. For Nextcloud though, which runs within the confines of a web server and does not control the underlying operating system, this is harder. Either they have to require a bunch of manual setup to install the native client that’s required, or they have to implement a BitTorrent client in PHP which wouldn’t work that well anyway because the architecture is oriented around request/response cycles and BitTorrent fits extremely poorly into that model.

                        A more apples-to-apples comparison, I think, would be to compare Synology with Nextcloud running on top of FreeNAS.

                    2. 2

                      I’ve been forced to use Synology stuff over the years, and it’s just a giant pain. Yes, there are community packages for lots of things, but most of them are poorly integrated and often the thing you actually want is still missing anyway. How they managed to ship so many units that have ssh server and rsync but not scp/sftp server for example is just beyond me.

                      1. 2

                        The nice aspect of NC is that it can even run on a shared host or cloud. That’s cheap and no need to worry about the underlying hardware.

                        1. 2

                          I’ve been using NC since before the Owncloud split. If what you’re looking for is file sync, then it’s great. The WebDAV and CalDAV support has at times been variable, but I have something that works and works well for me. It’s clear OP hasn’t resolved the problems they’ve had and perhaps that’s the difference:

                          1. If you’re self hosting NextCloud’s Open Source offering, you’re responsible for making sure it works.
                          2. If you’re running Synology software on Synology hardware, or using a Nextcloud provider, then you shift the responsibility to them.

                          I don’t see this as a $x is better than $y thing - it’s outsourcing your time and maintenance responsibility for money. Nextcloud does primarily several things: Calendar, Contact and File sync. If all you need is file sync Syncthing or Seafile is probably better. If you need something a bit more with a dropbox-like web interface, it’s pretty good. The workflow support has a lot of potential too. In an ideal world I’d have native webhooks so I can integrate Huginn but that’s about it for me.

                          1. 1

                            I use OneDrive to sync everything and back up pictures to iCloud and Google. Not too privacy wise, but I’ll never lose my pictures.