[Users] Zimbra's bug fixing process?

Andrea Wörrlein aw at vnc.biz
Tue Feb 16 11:36:37 CET 2021

Dear Frédéric,dear members of the Zeta Alliance,I have been a silent member of the Zeta Alliance for some time now and would like to share some thoughts today.I understand your pain, Frédéric, and can assure you that you are not the only one.We have been a committed Zimbra partner since 2009.In these 12 years we went from being a Zimbra distributor in DACH, to Zimbra partner and Zimbra development expert. Since around 7 years, we have been developing our VNClagoon product suite, which includes in one component a Zimbra backend (see architecture chart on this page).For us, Zimbra in its core backend components clearly still is the best open source based email groupware on the market!In all these years, we experienced and addressed several shortcomings, some of those are included in your list.As we are serving customers and partners with growing demands regarding security, frontend options, performance, integration scenarios and much more, we decided to fix what needs to be fixed, to develop what is lacking – in short: to just do it!The result is our complete VNClagoon communication and collaboration stack.One of the components in the groupware part (see VNCmail) is the Zimbra backend. We developed a completely new frontend (Web Client, Desktop Client, Apps – Android and iOS) and made substantial changes in the backend, for example by integrating Solr.Of course, we continued our development of VNCtalk (which had been the first version of «Zimbra Talk» a long time ago) and it is our flagship product now.We developed and integrated dozens of further products, frontend options (see VNCcommander), directory services and much more.Why did we do that?Most importantly, because customers demand an integrated suite of communication & collaboration products and you can not compete with e.g. Microsoft by selling only an email based groupware.I won't go into more detail now, but I am open to any questions and would appreciate an open discussion. As you know: open source means open mind. :)You can check out all our products on our website or register to get a hands-on experience on VNClagoon LIVE or just ask me for a demo.Thank you all for your engagement in the Zeta Alliance!Mit freundlichen Grüssen / Kind regards Andrea Wörrlein, M.A.VNC - Virtual Network Consult AGMember of the BoardPoststrasse 24, CH - 6302 Zug, SwitzerlandPhone: +41 (41) 727 52 00 Mobile: +41 (78) 9366635Weigandufer 45, D-12059 Berlin, GermanyTel.: +49 (30) 3464615-20aw at vnc.biz; www.vnc.biz----- Original Message-----From : Frédéric Nass <frederic.nass at univ-lorraine.fr>To : Barry de Graaff <info at barrydegraaff.tk> , David Touitou <david at network-studio.com> , Marc Gadsdon <mg at in-tuition.net>Cc : users <users at lists.zetalliance.org>Sent : Monday, February 15, 2021 - 4:34 PMSubject : Re: [Users] Zimbra's bug fixing process?Hi Barry,This is not about rant and shame and not about the ZA. Nor is itabout bashing people contributing hard and providing nice reportseach week. You guys rock and I've been telling this Randy in thepast I hope several times. :-)This is about customers being left behind, not getting any usefulhelp from Zimbra's support.This is about customers paying tens of thousands of dollars /euros each year without getting any bugs that they reported beingproperly investigated and fixed.This is about customers (and BSPs!) not having any clue on wherethe Zimbra product is going and what resources are still availablefor the development and for bug fixing.This is about customers expectations being neglected. ZimbraDrive v2 is still closed source and unable to talk to any otherclouds than Zimbra's Nextcloud when we already have aNextcloud+OnlyOffice cloud here for years.Same goes for Zimbra Connect/Talk which is way too expensive toeven be considered worth using.This is about customers hoping for a real change in how Zimbraproduct is managed.This is about customers expecting a few talented, skilled andefficient development resources being hired ASAP so that theyfinally get what they pay for.Best regards,Frédéric.Le 14/02/2021 à 15:50, Barry de Graaffa écrit :Hello David, hello everyone,Responding as a member of the Zeta Alliance since the earlydays, I find it a bit saddening to read your negative feelingsabout Zeta Alliance and specifically the weekly call.A number of us have invested a lot of (personal) time and evenmoney into the Zeta Alliance. Keeping weekly meetings going isnot something to underestimate. Some of us had to really pulland convince people to join in the early days and over timekeeping the agenda and the talk going (in evening hours), takesa toll, I can tell you.Zeta Alliance has been around for 5 years and here is a shortlist of things that Zeta Alliance deserves credit for:Successfully pushed for the ability to build Zimbra FOSS: https://github.com/Zimbra/zm-build(before the build procedure was not documented and did notwork at all, we do not deserve 100% credit but I think wewhere the accelerator)Successfully delivered crowdfunded Zimlets and maintained alot of orphaned Zimlets: https://github.com/Zimbra-CommunityHaving these around really pushed Zimbra to the next level asoften Zimlets from the community got redeveloped and bakedinto the Zimbra product, there now is 2FA, Nextcloud and soonRocketChat in the main product. I cannot prove it but this mayalso provided inspiration for all the Zimlets (Jitsi/Slack etcetc that are now in Zimbra 9)Zeta Alliance maintained a mailing list, it may not seemlike much, but it is something every open source projectshould have. http://lists.zetalliance.org/has a public archive of everything ever said on there.Kept weekly conference calls that are open for everyone tojoin and talk at. The conference call summaries are on themailing list archives. We also have the agenda's of the weeklymeetings at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1xDyBJFjnfZYxuXJHiDzsXjjMuGGtIl7JOn a few occasions an issue on the call was raised, that wasthen brought to Synacor via a letter or one of the attendeesreaching out with everyone else backing. So I do not think thecall is an obstacle in any way to improve the product.Everyone is free to rant and shame. But I believe the community(and Zeta Alliance) can be better and more powerful if more people would actively invest themselves and contributed their efforts in a selfless manner. Anyone can help bydiscussing with us on the weekly call, help people on the forumsor contribute code via sending PR's on Github.For the rest, I support what Marc wrote.Happy Valentines day to all and best regards,BarryI might be against some ofyou here but I think the weekly Zeta call goes against the community (and global improvements).

Yes, I was part of the early Zeta Alliance and I'm still around.

The weekly call seemed a good idea (to me) at first.
Chitchat between people really motivated by Zimbra, improvements and so on, outside of Zimbra's owner.

But, seen from here (I might be wrong as I do not participate to the calls) it turned into a "parner call with some Synacor insiders".

All of this should happen on the public forum.
Serious talks, chitchats, answers from Synacor to question raised, shaming, etc.

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