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Introducing SocialEngine Unite Beta!

  • February 14, 2019 9:05 AM EST
    Daniel said:

    I dunno all, personally i feel majorly lead on for some time.

    I respect evolution, and respect SE moving forward. But I cant help but feel a bit lead on. 

    The fact i wont see any of the feature requests I worked hard on, and was said they coming and been like 2 years waiting, it just feels to me like a carrot was on a string.

    And being as licences cant be resold it leaves us all at major crossroad of forking out again for new software, rebuying plugins and redoing all custom work.

    Im just glad I dont have SEAO plugins as some of those are like $400.

    SES are by far the best devs for 3rd party, but if I dont choose to shed out money again, giving up shop is a consideration.

     

    I understand where you're coming from. I never invested much in 3rd party add ons. I preferred to just stick with core for most things. that's why I'm impressed with the changes here. But to be honest, they're far from production ready at this point.

    • Moderator
    • 3422 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:14 AM EST
    Daniel said:

    I dunno all, personally i feel majorly lead on for some time.

    I respect evolution, and respect SE moving forward. But I cant help but feel a bit lead on. 

    The fact i wont see any of the feature requests I worked hard on, and was said they coming and been like 2 years waiting, it just feels to me like a carrot was on a string.

    And being as licences cant be resold it leaves us all at major crossroad of forking out again for new software, rebuying plugins and redoing all custom work.

    Im just glad I dont have SEAO plugins as some of those are like $400.

    SES are by far the best devs for 3rd party, but if I dont choose to shed out money again, giving up shop is a consideration.

    We certainly didn't intend to lead on anyone. When we were developing and deciding about zend, we found that we would leave clients with less options for customizations, plugins and mobile as well as the language issues we found. Newer technology offers much greater options for clients and experts in regards to all of that and more. It wasn't an easy decision to make but it was a necessary one. When considering how to proceed, we also took in much feedback from clients and experts who had been having a tough time keeping up with todays trends and in customizing as well as in better scalability.

    We then did our best to take in the client and expert feedback regarding features. The more advanced apps will be coming with many features that were requested. Store improvements will be coming as well since our site is using Unite and it will be easier to extend with new features once we get everything released.

    We honestly feel this is the best direction to take in order to keep up with advances in technology.

    • Moderator
    • 3422 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:14 AM EST
    Elshara Silverheart said:
    Daniel said:

    I dunno all, personally i feel majorly lead on for some time.

    I respect evolution, and respect SE moving forward. But I cant help but feel a bit lead on. 

    The fact i wont see any of the feature requests I worked hard on, and was said they coming and been like 2 years waiting, it just feels to me like a carrot was on a string.

    And being as licences cant be resold it leaves us all at major crossroad of forking out again for new software, rebuying plugins and redoing all custom work.

    Im just glad I dont have SEAO plugins as some of those are like $400.

    SES are by far the best devs for 3rd party, but if I dont choose to shed out money again, giving up shop is a consideration.

     

    I understand where you're coming from. I never invested much in 3rd party add ons. I preferred to just stick with core for most things. that's why I'm impressed with the changes here. But to be honest, they're far from production ready at this point.

    Working on it :)

  • TJ
    • 3 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:45 AM EST

    It makes perfect sense to build on a new platform, I don't see any problem there, but for those that did invest in 3rd party plugins and customizations, I'm guessing they will stay with SE PHP for a considerable time (until there are options or resources that allow them to migrate to the new platform).

    With that in mind, is there any official stance on how long SE PHP will be supported and maintained? I think there is an opportunity here for the likes of SEAO who have a vested interest in the products they have developed on SE PHP and (I assume), have a very long road ahead of them if they choose to recreate their plugins on the new platform. Perhaps Webligo could sell SE PHP to someone like SEAO (with contractual clauses prohibiting blocking the development of plugins by 3rd parties, major API changes etc.) or even open source it, so the core can continue to be supported, maintained and developed on the current PHP platform?

    IMHO that would allow the existing vested community to continue and provide a longer runway to potentially transition to the new platform (as I'm sure it will take years for the ecosystem and platform to develop to the same level of maturity)...

    Just my 2 cents... TJ

    • 154 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:54 AM EST
    Donna said:
    Daniel said:

    I dunno all, personally i feel majorly lead on for some time.

    I respect evolution, and respect SE moving forward. But I cant help but feel a bit lead on. 

    The fact i wont see any of the feature requests I worked hard on, and was said they coming and been like 2 years waiting, it just feels to me like a carrot was on a string.

    And being as licences cant be resold it leaves us all at major crossroad of forking out again for new software, rebuying plugins and redoing all custom work.

    Im just glad I dont have SEAO plugins as some of those are like $400.

    SES are by far the best devs for 3rd party, but if I dont choose to shed out money again, giving up shop is a consideration.

    We certainly didn't intend to lead on anyone. When we were developing and deciding about zend, we found that we would leave clients with less options for customizations, plugins and mobile as well as the language issues we found. Newer technology offers much greater options for clients and experts in regards to all of that and more. It wasn't an easy decision to make but it was a necessary one. When considering how to proceed, we also took in much feedback from clients and experts who had been having a tough time keeping up with todays trends and in customizing as well as in better scalability.

    We then did our best to take in the client and expert feedback regarding features. The more advanced apps will be coming with many features that were requested. Store improvements will be coming as well since our site is using Unite and it will be easier to extend with new features once we get everything released.

    We honestly feel this is the best direction to take in order to keep up with advances in technology.


    What happened regards to the blockchain SE, esp when you can download minds social network for free on ethereum blockchain and run own nodes.

    For someone who is in that space, it made me feel uneasy as many dont know the cost to get their erc20 tokens listed on exhanges can cost upwards of 4 million dollars.

    Nor truely understand decentralisation in this space and how it all works in a token economy.

     

    • 154 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:57 AM EST
    TJ said:

    It makes perfect sense to build on a new platform, I don't see any problem there, but for those that did invest in 3rd party plugins and customizations, I'm guessing they will stay with SE PHP for a considerable time (until there are options or resources that allow them to migrate to the new platform).

    With that in mind, is there any official stance on how long SE PHP will be supported and maintained? I think there is an opportunity here for the likes of SEAO who have a vested interest in the products they have developed on SE PHP and (I assume), have a very long road ahead of them if they choose to recreate their plugins on the new platform. Perhaps Webligo could sell SE PHP to someone like SEAO (with contractual clauses prohibiting blocking the development of plugins by 3rd parties, major API changes etc.) or even open source it, so the core can continue to be supported, maintained and developed on the current PHP platform?

    IMHO that would allow the existing vested community to continue and provide a longer runway to potentially transition to the new platform (as I'm sure it will take years for the ecosystem and platform to develop to the same level of maturity)...

    Just my 2 cents... TJ


    In my opinion Social engine solutions have more of an invested interest, I always find SEAO have sloppy code and constantly copy SES.

    Its as if they monitor them on here and see communication, see what SES do, then copy it.

    SES by far have best selection, and way more advanced developers.... i remember when SEAO said it was impossible, literally impossible for a plugin i wanted made.... SES made it in a week.... I feel SES get heavily suppressed on here tho

    • 211 posts
    February 14, 2019 4:41 PM EST

    Im all for the latest and greatest,

    but this all seems to be driven with SE cloud and ambigous about what happens to SE PHP, 3DP Plugins and the whole eco-culture under it.

    - in which we exist.

     

    It does leave someone like us confused and in the dark,as we are deeply invested in the future of SEPHP , and also have substantianial financial investments in 3DP plugins and support.

    We do need to plan and chart out our course and business directives too.

     

    Looking forward to some light and info as to how this all pans out for the future.

     

    The more timely info we get and know ,its going to be easier for us to know whether

    -cut our losses and bail from the system (if sephp gets phased out)

    -stick with it (if there are migratory options -only if it allows us the customization we want)

    -re-invest if it works for us and plan out for more investments in upgrades etc

    -and finally  how it would impact us when we go live and  have paying subscribers who we would need to support.

     

    So, hopefully we get those honest answers very quickly.

    Best ~

     

     

     


    This post was edited by playmusician at February 14, 2019 6:27 PM EST
    • 53 posts
    February 14, 2019 6:06 PM EST

    I am also disappointed and it's not fair that you are not clear about this. Will we be able to download and host it ourselves or are you only offering subscription based software now???

    • 167 posts
    February 14, 2019 6:34 PM EST
    My understanding on this and please correct me if I’m wrong.

    It’s cloud hosting for now until the self hosted version is ready. ( several months plus away )
    There will be a migration tool to move over to the unite so you keep users posts and all other data.
    3pd plug-ins and themes will not work.
    3pd plug-ins and there’s will have to either be ported, rewritten or discontinued.
    Custom work won’t work on unite.
    Existing php licence holders will get unite self hosted when released ( not have to buy again )
    • 211 posts
    February 14, 2019 6:46 PM EST

    Thanks PPK,

     

    so se unite will co-exist with se self hosted ?

    or

    will se-hosted be a temporary phase until its phased out?

     

     How we feel...

    - we are not interested in migrating to the cloud as of now.

    - cause it does not satisfy our needs (unless theres some really radical feature upgrades)

    - (se php +3dp custom plugins/features) works for us perfectly.

     

    I wish SEAO / SES & other 3dps would  stepup ,be pro-active and reach out personally to us 

    They have'nt.

    Theres been pin drop silence. 

     

    So all we can do is wait , I guess.

    “Morpheus: Rest, Neo...The Answers Are Coming”

    LOL

     

     


    This post was edited by playmusician at February 14, 2019 7:08 PM EST
    • 167 posts
    February 14, 2019 7:38 PM EST
    Cloud will coexist with unite self hosted is what I have read into this.

    Until the 3pd get access to the finished framework there isn’t much they can do.

    The cloud unite will be more feature rich and allow apps where current cloud hasn’t.
    • 211 posts
    February 14, 2019 8:33 PM EST

    "Cloud will coexist with unite self hosted is what I have read into this. 

    The cloud unite will be more feature rich and allow apps where current cloud hasn’t."

    That sounds fantastic and relieving. fingers crossed. 

     

    Based on whatever finally happens, once we know...

    It will help us with writing off the expenses we've incurred ,

    as well as how to plan for future financial costs that we would incur to migrate .

     

    We are looking to basically forecast our financial expenses /development based on the direction and costs (as an SMB - small business)

     

    We are stuck in a holding pattern due to all the changes , as it will affect our pricing, packages and business plan for users. We want to go live soon, but with all these changes we cant price and plan packages for our future paying subscribers

    >> or have a business plan in place.

     

    Thanks PPK :)

     


    This post was edited by playmusician at February 14, 2019 9:00 PM EST
    • 154 posts
    February 14, 2019 8:53 PM EST
    playmusician said:

    The more timely info we get and know ,its going to be easier for us to know whether

    -cut our losses and bail from the system (if sephp gets phased out)

    -stick with it (if there are migratory options -only if it allows us the customization we want)

    -re-invest if it works for us and plan out for more investments in upgrades etc

    -and finally  how it would impact us when we go live and  have paying subscribers who we would need to support.

     

     

     

     

    these are literally the thoughts im having

    • 154 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:01 PM EST
    playmusician said:

    Thanks PPK,

     

    so se unite will co-exist with se self hosted ?

    or

    will se-hosted be a temporary phase until its phased out?

     

     How we feel...

    - we are not interested in migrating to the cloud as of now.

    - cause it does not satisfy our needs (unless theres some really radical feature upgrades)

    - (se php +3dp custom plugins/features) works for us perfectly.

     

    I wish SEAO / SES & other 3dps would  stepup ,be pro-active and reach out personally to us 

    They have'nt.

    Theres been pin drop silence. 

     

    So all we can do is wait , I guess.

    “Morpheus: Rest, Neo...The Answers Are Coming”

    LOL

     

     

    Ive already spoke to SES, thankfully we have a great relationship that they talk to me like an honest friend rather than sales people.

    I cant say what they have said, and i know they wont comment as we have had the discussion why and fully support them on what they said.

    but its clear PHP will be phased out, so its decision time on what we all do. I know for fact i dont have the funds to rebuy every plugin i use again for new code base, and I know even if i had some money, i wouldnt only buy a few plugins and lose features..... if i win the lottery i may continue the journey.

    But as a customer ive already shown im not as important to new money coming in, because ive already injected what i could and have already stated i wont rebuy again..... so i hold no weight any longer

    • 211 posts
    February 14, 2019 9:08 PM EST
    Daniel said:
    playmusician said:

    Thanks PPK,

     

    so se unite will co-exist with se self hosted ?

    or

    will se-hosted be a temporary phase until its phased out?

     

     How we feel...

    - we are not interested in migrating to the cloud as of now.

    - cause it does not satisfy our needs (unless theres some really radical feature upgrades)

    - (se php +3dp custom plugins/features) works for us perfectly.

     

    I wish SEAO / SES & other 3dps would  stepup ,be pro-active and reach out personally to us 

    They have'nt.

    Theres been pin drop silence. 

     

    So all we can do is wait , I guess.

    “Morpheus: Rest, Neo...The Answers Are Coming”

    LOL

     

     

    Ive already spoke to SES, thankfully we have a great relationship that they talk to me like an honest friend rather than sales people.

    I cant say what they have said, and i know they wont comment as we have had the discussion why and fully support them on what they said.

    but its clear PHP will be phased out, so its decision time on what we all do. I know for fact i dont have the funds to rebuy every plugin i use again for new code base, and I know even if i had some money, i wouldnt only buy a few plugins and lose features..... if i win the lottery i may continue the journey.

    But as a customer ive already shown im not as important to new money coming in, because ive already injected what i could and have already stated i wont rebuy again..... so i hold no weight any longer

     

    Thats a shame Daniel,

    I feel ya, brother.

     

    Hopefully we might be all be surprised with good news. 

    Its the smaller guys (like us) that get hurt with big decisions.

    We have to wait and see...

     

    • 6 posts
    February 14, 2019 11:59 PM EST

    It's been a while since I was here. I've been an SE client for more than 10 years now, I've met some decent success with my projects using SE, I kind of stopped using the script on a production site since 2012 seeing that how our demographic/niche is already content with Facebook despite the integrations - also most of them are heavily mobile users and while there are app-based solutions, it's quite expensive and would skyrocket our costs to more than $1000.

    Social Networking has evolved since the days of Friendster, nowadays we rely on a custom solution for our own markets that could do the same as the big ones and this is one reason why many have relied on 3rd parties because the basic SE script is dated when it came to features, not that it's their fault but today's social media websites have raised the standards high on what a social network should have that the old team just stuck with stability improvements rather than expand the features per upgrades, there were some questionable decisions before like sticking with mootools, going with Zend Framework but these were justified - however, what a social network should be has changed drastically and things got caught up. I've seen active communities come and go, some just stuck with Facebook and even there many communities have stagnated eventually. While all this was happening I've been playing with SE on a dev site not going public, the current team is commended for their efforts in making the script as optimized as possible but I can say they can only take the script this far - it's time to move on and evolve unfortunately. There's no one to blame here, SEv4 is almost a decade old and we have gotten so used to the ecosystem it created and we've invested so much and relied on 3rd parties for additional bells and whistles.

    I'm willing to give SE Unite (Self-Hosted) a try as soon as it becomes available, that being said I dont know if current license holders can upgrade for free (like SE V3 to SEV4) or pay around $25 like SE V2  to V3. I'm sure things like that have changed as well but I hope access to upgrades wont be as costly. I'm willing to go with the SaaS version but I'm currently running a dedicated server for non-social, Wordpress websites, so I'll go with a self-hosted option. 


    This post was edited by Glenn O at February 15, 2019 4:35 AM EST
    • 8 posts
    February 15, 2019 1:55 AM EST
    Donna said:
    Eugene Sutula said:

    We will need to make that decision as soon as there will be access to code and it's possible to see how the plugins could be implemented. There was no way to create plugins for SE Cloud, but in case of self-hosted version the customization options are open.  

    I wish everything worked this way :) So there was a technology that is failure-free. I would be the first to jump aboard that ship. I'm happy to see the new tech stack, that's for sure. But not that happy there is no self-hosted option yet - biggest SocialEngine projects we had required customizations even beyond the plugin system. Easy-to-understand code of SocialEngine version 2 and version 3, plus the initial plugin system is what has built the 3rd party ecosystem around the core initially. It was fun to mess around with smarty templates to get some modifications done before digging into the profile fields system or core.

    The new platform is more modern, much faster and secure. But keep in mind that it might be more complicated to modify, setup and maintain for non-tech people. There are pros and cons in every technical decision, but it's definitely a step forward.

    Our main site is using a highly customized version of Unite SaaS. Unite has been made so that both SaaS and download clients can have highly customized sites. All of the customizations you see on our main site were made without touching a single line of the base code. Ray is excited about that because it allows experts to do customizations via the API like has been done with our main site. This allows clients to have customizations that don't interfere with their upgrades at all.  

     It was really an amazing decision made by the SE team. But as a third-party developer, we need to think about, how we need to proceed from here as this will make all the third-party developers to the zero levels. 
    As far as new unite is concerns, is there any way we can get access to the code in any form?? so that we can explore what steps need to be taken from the third-party developer perspective. Any help in this will highly appreciable.  

     


    This post was edited by Hire Experts at February 15, 2019 2:01 AM EST
    • Moderator
    • 3422 posts
    February 15, 2019 4:48 AM EST

    Hi everyone. Sorry I didn't get back yesterday. Have had the flu for about a week, bad timing. 

    For everyone that's asking if there will be a download, we did say in our blog and in this thread first post about that. Please reread it as it's already mentioned. 

    We had a roadmap we posted and two sneak peeks to show everyone what was coming in previous months. 

    Cloud version was rolled out first, as we said, because it hadn't had an update in a very long time. We will make an importer for that first and then will get current cloud clients into the new Unite once it's out of beta. We also are working on an importer for SEPHP clients who want to upgrade to Unite either on the SaaS version or on their own hosting. If you choose not to upgrade/migrate to Unite you can keep your current sites running on SEPHP as it won't stop working.

    We will have more info for SEPHP clients. We haven't forgotten any of you and we included migration/upgrade in our roadmap. We'll post more info as soon as we can. 

    As for experts, we have a forum area for you to post expert questions.

    • 53 posts
    February 15, 2019 9:20 AM EST

    Still not clear. Are you copying the subscription model of some others and the Unite will be subscription based even on the hosted version? What is the time line. We have not had an udpateon the sephp of significance for a long long time. When, and are you charging us for it and how are you chargin us for it? 

    • Moderator
    • 3422 posts
    February 15, 2019 10:08 AM EST
    whatonearth said:

    Still not clear. Are you copying the subscription model of some others and the Unite will be subscription based even on the hosted version? What is the time line. We have not had an udpateon the sephp of significance for a long long time. When, and are you charging us for it and how are you chargin us for it? 

    SE Cloud had been many years waiting for an update. SE PHP was updated just recently with a security fix and before those fixes, we did have a major release of 4.10. As I've said already I don't have answers yet but we will post more info for SE PHP clients soon. This beta is the cloud release. 


    This post was edited by Donna at February 15, 2019 10:09 AM EST
    • 154 posts
    February 15, 2019 11:31 AM EST
    playmusician said:
    Daniel said:
    playmusician said:

    Thanks PPK,

     

    so se unite will co-exist with se self hosted ?

    or

    will se-hosted be a temporary phase until its phased out?

     

     How we feel...

    - we are not interested in migrating to the cloud as of now.

    - cause it does not satisfy our needs (unless theres some really radical feature upgrades)

    - (se php +3dp custom plugins/features) works for us perfectly.

     

    I wish SEAO / SES & other 3dps would  stepup ,be pro-active and reach out personally to us 

    They have'nt.

    Theres been pin drop silence. 

     

    So all we can do is wait , I guess.

    “Morpheus: Rest, Neo...The Answers Are Coming”

    LOL

     

     

    Ive already spoke to SES, thankfully we have a great relationship that they talk to me like an honest friend rather than sales people.

    I cant say what they have said, and i know they wont comment as we have had the discussion why and fully support them on what they said.

    but its clear PHP will be phased out, so its decision time on what we all do. I know for fact i dont have the funds to rebuy every plugin i use again for new code base, and I know even if i had some money, i wouldnt only buy a few plugins and lose features..... if i win the lottery i may continue the journey.

    But as a customer ive already shown im not as important to new money coming in, because ive already injected what i could and have already stated i wont rebuy again..... so i hold no weight any longer

     

    Thats a shame Daniel,

    I feel ya, brother.

     

    Hopefully we might be all be surprised with good news. 

    Its the smaller guys (like us) that get hurt with big decisions.

    We have to wait and see...

     

    too much ambiguity tbh

    • 353 posts
    February 15, 2019 11:46 AM EST

    I am all for the update and changes to come. 

    In the 10+ years our social network has been online we are on our 5th major version release (4 being a different core than SE) and we expect the same cycle to continue as long as we are online.

    Updated technology requires change. There is nothing in what I have read that will require anyone to move to Unite other than at some point support will end for SEPHP.

    Everyone just needs to make a business decision and move forward with it. I for one will move to Unite once the self hosted version is available, stable, and I have redeveloped my plugins for the new core. Will that cost me money? Yes of course, but again that is a business decision that I will get on ROI on so its a no brainer for me to do it.

    Congratulations on the new path forward SE - I appreciate the work and vision it took and am excited to be a part of it.


    This post was edited by ITLJames at February 15, 2019 11:47 AM EST
    • 53 posts
    February 15, 2019 12:07 PM EST

    To me an update is not fixing things it's advancing the features, streamlining and progress. I still have to the same issues I had two years ago. None of my suggestions are taken seriously or at least I don't think they are nothing happens. Simeple things require hiring an outsource instead of being built in. Just the fact I can't get support for a CDN tells me I will never have a super fast global site unless I hire outsource programers. This should not be. 

    • 154 posts
    February 15, 2019 12:32 PM EST
    ITLJames said:

    I am all for the update and changes to come. 

    In the 10+ years our social network has been online we are on our 5th major version release (4 being a different core than SE) and we expect the same cycle to continue as long as we are online.

    Updated technology requires change. There is nothing in what I have read that will require anyone to move to Unite other than at some point support will end for SEPHP.

    Everyone just needs to make a business decision and move forward with it. I for one will move to Unite once the self hosted version is available, stable, and I have redeveloped my plugins for the new core. Will that cost me money? Yes of course, but again that is a business decision that I will get on ROI on so its a no brainer for me to do it.

    Congratulations on the new path forward SE - I appreciate the work and vision it took and am excited to be a part of it.


    Thats cool, but for me personally who worked tiresomely on finding bugs, reporting issues.... i mean there was one bug i constantly told SE about for a year, then finally Donna tried it and guess what, it was a bug.

    I worked on loads ideas for feature requests which kept being told this will be coming, waited like 2 years and nothing, i even said how about all of us crowdfunding for these changes to happen quicker.......... that went no where.

    I expressed i wanted 5 licences and how important some of these changes were, to which told will be coming so just purchase and get cracking........... if i had purchased them 5 licences... guess what, that cliff looks tasty.

    lucky i didn't, because my gut knew something was off, php WILL NOT see any of these features, and it will die off until we are either forced to shut down, or move to unite.

    Im extremely bitter for sure as if my feature requests are taken seriously and implemented into unite, everyone will benefit from them except me.

    • 45 posts
    February 15, 2019 12:35 PM EST

    Can't wait to play with self-hosted version. I hope you're not doing subscription based model (caps on user count etc.) and it's just one time upgrade fee. Some yearly optional maintenance fee that provides access to upgrades is also acceptable, in my opinion. I don't mind paying reasonable fees for upgrades if this means it will go towards creating a better product.

    I don't get why so many people complain about this change. You still have access to SE PHP and there was no word on EOL, even after it reaches EOL you can still keep using it.

    There are times when it just makes sense to rebuild something from the ground up. SE PHP was build on a framework that reached EOL about 2 years ago, it also has a lot of external libraries that are no longer being updated. It just doesn't make sense for developers to invest into making new features on legacy framework.