CEO and founder Frank Karlitschek was approached by a lawyer earlier this year to make a deal.

In the meeting, the Microsoft correspondent offered benefits in the form of collaboration and marketing to Nextcloud. For example, they wanted to promote the Nextcloud logo in Microsoft marketing material โ€“ if Nextcloud would consider dropping its anti-trust complaint.

Microsoft used to be a company of jerks, liars and cheaters 40 years ago, it remains a company of jerks, liars and cheaters today.

๐Ÿ“– migration, from my account to my local cloud, completed โœ…

It took me a while to do the jump. I had a library on my Kindle with a few hundreds books. I invested a few hundreds bucks over more than a decade to buy ebooks and create my digital library.

I felt very uncomfortable whenever I thought of those precious resources being lost in somebody else's cloud, while the money I paid only granted me the permission to _view_ the content provided by Amazon's servers, _only_ on the devices compatible with Kindle resources, _only_ using the software built by Amazon, and _only_ using Amazon's closed formats. Anything outside of that clearly defined perimeter is illegal. A suspension of my account would be sufficient to lock me out of my library. And I probably have no easy way of passing those books to my kid, like parents used to do with their kids before surveillance capitalism came over. I just couldn't accept all of this. But, on the other hand, Kindle provided a very comfortable ecosystem, and that motivated my reluctance.

Now I've finally made the jump though, and I couldn't be happier.

- I used to convert all of my Kindle books to .epub. However, the DeDRM plugin ( didn't work out of the box - Amazon has probably come up with some other twists on their KNX compression+encryption to make our lives harder. What worked though was to download the purchased books one by one through the "Download to device over USB" option at - a lengthy process, but at least I got the ebooks in the AZW* format that Calibre and DeDRM could digest.

- I moved all the .epub files on a path shared through - hopefully when the ebook reader apps for NextCloud get fixed my NC interface could also become a place to read my books.

- I installed ( on my local server, and enabled the feed. Make the server accessible over my VPN, set up an nginx reverse proxy with HTTPS, and that's all you need. Big kudos to the development team for building a Java app that manages somehow to be lightweight!

- After trying many apps (most of the ebook reader apps on F-Droid have a UI that feels so 2000s), I settled for , which comes with a decent UI and good support for OPDS feeds out of the box. The only downside is that bookmark synchronization only works over Google Drive, and it requires the version hosted on the Play Store to work. It'd be nice to support NextCloud, or (even better) any virtual storage exposed by Android.

Except for the synchronization still working over Google Drive, I'm happy for finally making the jump - now I feel like my kid will have something to read even if dad's Amazon account gets suspended, or if Amazon at some point in the future goes out of business.

I'll probably still have to buy some books from the Kindle store (especially when it comes to recent books), but I'll always make sure to convert them to .epub and add them to my open library as soon as I get them on my devices.

I have been testing for the past few days three replacements for 's notifications: , and 's Unified Push project. A few observations after a bit of tinkering:

1. The idea behind is amazing. An open protocol to share push notifications over any asynchronous channel (websocket, Redis, MQTT etc.) is what open-source apps have needed for years. Sure, there will always be those who say "push notifications are a distraction, and I'm happy to ditch them". But individual choices/behaviors shouldn't shape the development of a technology - especially when people want a genuine open alternative to something that they like/need to use.

2. UnifiedPush support from individual apps is still scarce. So far I've only found the NextCloud app itself (which only supports UP-NextPush), and . Support on has allegedly been implemented in the latest release, but I haven't yet managed to make it work. Let's roll up our sleeves and make sure that more and more of the apps that we like support open notification services!

3. The notification providers' client apps themselves are still quite buggy, and documentation still very sparse. I have used UP-Example from F-Droid to test the UP services. Only ntfy managed to deliver notifications end-to-end to my devices. Gotify reported an "unknown error" without many details from the logs. UP-NextPush is still very unstable both on the client and server side and I couldn't manage to deliver any notifications.

4. The protocol (and the apps that implement it) needs to slowly be extended to cover as many as possible of the features that have been implemented in the past decade. Action buttons, icons from URLs, custom background images, updates to existing notifications etc.: a couple of these features have been (partly) implemented by 1-2 providers, but we need open standards (especially for action buttons and gestures) if we want to ensure inter-compatibility.

Here we go with one more reason to drop .

If you have a decently sized hard drive and a spare laptop/desktop, you have no reason not to run .

You don't have to pay anyone for storing your stuff.

You decide how big your storage is.

You decide what to upload to it.

You won't have tons of trackers recording your activities while working on the Dropbox/Google Drive web page.

And no faceless company can ever take your storage or your account down for violating some ToS.

I hope I won't have to wait longer for new Rick & Morty episodes just because of Dropbox wiped the creators' account...

About mobile

Yes, I do obviously hate Google from the bottom of my heart. And I do also hate it that all the notifications from and to any Android device go through their Firebase engine. So the backlash again them (as well as 's choice of flagging Firebase usage as an anti-feature) is more than welcome.

But I think that things are getting too much out of hand. Nowadays apps like K-9 Mail and Tusky almost brag about their missing support for push notifications, as if it was a feature itself rather than a missing feature. And I've seen people write things like "oh, notifications are an annoying distraction anyway, good that we don't have them", or "thanks for staying pure".

I totally disagree with this stance. The ability to get nudged when we receive an sms, an email, or somebody mentions us on a chat or a social platform, is one of the core features of any mobile platform. Sure, one should have the ability to mute or disable specific notifications if they don't want to be bothered, but not providing the feature at all means that we (as a community) are providing an incomplete mobile experience, and our apps are unlikely to get traction with anyone who isn't willing to trade usability for privacy.

So I have recently set up my servers running , and 's unified push. I have some automation routines that poll whatever I want to be notified about (emails, Mastodon activity, new content by a specific RSS feed or social profile...), and deliver them as notifications over these channels so my mobile can be up-to-date with everything.

Let's not forget that asynchronous push notifications aren't rocket science. All it takes for them to work is either a websocket or an HTTP stream endpoint - and both the technologies have been around for about two decades. And we've also got a standard () to ensure compatibility.

So I'd like to invite more developers to build apps that come with UnifiedPush support. Yes, you guys deserve to be praised for saying no to Google and Firebase, but if you don't provide any alternative then you're just shipping a half-baked product. I can patch it for now by running a polling logic on another server and delivering messages over ntfy, but people who just want to be notified when they receive an email or get mentioned on Mastodon shouldn't run their own server-side logic to get things to work.

It took me a while, but I've finally managed to get my working on all of the servers ๐ŸŽ‰

You can now register and login with a single account on:

- The instance (
- The instance (
- The instance (

And I've also got it configured on my instance (it was the most painful one to configure), though through a different realm so I won't get random people poking in my personal cloud :)

Things I've learned in the process:

- SSO on your network is amazing! You can also configure WebAuthn over e.g. Yubikey, and you won't have to keep track of tons of different credentials across several services. No Google/Facebook/Microsoft or any third-party SSO solutions required.

- is the most popular and complete solution, but it's unjustifiably heavy. It's maintained by Red Hat, it runs on top of an obese web server like , it takes at least 1 GB of RAM to run, it comes with tons of unintuitive configurations, and it screams "heavyweight enterprise sh*t" from everywhere. Wish there was a more lightweight solution with a less steep learning curve.


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