[Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

Adrián Gibanel adrian.gibanel at btactic.com
Wed Dec 18 17:08:35 CET 2019


Barry, 

You seem to imply that the way to contribute to Zimbra is opening pull requests at Github. 

If that's the case then the https://zimbra.org/how-to-contribute page has to be updated to reflect it. 

Thank you. 

> De: "Info Zeta Alliance" <info at zetalliance.org>
> Para: "Adrian Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
> CC: users at lists.zetalliance.org
> Enviados: Miércoles, 18 de Diciembre 2019 15:32:10
> Asunto: Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

> The CLA process has been automated for 2 years,
> whenever you send a pull request via Github an automated process asks you to
> agree on the CLA (Contributor License Agreement).

> Then your PR is scheduled for review.

> You only need to do the CLA step once and there is no hard-copy, snail mail
> involved.

> Kind regards,

> Barry de Graaff
> Zeta Alliance
> Co-founder & Developer
> zetalliance.org | github.com/Zimbra-Community

> Signal: +31 617 220 227
> Fingerprint: 97f4694a1d9aedad012533db725ddd156d36a2d0

> From: "Adrian Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
> To: users at lists.zetalliance.org
> Sent: Wednesday, 18 December, 2019 14:57:42
> Subject: Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

> If you are a newbie and you want to contribute back to Zimbra here there is what
> you will find out:

> 1) Google: Zimbra How to contribute

> 2) First search result: Zimbra Gallery:How to Contribute - Zimbra :: Tech Center
> https://wiki.zimbra.com/wiki/Zimbra_Gallery:How_to_Contribute
> Hummm... these seem to be zimlets or extensions. I want to contribute to the
> core. Let's discard this page.

> 3) Second search result:
> 3.1)
> https://zimbra.org/how-to-contribute
> How to Contribute: FAQ - Zimbra.org

> 3.2)
> Let's focus on the interesting paragraph after it has been made clear that you
> have to sign (it's not clear if snail mail is needed or not) the Zimbra
> Contributor Agreement:

> "
> How do I make a contribution?
> A Zimbra Contributor Agreement can be remitted for acceptance by emailing a
> scanned, completed, signed copy to contributions [at] zimbra [dot] com or to
> Zimbra, Inc., Attn: Legal, 3000 Internet Blvd., Suite 200, Frisco, Texas 75034.
> Only physically signed documents or copies of physically signed documents will
> be accepted as binding agreements. Copies of physically signed documents
> include faxed or scanned copies of physically signed original documents. No
> electronically generated 'signatures' will be accepted. Then you are free to
> submit contributions page of the Community or to contributions [at]zimrba.com
> "

> 3.3) zimrba.com should be fixed into zimbra.com
> 3.4)
> "Then you are free to submit contributions page of the Community or to
> contributions [at]zimrba.com".
> Is this poorly written and should be rewritten as:
> "Then you are free to submit contributions to the page of the Community or to
> contributions [at]zimbra.com".
> ?

> Ok,... I do not want to send emails in order to contribute. Maybe I might be
> more comfortable with "the page of the Community". I've never heard of such a
> page and, unfortunately, there's no link to that page on that paragraph. Let's
> use google again.

> 3.5)
> Google: Zimbra page of the community
> Nothing relevant found.
> Google: Zimbra community
> Nothing relevant found.

> 4) Let's take another approach.
> zimbra.org. Get Involved. "How to Contribute" box is found on the bottom right
> of the page.

> * Access Source Code: That's how to access source code. Not how to contribute.
> * Report Bugs: Link to https://bugzilla.zimbra.com/ which we all know is not
> useful for reporting bugs (and maybe opening new bugs is disabled).
> * FAQ: Link to https://zimbra.org/how-to-contribute which I have already covered
> on (3).

> 5) So what?

> If you want to contribute to Zimbra visit: https://zimbra.org/how-to-contribute
> fullfill all the paperwork and later on send your patches or links to your pull
> requests to:

> contributions [at] zimbra [dot] com

> .

> Isn't this the correct procedure?

> Then someone needs to update the https://zimbra.org/how-to-contribute page.

>> De: "Victor d'Agostino" <d.agostino.victor at gmail.com>
>> Para: users at lists.zetalliance.org
>> Enviados: Viernes, 13 de Diciembre 2019 7:38:33
>> Asunto: Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

>> Hello
>>> John Hurley (head of Zimbra tech support) also mentioned that Zimbra currently
>>> sees very few contributions to the product from the open source community.
>> Well they could have consider not ignoring the public bug tracker and the github
>> pull requests.

>> Regards
>> Cordialement
>> Victor d'Agostino
>> Le 12/12/2019 à 19:32, Randy Leiker a écrit :

>>> Hi Adrian,

>>> Following the weekly Zeta Alliance conference call on December 3rd, both myself
>>> & everyone on the call gained a better understanding of your concerns about the
>>> open source edition of Zimbra and we appreciated you joining the call. Again,
>>> we welcome anyone to join the weekly calls (
>>> https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/zetalliance ) to discuss all things
>>> Zimbra related, and get early heads-up on Zimbra improvements in the pipeline.
>>> Just to recap the highlights of the conference call for everyone seeing this
>>> message on the mailing list, we discussed:

>>> Concerns about whether or not an open source version of Zimbra X will be
>>> released
>>> Barry De Graaff agreed that Zimbra has not been forthcoming with the community
>>> about the product direction for open source Zimbra. In his role as a Zimbra
>>> employee, he's initiated a discussion with Rene Otto (head of product
>>> management for Zimbra) to seek clarification. Barry reported in this week's
>>> Zeta Alliance call that he has not yet heard back from Rene on this topic.

>>> The challenges and workload involved with forking Zimbra
>>> Most everyone on the call agreed that forking Zimbra would be a massive task
>>> with many challenges, and is not advisable. Barry also reminded everyone that
>>> the Zeta Alliance is not a fork of Zimbra ( https://zetalliance.org/faq/ ).
>>> There was also a discussion about the challenges related to building a
>>> community around a fork and managing code contributions. John Hurley (head of
>>> Zimbra tech support) also mentioned that Zimbra currently sees very few
>>> contributions to the product from the open source community.

>>> Running Zimbra X using on-premise hardware
>>> Barry also asked Rene about this topic, but reported he has not heard back on
>>> this topic. Following the call on December 3rd, I think you are right Adrian in
>>> that it will continue to be possible to run Zimbra X with on-premise hardware,
>>> since many Zimbra BSPs depend on this capability for thier business model.

>>> Next Zimbra X product announcement
>>> There were hints offered that the community may be hearing more about the
>>> direction of Zimbra X in the coming weeks, which may help definitively answer
>>> some of the above concerns.

>>> Upcoming schedule for weekly calls
>>> Discussed in this week's Zeta Alliance call, we are planning to do one more call
>>> this year on December 17th, then will take a break and continue the weekly
>>> calls starting on January 7, 2020.

>>> Randy Leiker ( randy at skywaynetworks.com )
>>> Skyway Networks, LLC

>>> From: "Adrián Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
>>> To: "users" <users at lists.zetalliance.org>
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2019 3:49:41 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

>>>> De: "Randy Leiker" <randy at skywaynetworks.com>
>>>> Para: users at lists.zetalliance.org
>>>> Enviados: Lunes, 2 de Diciembre 2019 22:55:04
>>>> Asunto: Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

>>>> Hi Adrian,

>>>> Thanks for sending such a thorough email outlining your ideas for forking ZCS
>>>> 8.8.x. Similar to Zimbra's policy prior to the GA release of 8.8, they are
>>>> likewise being quiet about specific roadmap details for the GA release of X,
>>>> aside from a few high level bits of information publicly released.

>>> I see.

>>>> Aside from the things that I've been told that are confidential partner
>>>> information, it has been publicly hinted that there will be more than one
>>>> version of X, targeted at different markets. It has likewise been publicly
>>>> disclosed that it will likely be based on Docker containers in a Kubernetes
>>>> environment.

>>>> My personal speculation (not based on anything shared with me by Syncaor) is
>>>> that one of those versions will probably be a hosted offering similar to Office
>>>> 365's Business Premium email subscription model, possibly based on an AWS cloud
>>>> platform. I seriously doubt Synacor would directly offer to host it on
>>>> Microsoft's Azure or Google's cloud services, since they are direct competitors
>>>> to Zimbra (Office 365 & G Suite). I also speculate that they would make it
>>>> optional for a Zimbra admin to independently deploy ZCS on their own using
>>>> either Azure or Google's clouds, and a Zimbra admin's own in-house
>>>> infrastructure too.

>>>> In side conversations I've had with several owners of other Zimbra BSPs over the
>>>> last year & a half, they share your preference and prefer to run Zimbra on
>>>> their own infrastructure, rather than public cloud service (e.g. AWS) for
>>>> various reasons. On the flip side, I have also heard from 1-2 BSPs who strongly
>>>> prefer to use a public cloud services for their Zimbra instances. But, I have
>>>> not heard any official information about what will happen to the option to run
>>>> it on an organization's own infrastructure, rather than a public cloud service.
>>>> Like yourself, I am hoping that running a self-hosted version of ZCS X remains
>>>> an option.

>>> I'm pretty sure you will be able to self-host Zimbra X. You might need to tweak
>>> your hypervisor or virtual machines setups but you will be able to do it.
>>> I'm not concerned about Zimbra X being able to be self-hosted or not. That's not
>>> the big picture here.
>>> I'm worried about Zimbra X not being released with an open source license.
>>> The reason why I'm advocating for forking Zimbra 8.8.X is not because it is a
>>> self-hosted version.
>>> I'm advocating for forking Zimbra 8.8.X because its license is open source and
>>> Zimbra X is not clear is going to be open source.
>>> I would also advocate for forking Zimbra X if there was an already open source
>>> version of it from two years ago and no clear news about newer versions being
>>> kept under an open source license.

>>>> I invite you and anyone else reading this message to join the Zeta Alliance on
>>>> our weekly Tuesday conference calls (
>>>> https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/zetalliance ) to discuss your thoughts
>>>> on ZCS & your proposed fork. There's usually at least 10-15 of us on those
>>>> weekly calls, where most attendees are BSPs, key people that work in Zimbra
>>>> tech support, engineering, marketing, and key people who work for Zextras. You
>>>> can see a list (
>>>> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uUUDJpwp2CAylU6lxtbEdVcUX_qSbciyes6gLTWw2fY/edit
>>>> ) of the things that we typically discuss on our weekly agendas.

>>> Thank you for inviting me.
>>> It was an educational talk which will help me to improve the project FAQ draft.

>>>> Randy Leiker ( randy at skywaynetworks.com )
>>>> Skyway Networks, LLC

>>>> From: "Adrián Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
>>>> To: "users" <users at lists.zetalliance.org>
>>>> Sent: Monday, December 2, 2019 9:50:46 AM
>>>> Subject: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

>>>> Please note I already started this discussion at ZetaAlliance devel mailing list
>>>> ( You can check the original thread here:
>>>> https://lists.zetalliance.org/pipermail/devel_lists.zetalliance.org/2019-November/000403.html
>>>> ) . As advised I have moved this discussion to the users mailing list.

>>>> 1) ZCS 8.8.x being a dead end.
>>>> 1.1) Synacor has stated that the current ZCS 8.8.x family builds will no longer
>>>> be upgraded.

>>>> More information on "Zimbra 8.8.X support" on "A annex" below.

>>>> 1.2) ZCS 8.8.x now uses a mix of custom scripts and packages from a custom repo.
>>>> 1.3) They will be replaced by "Zimbra X" ( https://info.zimbra.com/zimbra-x-beta
>>>> ) while the ZCS 8.8.x versions based on 'custom scripts and packages from
>>>> custom repo'.

>>>> As far as I understand Zimbra X is what a high-grade professional email service
>>>> should be. A cloud service where many of its services are run in different
>>>> containers. If a given container does not run as expected you can power it off
>>>> and power on another one to replace it. If your service has a lot of usage then
>>>> many more containers are started to keep up with demand. During the night only
>>>> the minimal containers are kept run.

>>>> There is also an improvement on UI based on React.

>>>> Finally it's based on Zimbra's open source project. So that you can have a full
>>>> source code review.

>>>> More information on "Zimbra X" on "B annex" below.

>>>> 1.4) No open source version

>>>> Despite the former statement "based on Zimbra's open source project" as far as
>>>> we know there won't be an open source binary version or download of Zimbra X.
>>>> You won't be able to download your own Zimbra X binaries (built only from open
>>>> source) to be able to deploy it either in your own cloud system (Although I
>>>> suspect it will be technically feasible to install Zimbra X in a single server
>>>> it won't be the default or recommended way of doing things, you will need a
>>>> cloud system anyways.)

>>>> So one of the key selling points of Zimbra: Being "open source" for either
>>>> security or "ensuring future updates" reasons has vanished.

>>>> More information on "Zimbra 8.8.x OSE" on "C annex" below.

>>>> 2) ZCS 8.8.x Replacement

>>>> This is what I think we need in order to replace ZCS 8.8.x

>>>> 2.1) Git repos

>>>> Basically we would need to replicate repos found at:
>>>> https://github.com/Zimbra
>>>> ( Note: I'm already working in this part. )

>>>> 2.2) Pkg repos

>>>> Ubuntu packages repo
>>>> Centos packages repo
>>>> Etc.

>>>> 2.3) Build knowledge and machines

>>>> In addition to the code we need to know how to use it to build the different
>>>> Zimbra versions for each of the supported operating systems and versions.
>>>> Optionally we could have some build machines to automate the build and CI of the
>>>> new system.

>>>> 3) License rework

>>>> It would be nice if plugins could be written in GPL3 and then being able to
>>>> bundled into Zimbra itself.
>>>> Apparently right now they can only be GPL2.

>>>> 4) Name (Domain et al)

>>>> A name for the Zimbra fork.

>>>> 5) What's the current status from the Zeta Alliance side?

>>>> I have checked both the devel and users mailing lists and I haven't seen any
>>>> debate about an hypothetic community-driven fork.

>>>> Is there any message that I have missed?
>>>> Is there any work in progress that I have missed?

>>>> Thank you very much for your feedback!

>>>> 6) Finally I know that Zella Alliance has in its FAQ (
>>>> https://zetalliance.org/faq/ ):

>>>> "
>>>> Q. Is this a fork ?
>>>> A: No, no, no. Everyone involved has clearly expressed, a fork would be the
>>>> worst possible outcome.
>>>> "

>>>> but given the current feedback we have from Synacor we have to be prepared to
>>>> this new scenario.

>>>> Annexes
>>>> =====
>>>> A) Current end of Support Matrix for ZCS 8.8.x and earlier versions (
>>>> https://www.zimbra.com/support/support-offerings/product-lifecycle/ )

>>>> Zimbra Major Release | General Availability | End of General Support | End of
>>>> Technical Guidance
>>>> Version 8.8.x | 12/12/2017 | 12/31/2023 | 12/31/2023

>>>> Zimbra Standard Release | General Availability | End of General Support | End of
>>>> Technical Guidance
>>>> Version 8.8.15 (Joule) Next LTS | 07/19/2019 | 12/31/2023 | 12/31/2023
>>>> Version 8.8.12 (Issac Newton) | 04/01/2019 | 12/31/2019 | 06/25/2020
>>>> Version 8.8.11 (Homi Bhabha) | 12/18/2018 | 6/28/2019 | 12/17/2019
>>>> Version 8.8.10 (Konrad Zuse) | 10/1/2018 | 03/29/2019 | 10/1/2019
>>>> Version 8.8.9 (Curie) | 07/09/2018 | 12/14/2018 | 07/09/2019
>>>> Version 8.8.8 (Turing) | 03/29/2018 | 10/01/2018 | 03/29/2019

>>>> Zimbra Long Term Release | General Availability | End of General Support | End
>>>> of Technical Guidance
>>>> Version 8.7.11 | 07/13/2016 | 12/31/2019 | 12/31/2020

>>>> Close to End of Life | General Availability | End of General Support | End of
>>>> Technical Guidance
>>>> Version 8.6.x | 08/26/2015 | 09/30/2018 | 09/30/2019

>>>> B) About Zimbra X (taken from https://info.zimbra.com/zimbra-x-beta )

>>>> The Next Generation of the Zimbra Email and Collaboration Platform
>>>> Leapfrogging ahead of competitors with a first-of-its-kind containerized
>>>> architecture and React-based application, Zimbra X is optimized for high
>>>> performance and flexibility.

>>>> * Zimbra X Platform
>>>> ** Cloud native and cloud agnostic
>>>> ** Stateless, highly available architecture
>>>> ** Automated container orchestration utilizing Docker Swarm or Kubernetes
>>>> ** Full separation of services and application

>>>> Zimbra X Application
>>>> ** React-based application built on top of Zimbra’s API and GraphQL
>>>> ** Responsive for use on any device
>>>> ** Easily integrates with third party services for a customizable experience
>>>> ** WCAG compliant for full accessibility

>>>> Zimbra X Benefits
>>>> ** Automated deployment, recovery, and traffic management
>>>> ** Flexible cloud hybrid deployment options
>>>> ** Easily customizable and extensible application, with third party services
>>>> like Giphy and Emojis already integrated
>>>> ** Based on Zimbra’s open source project ensuring security and allowing for full
>>>> source code review

>>>> C) Zimbra 8.8.x Collaboration OSE (
>>>> https://www.zimbra.com/open-source-email-overview/ )

>>>> Since the inception, Zimbra has been a community. All of our Zimbra
>>>> Collaboration Open Source Edition software, documentation and innovation has
>>>> been created, tested, used, and discussed openly by people like you
>>>> participating in our Open Source Community. Our contributors diagnose bugs, fix
>>>> bugs, translate programs, submit patches, point out deficiencies in
>>>> documentation, answer community questions, submit killer applications, alert us
>>>> to something that needs tweaking, and write new software. No matter how you
>>>> contribute, we welcome new ideas and contributions for the advancement of
>>>> greater shared knowledge and a better Zimbra Collaboration product.

>>>> --
>>>> Adrián Gibanel

>>> --
>>> Adrián Gibanel

> --
> Adrián Gibanel

-- 
Adrián Gibanel 
I.T. Manager 

+34 675 683 301 
+34 973 270 382 
www.btactic.com 

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