Last week Andreas did an upstream release of the file synchronization software csync. Frequent readers know that csync is the sync engine that is used in the ownCloud client, so this is a very important and special release for us.

Yeah for upstream! The new release contains a lot of features and changes me and my collegues worked on during the last 18 month: First we added the ownCloud module to csync upstream, so that csync now is able to sync local directories to an ownCloud server. The ownCloud client works on platforms Linux and MacOSX and Windows. That required a lot of (tricky) changes to the csync platform which we carefully backported to csync upstream.

There are much more changes, such as: More compilers supported, a new logging framework, a new base lib to do unit testing, removal of not so common dependencies and other infrastructure changes. But also on the feature side there are more improvements, mainly to focus on a more easy and broader use of the csync library that allows to embed the sync functionality to various backends into other applications.

I am very happy that we kept our promise to contribute a lot of our changes back to upstream. Primarily that is the way to go in the open source world, you will say. But it was distressing to see how quickly people were whispering stuff like “Well, wouldn’t it be easier if you do a fork? Remember, you have to come to good results quickly for the company, why bother with an upstream project?”

For me, that wouldn’t be like companies in FOSS world should behave, and I know that on the long run, it would not be beneficial for the company either. So very good that the relevant people supported the idea of going with upstream from the beginning.

Does that mean that csync 0.50.0 and ocsync as shipped with ownCloud are the same now? No, unfortunately not. We did more changes on the ownCloud branch which need to be reviewed and probably won’t fit to csync the way they are now. More work to be done, but we’re on the way!