Status of Carbonio CE
Hello everyone, I am one of the founders of the LibreOffice project and have also been a board member of the Open Source Initiative for several years. Probably, I have met some of you at a Free Software event, or you have heard one of my presentations. I started working with Zextras on Carbonio, and one of the things I noticed was that there is a recurring topic that has not been fully answered to date: the Carbonio roadmap.
Carbonio has a very ambitious goal, which is to become the software of choice for collaboration - be it email, chat, file sharing, video conferencing, calendar management, etc. - for all organisations or companies that have developed an awareness of data sovereignty (or if you prefer digital sovereignty). Achieving this goal is not easy, and it is probably impossible to do so quickly from scratch.
There are many components to integrate and it might take longer than we had initially planned. We’re proceeding step by step, with a continuous improvement and delivery, which you can check on our GitHub account, where you can see the commits in real time.
Also, as always, appetite comes with eating, so we widened the scope, and this expanded the areas where source code cleaning and refactoring was needed. Of course, we have also solved quite a number of bugs and regressions, which are inevitable when you get to grips with large and complex source code.
We are progressing nicely. As of today, we are working on the usability of the user interface, but also on new entire features, including the system administrator interface and the open source chat, which are our target for 2022.
At this point, what we can tell you is that we expect to finish the first phase of work, the one that will allow us to have Carbonio in a condition to start accepting contributions from volunteer developers on the source code, by the beginning of 2022. In the meantime, you can contribute in other areas, and above all help us make Carbonio known within the free software community.
Please excuse me for the length of this message, but I was convinced that it was necessary to put a full stop and answer your questions once and for all. From now on, we will try to reply to all messages within 48 hours, even if in some cases the answer will be that we do not have an answer but that we are working on it. Thank you for your patience.
Hello Italo, greetings. Just to say that we are almost finishing 2022,The beginning of this year was talked about and what is already going away. Finally, the roadmap for when?.
Sorry for the late answer, but I have been in Serbia for the local FOSS event, and I did not have a stable internet connection for most of the time. "Beginning of 2022" is of course a typo, was meant to be beginning of 2023. Apologies.
At the moment, the roadmap is based on these three topics: the usability of the user interface, the system administrator interface and the open source chat, which are due by the end of 2022.
Roadmaps in open source projects are not always as easy to determine as in proprietary software projects. For instance, LibreOffice - a project I know rather well - has never had a true roadmap since 2010, and even without a roadmap has managed to become the leading open source office suite, with millions of users in enterprise environments (French Government, Italian Ministry of Defense, many regions and cities in Europe, a very large bank, and many more).
Of course, a roadmap - or sort of - is useful, and sometime needed, especially for software which can be deployed in enterprises. But publishing a roadmap without having a solid foundation for the next generation of features is meaningless, because the risk is that of having new features which do not work for months because the underlying source code is not clean or stable enough to support the new one.
The refactoring stage has not ended, and we will not publish a true roadmap until that stage will be completed. This was rather clear from my first message, and the situation will not change for a while.