Statement regarding the closure of the Kopano community forum and the end of the community edition
This will be the very last entry in this forum. We have come to the conclusion that this is the right moment to wrap things up here – everything has it’s time and the community forum, as well as the community edition itself, are certainly due.
For many years the forum has served as an open place for information, discourse, exchange of knowledge and at certain times unofficial support or unconventional approaches.
It was a place where persons with a wide variety of agendas, backgrounds and technical skill came together on a common ground. But over time things have changed…
Several former community members and contributors became business partners or subscribed customers. Both of these groups formerly active in the forum are now using dedicated business channels for their needs, in fact reducing the amount of posts and replies on the forum notably.
It’s clear that these groups rely on active and direct communication outside a forum. No one can expect a business partner to monitor a forum for some bit of information. Partners and customers alike require a certain level of confidentiality which excludes discussing their topics in a forum – it’s not the right place.
Naturally this binds resources at Kopano outside the forum, providing proper attention to these groups. Although it was common, it’s simply no longer possible that Kopano employees can engage in miles long discussions with everyone over some particular detail in the forum and/or be readily available for all the questions that might come up. Kopano – even when producing open source software – is first and foremost a business driven company with responsibility towards their clients.
A short digression: What is the difference between the so called community edition and the supported version?
To understand the context it’s good to know the difference between both worlds – the freely available community edition and the commercial subscription based offerings.
The community edition (nightly builds) is in fact an auto-generated release, which is triggered when code commits are being made to the master branch of a certain repository. In here several new ideas came to life. It contains the very latest code and concepts of Kopano groupware. Especially the newer components can be considered to be widely untested and in part to be in an experimental stage.
The supported repositories on the other hand, which subscribed customers gain access to, are based on the final branch of the code. The code on which these packages are build upon is more refined, thoroughly tested in multiple scenarios, receives patches and customers receive professional support for these packages.
So both variants are based on two different branches of the code and are created with two different build processes. The community edition did not receive updates for quite some time. In fact, there is a lot going on, but it does not happen in the mentioned code branch relevant to the community edition. This contributes to less output in the community, as there is nothing new available for the community to discuss.
How to sum all of this up? / TL;DR
Over time the activity in the forums has declined – there is no denying. The amount of new topics and responses on existing ones is much less present – be it by Kopano employees or community members.
Former community members are now paying customers and seek help and insights on channels designated for such a relation, increasing the decline in activity.
The developers are working on a new software stack, which leads to a perception of inactivity due to non-visibility to the user’s of the community edition – and therefor to the forum.
The community itself (unfortunately) does barely generate third party content to be discussed here as well.
Therefor we think it’s time to acknowledge that the forum has served it’s purpose, but is neither relevant for the current development process, nor the business side of Kopano – which also includes former community members.
This decision does not affect customers of Kopano. Kopano as a company will still be serving its customers and can be contacted through the regular business channels (https://kopano.com/contact-information/).
Finally saying goodbye – RIP Kopano community
The forum and community edition had their time and the forum contains – just like many other forums at a time like this – a piece of history, knowledge and commitment. Therefor we decided to keep the contents around in a read-only state.
Anyone interested can access it’s content for future reference. Currently there are no plans of shutting it down permanently – but of course this might be the case at some day in the distant future.
We especially thank everyone who participated in discussions, helped new users to get going, provided insights into special corner cases, shared experiences and code and/or participated in any other contributing way.
But right now it’s finally time to let go of this place.