Nextcloud is not moral. Nextcloud is the fruit of an ordinary dirty business deal, rooted in betrayal. ownCloud doesn’t look very good in this sad sorry saga, either.
Back when Frank Karlitschek left ownCloud to launch Nextcloud, he claimed it was a moral decision. But he has never articulated the morality that lay behind that decision. Frank’s number two, Jos Poortvliet, has published many words on this without any specifics, though the quantity and vigor of handwaving is rather impressive. Jos and the other people who left ownCloud to follow Frank promised they would tell The Real Story.
I’m still waiting to hear their version of The Real Story. So far it’s just Real Vapor.
I think their Real Story is the same as mine, and they’re too ashamed to tell it. This is what really happened: Frank made a deal with Spreed behind the backs of his ownCloud partners and founders, then deliberately sabotaged an ownCloud acquisition that was all but finalized. That acquisition would have meant a nice infusion of cash and resources. Killing the acquisition caused ownCloud, Inc. to close its doors and lay off all US employees, including me. It also created difficulties for ownCloud GmbH, but so far they are surviving thanks to a different acquisition deal.
I’m dying to hear how backstabbing your partners, trying to kill a competitor, and costing people their jobs is moral. The tech press completely failed on this story, and have been publishing gushing reviews of how this is so wonderful, and how Nextcloud is all cool because Community and Transparency and Purity and other silly fanboi junk. Get real, friends, the only thing that matters to the Nextcloud crew is money. Only one tech reporter, Barb Darrow at Fortune, did her job and got the real story (see Why Did File Sharing Startup OwnCloud Shut Down?).
Meanwhile, those of us who lost our jobs are still waiting for our final paychecks. I’ve lost count of the excuses and broken promises that oh yes, we will be paid any day now. Sure we will.
The best punch line is Frank offering jobs to former ownCloud employees. Riiight. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Enjoy your money, former friends, perhaps it will buy you a clear conscience.