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SocialEngine 2018 Roadmap for SocialEngine PHP and Cloud

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    April 28, 2018 8:22 AM EDT

    Hello!

    How have you all been? Our team is doing well and very busy cooking up some great stuff for 2018.

    With our SocialEngine PHP 4.10 release, we removed flash and added some great improvements and new features. Our community is going strong and is a great place for you to get help and provide feedback. It’s using our SocialEngine PHP 4.10 version with a custom theme we made just for the community. We hope you’ll join and participate.

    What’s on tap for 2018? Great question! Much of what we have planned is based on your feedback in the feature request area at our community and on research on trending technology.

    New feature sets are always an exciting thing for any platform, however in this roadmap we want to share some of the technological changes and support we plan to introduce this year for both our SocialEngine PHP and our SocialEngine Cloud platforms.

    Scalability of a product is key, especially when dealing with a Social Networking platform that brings in so much traffic and interaction with a server. The first area we are looking on improving is the feed itself and how data is not only stored but also by pushing it to the end-user instead of pulling it. Currently this data is stored in a MySQL database and is pulled each time a user accesses their feed. We are working on pushing data to the end-user whenever new data is added to their feed. To accomplish this we are bringing in support for Redis, which is an in-memory key/value data structure storage and Socket.IO, which is a real-time engine that allows us to push information to users when data has been added to their feed. By introducing these two tools, we begin to offer real time delivery for feed content, instant messages, and notifications.!

    In order to improve scalability, a lot of this revolves around moving data away from the usage of a database. This brings us to another area that requires information to be scaled and displayed to the user ASAP. Search results. Finding information that you are looking for, especially when dealing with so much information on a social networking platform, is vital to keeping your users happy. Support for ElasticSearch will be introduced this year. ElasticSearch is a distributed RESTful search engine as well as an analytics engine. This will allow us to provide very specific search results to your users helping them to find and/or show data they need.

    Another area of focus this year will be introducing a few new tools for developers to create applications for our platform. This includes opening the door to not only PHP developers but also to the growing trend of JavaScript developers and applications out there. The first step in providing such support is to include a solid RESTful API system, which allows applications to communicate safely with your community and render information using their programming language of choice. With built-in support for a RESTful API, we can include support for JavaScript libraries such as React, which allows developers to create interactive UI’s as well as mobile apps using libraries such as Apache Cordova.

    With the addition of the API we can move many of our application logic into smaller components that are rendered by the client’s web browser. This allows us to significantly drop the HTTP requests required to load a page by simply changing the content dynamically giving your users’ data on a priority based system. The goal is that when a user first arrives on your site the actual browsing experience should never technically create a new HTTP request but simply load the required components needed for that page to render. Another benefit of moving much of this app logic into components is that it gives developers the ability to use these same components throughout their application thus preventing the bloating of the data passed to the web browser and in their mobile applications. To put it simply, it will significantly speed up your site!

    We will be switching over from Mootools to jQuery for our primary document traversal and manipulation library and we will be providing Bootstrap component support. This will give developers a jump start on using components they need and have them always match the site’s active theme or hybrid mobile application. This change allows clients to have a broader range of plugins, themes and customization options with easier integrations!

    Cryptocurrency has been such a hot topic over the course of our planning and development of our upcoming updates for Social Engine. It’s also a controversial one, especially when it comes to dealing with it as a currency. The decentralized nature of storing data has us intrigued and is something we are working on including with Social Engine. We want to not only provide the ability for you to have your own token economy but also to optionally store and create digital assets on the blockchain.

    That’s just a small preview of what’s to come. This year will be a stellar year for SocialEngine, our precious clients and our valued experts.

    If you are wanting a license and have been waiting - now’s the time to buy! Get your community started so you can beat the competition and hold your spot for some extra goodies coming.

    With Great Appreciation,

    The SocialEngine Team

  • gs
    • 757 posts
    April 28, 2018 10:56 AM EDT
    Thanks for this. Now onto FRs.
    This post was edited by gs at April 28, 2018 12:01 PM EDT
    • 308 posts
    April 28, 2018 11:46 AM EDT

    You had me until cryptocurrency.... but I am happy to see the other items in the road map!

  • gs
    • 757 posts
    April 28, 2018 12:01 PM EDT
    Oh yeh - ur right. I think more traditional paymentl gateway options that allow social networks is more urgent than cryptos right now IMHO. Hopefully, dozens of FRs will finally be included too.
    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    April 28, 2018 12:17 PM EDT

    We have FRs too. We just can't post yet - competition in this field is quite aggressive but we do have your feature requests in mind and in the plan, I mean our clients. Not just you lol. You know what I mean :P

    As for Crypto, it's a hot topic atm and will be an option but not required. 

    @ITLJames, glad you like the upcoming improvements! 

    @gs - always welcome your feedback. :) 

    • 53 posts
    April 28, 2018 2:28 PM EDT

    This update is something I take very personally and seriously. The upcoming changes and modifications to the core are going to be key to a successful CMS. What I am concerned about as I have expressed in the past is the use of Crypto. The instability in Crypto is not something I and people in my vertical market want to come anywhere close to touching. While I see the value, people like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB, Diners, SegPay, CCBill, PayPal, Stripe, Square want anywhere around their name. The reason I know this is over the past 2 years I've been in discussions and think tanks regarding this exact topic. CCBill actually has a rule that you cannot accept traditional payment methods if your site is using Crypto.

    I have also expressed that would be great to see is a stable and solid core you can get out to your developers without the apps/modules. As you know Donna, my team and I are meeting all weekend and one of the topics that came up today is the ability to start developing with this new future. While it would be nice to have Albums, Videos, Messaging, and all the other bells and whistles, giving us a solid and stable core to start working with would allow a fast-tracked development schedule as my developers would be able to work with the code much sooner and be up to the high standards you require.

    The other fear we have is we currently have over 19 projects in the pipeline all based on existing architecture. While I understand this is common and things change, trying to decide what we develop now and what we wait to develop after this new release is a hard pill to swallow. Do we ask our clients to wait for projects and a new design or do we offer the solution now and THEN upgrade them 18-24 months later?

    However, through all of this, it is amazing to see what is coming. I know my team and my clients are going to be head over heals for the new architecture and structure of SE and we look forward to an improved platform in which to develop upon!


    This post was edited by FM Ryan at April 28, 2018 2:28 PM EDT
    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    April 28, 2018 3:14 PM EDT
    FM Ryan said:

    This update is something I take very personally and seriously. The upcoming changes and modifications to the core are going to be key to a successful CMS. What I am concerned about as I have expressed in the past is the use of Crypto. The instability in Crypto is not something I and people in my vertical market want to come anywhere close to touching. While I see the value, people like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB, Diners, SegPay, CCBill, PayPal, Stripe, Square want anywhere around their name. The reason I know this is over the past 2 years I've been in discussions and think tanks regarding this exact topic. CCBill actually has a rule that you cannot accept traditional payment methods if your site is using Crypto.

    Good thing is, it will be optional so you wouldn't have to enable it. This would make it so that you could still use those others. 

    I have also expressed that would be great to see is a stable and solid core you can get out to your developers without the apps/modules. As you know Donna, my team and I are meeting all weekend and one of the topics that came up today is the ability to start developing with this new future. While it would be nice to have Albums, Videos, Messaging, and all the other bells and whistles, giving us a solid and stable core to start working with would allow a fast-tracked development schedule as my developers would be able to work with the code much sooner and be up to the high standards you require.

    SE has always had the core separate from the various external plugins (blog, forum, video, photo, etc). We aren't changing that. The core will be solid and stable, as always. :)

    The other fear we have is we currently have over 19 projects in the pipeline all based on existing architecture. While I understand this is common and things change, trying to decide what we develop now and what we wait to develop after this new release is a hard pill to swallow. Do we ask our clients to wait for projects and a new design or do we offer the solution now and THEN upgrade them 18-24 months later?

    That would be up to you but we will provide an upgrade path. It's very important for our clients to be secure in that fact. Customizations always have to be updated for new releases so that's something to understand.

    However, through all of this, it is amazing to see what is coming. I know my team and my clients are going to be head over heals for the new architecture and structure of SE and we look forward to an improved platform in which to develop upon!

    Glad you are as excited as we are! We can't wait to get this out for everyone. :) 

    • 308 posts
    April 28, 2018 3:16 PM EDT

    Well put Ryan!

    As my side hobby I invest and am part of a few advisory panels around ethical investing. Crypto comes up often and I have yet to meet an established and successful investor who wants to get near it with a ten foot pole. Speculators sure they like it... and there are those that have made money on it as well...  but as a portfolio option or a stable means of accepting payments, and then converting it into usable capital, it will be years before there is something usable in the crypto field if ever.

    I would strongly suggest SE puts this on the back burner and focuses on core. Don't get caught up in the hype.

  • gs
    • 757 posts
    April 28, 2018 3:59 PM EDT

    ==> '...I would strongly suggest SE puts this on the back burner and focuses on core. Don't get caught up in the hype....'

    Amen.

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    May 1, 2018 6:52 AM EDT

    Just a little update as the focus was sorta moved to crypto in this feedback. Crypto is in R&D. It is not the first thing on the docket. After we get the core and apps  (plugin updates) released, it'll be next in line but optional.

    • 5 posts
    May 4, 2018 5:02 AM EDT

    does that mean you've abandoned the idea to improve the browse member (https://github.com/SocialEngine/phpv4-feature-requests/issues/56) ... who is proably the most important feature (have filter and possibility to find the good peoples) of a social website ???

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    May 4, 2018 5:04 AM EDT
    angelflo said:

    does that mean you've abandoned the idea to improve the browse member (https://github.com/SocialEngine/phpv4-feature-requests/issues/56) ... who is proably the most important feature (have filter and possibility to find the good peoples) of a social website ???

    Please note that we said we included feature requests. ;)

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    May 4, 2018 5:05 AM EDT

    We cannot go into the exact features coming right now. Our competition watches this every day. We will get into features coming when we are about ready to release. 

    • 3 posts
    May 12, 2018 8:34 PM EDT

    While I love emoticons, I think emojis are the way to go. Emojis provide a better overall UX in my opinion, makes SE more modern as well.

    I like the fact that you guys are shifting to jquery - which will make the code lighter and more optimized. I do admire how SE has been optimized in the last 8 years since the first version of 4 came out... but it's time to move on to a js library with a wider userbase. I believe these new updates will indeed produce a more solid core.

    I have said before that version 4 needs to mature longer than 3 did and now that we're in 4.10 - I believe its time to up to a major version, an overhaul that will be more stable as well make it easier for everyone to migrate. SE needs to catch up to its competitors, there are scripts that are rich and stable being sold for $40 at CodeCanyon and there's even Peepso which is seeing a lot of support as well, however there's still something about SE that you can't just let go. Maybe its because it still holds its charm when it first came out 11 years ago. Even with a new team now, its still there.

    • 60 posts
    May 14, 2018 2:53 PM EDT

    Great ! :)

    • 130 posts
    July 5, 2018 1:08 PM EDT
    FM Ryan said:

    This update is something I take very personally and seriously. The upcoming changes and modifications to the core are going to be key to a successful CMS. What I am concerned about as I have expressed in the past is the use of Crypto. The instability in Crypto is not something I and people in my vertical market want to come anywhere close to touching. While I see the value, people like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB, Diners, SegPay, CCBill, PayPal, Stripe, Square want anywhere around their name. The reason I know this is over the past 2 years I've been in discussions and think tanks regarding this exact topic. CCBill actually has a rule that you cannot accept traditional payment methods if your site is using Crypto.

    I have also expressed that would be great to see is a stable and solid core you can get out to your developers without the apps/modules. As you know Donna, my team and I are meeting all weekend and one of the topics that came up today is the ability to start developing with this new future. While it would be nice to have Albums, Videos, Messaging, and all the other bells and whistles, giving us a solid and stable core to start working with would allow a fast-tracked development schedule as my developers would be able to work with the code much sooner and be up to the high standards you require.

    The other fear we have is we currently have over 19 projects in the pipeline all based on existing architecture. While I understand this is common and things change, trying to decide what we develop now and what we wait to develop after this new release is a hard pill to swallow. Do we ask our clients to wait for projects and a new design or do we offer the solution now and THEN upgrade them 18-24 months later?

    However, through all of this, it is amazing to see what is coming. I know my team and my clients are going to be head over heals for the new architecture and structure of SE and we look forward to an improved platform in which to develop upon!

    Ryan, I think you have the wrong understand of Crypto, Crypto is Cryptography, Cryptocurrency as currency is pure economics with store of value, and if your willing to accept as payment, like accepting rocks for food.

    And blockchain is the tech and having a decentralised aspect, so you dont have a single point of attack. to many people focus on the currency aspect, which will leave you far behind on the tech

    • 130 posts
    July 5, 2018 1:12 PM EDT
    ITLJames said:

    Well put Ryan!

    As my side hobby I invest and am part of a few advisory panels around ethical investing. Crypto comes up often and I have yet to meet an established and successful investor who wants to get near it with a ten foot pole. Speculators sure they like it... and there are those that have made money on it as well...  but as a portfolio option or a stable means of accepting payments, and then converting it into usable capital, it will be years before there is something usable in the crypto field if ever.

    I would strongly suggest SE puts this on the back burner and focuses on core. Don't get caught up in the hype.

    You sadly dont have a great understanding of crypto or blockchain, your focusing to much on currency and investment startups...... so tbh i would research blockchain and decentralisation and the huge benefits. Its the wild west at mo for us in crypto

    • 130 posts
    July 5, 2018 1:14 PM EDT
    angelflo said:

    does that mean you've abandoned the idea to improve the browse member (https://github.com/SocialEngine/phpv4-feature-requests/issues/56) ... who is proably the most important feature (have filter and possibility to find the good peoples) of a social website ???

    Yay its my feature request from Github, was looking for this lol

    This is of importance to me tbf

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    July 5, 2018 2:49 PM EDT

    The browse member update is still on the books for us for next version. :) 

    • 60 posts
    August 1, 2018 2:35 AM EDT

    The new technologies that will be adopted sound real exciting !

    but I hope the basic feature requests get implemented as quickly as possible, 

    The admin features to manage users needs to be overhauled so that we can elevate to a proper business / enterprise solution which can manage large number of users .

    User management (Audio/video), payment gateways, Profiles , calendars ,Member Browse

    -all the basic essential required improvements hopefully will get overhauled and fine tuned.

     

    Excited about the SE roadmap charted out !

    • 60 posts
    August 1, 2018 2:36 AM EDT
    gs said:

    ==> '...I would strongly suggest SE puts this on the back burner and focuses on core. Don't get caught up in the hype....'

    Amen.

    I have to agree with this.

    The essential stuff needs to be taken care of soon.

    Fingers crossed :)))

  • gs
    • 757 posts
    August 4, 2018 7:43 PM EDT

    Push...Pull.

    As long as we are able to choose.  I don't want to be forced again into what someone else thinks is 'best' for me and my community :)

    • 8 posts
    August 19, 2018 5:21 AM EDT

    When to expect anything from this roadmap nearly 4 months after this first anouncement?

    • Moderator
    • 2315 posts
    August 20, 2018 4:48 AM EDT

    We are working on it. Great things take time. :) We don't want to rush on a major release.

    • 130 posts
    September 3, 2018 8:53 PM EDT
    Over the next few days I will make a post here regarding some things.