Although barely enough people responded to draw any conclusions from, here are the Sync survey results:
- Of the people responding, 26.3% actively use Sync
- Of the active users, 28% use Sync in a manner it's not designed for: Please be aware that our Sync server is not a backup server, nor is it a service to be used to install defaults in browsers on many computers at once (you should use pre-generated profiles for that)
- As far as the actual service goes, users find it extremely important that Pale Moon Sync is free and available, but don't care very much actually how it is given shape. People do find it important that it is run by us instead of a third party.
This makes the situation difficult for us because we cannot change it, and it is our largest expense post in terms of server hosting (it takes considerable computing power and storage to run the Sync server, managing a database of many GBs of encrypted data, with on average 200 concurrent synchronization connections at any point in the day) but we cannot charge users for it. Because we cannot change it, we can only continue running it as-is until we either run into scaling issues when more users use it or we simply don't have the funds to keep it running. We're not a corporation and we do not sell data (not that Sync has any usable data on it, anyway; everything is encrypted, including your account e-mail) so there's nothing on the other side of the equal sign here. Because it's insisted that we
run it, we can also not ask volunteers to set up alternative servers for our community, even though that would be a viable solution.
So, for the future, it looks like we can run it as long as we can, and then it will be shut down. Making sure Pale Moon retains the Sync client will allow knowledgeable individuals to synchronize with e.g. several free cloud packages out there that support weave or to run their own FSyncMS instance.