Seafile features (real-time collaboration, IMAP logins, plugins, email integration, etc)

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John Manko

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Aug 28, 2013, 12:19:39 PM8/28/13
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First, I'd like to say that Seafile looks great from what I've seen.  With that said, I have a few questions.

I'm currently an OwnCloud user, but the progress of core feature development (and dismissive nature of the dev team) is less than appealing, so I'm looking for an alternative.  There are many features of OC that I do like, and I'd like to find something similar in other software, like Seafile.

1. OC uses a plugin system for what they call Apps, which allows for extensions of features the core team wouldn't otherwise developer.  Does SF have something similar?

2. OC has an App that allows logins to be configure to authenticate against an IMAP (or other backend services) account. One problem with this is that IMAP users cannot be managed, nor can files be shared with them.  So, really, what's the point of external authentication, right?  Does SF has any way to authenticate against a mail server, thus eliminating the need to give users multiple logins (which is already confusing for them).

3. OC's file history is completely backwards, doesn't have a proper DIFF feature, and they don't offer real-time file collaboration.  There is a App that allows for EtherPad documents, but that's another system to maintain, another login, and isn't nicely integrated with OC.  SF has an acceptable DIFF, but it would be nice to have more of an EtherPad history slider/play and real-time collaboration.  Any plans for that?  I believe that node.js is used and makes for a very responsive system. 

4. OC has another App that allows you to interface with RoundCube for email, but RC contacts management isn't available and it doesn't integrate nicely with CO Contacts (another App).  More so, if IMAP auth is configured for OC, the user still needs to configure the RC App under their settings to authenticate against the RC installation.  Not to mention that RC is yet another system that needs to be configured and maintained, and their limitations on how to install it if accessed from OC.  Does SF have any kind of email integration, this way users don't have to bounce out of SF to check email.  Actually, if you think about it, allowing for email integration would be a HUGE benefit for SF, because you could export email attachments directly to the libraries, or share documents using a SF links (public and private).

5. OC allows for adding internet links to the side panel.  This is how I get around many of the short comings of the current core software and Apps.  Does SF allow for that? 

6. Any theme support?  The interface I saw online will, no doubt, be confusing for office users.  That's one of the primary reasons I went with OC.  EtherPad (and even Sync.in - watch the video: http://www.cynapse.com/syncin) have very nice interfaces that our users find easy to use. 

Lastly, I think that SF is great, but it's lacking many of the feature required to jump off the OC ship.  If you don't have a plugin API, please consider it.  SF will grow as the App community grows.  Is there a video tutorial available to walk through all the features? 

I wish I had the time to contribute to your project, but I'm completely wrapped up in satisfying my users, haha.  :)

Lingtao Pan

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Aug 29, 2013, 3:31:21 AM8/29/13
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Seafile's goal is not to be a cloud platform, but as a file-centered collaboration platform. We focus on a small set of well-maintained functions. 

About the plugin system: Seafile will not have a plugin system. Instead, we will try to integrate other services by API's. For example, we will not have a plugin for features like syncing calendar and contacts, but we will try to work together with system like Radicale (https://github.com/Kozea/Radicale). Many systems are focus on their specific tasks and do much better. So instead of replicate their work, it is much better to work together with them.

Thinks like calendar and contacts syncing is a very hard job on its own. Supporting a few clients is easy, but to work in a production system while supporting Microsoft's clients is very hard. So it is better to let other systems do its job. We provide API for others to integrate Seafile.


About email integration: We have a build in messaging system. We will improve its integration with email. For email attachment, it is much better for email system to integrate with Seafile. For example, in an email client, user can bind its seafile account and then save attachement to seafile.


About real-time collaboration: Yes, we have a plan to integrate with EtherPad.


About IMAP login: We will investigate it.


About theme support: We don't support theme yet. But you can customize css.


About internet links: We don't support it.

Kai Wörner

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Mar 16, 2015, 11:33:03 AM3/16/15
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About real-time collaboration: Yes, we have a plan to integrate with EtherPad.


...are you still having this plan?  

Regards,

Kai
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