A New Beginning?

I initially wrote this in response to a previous thread, but decided to post it separately to avoid hijacking the thread.

The subject of Dolphin becoming too complex to tweak is raised regularly. In all fairness, many of the problems associated with the script's complexity are not necessarily the developer's fault.

Boonex, like every other web site developer is being torn apart by the "Twiddle Box" revolution. Wherever computers are available in this world, almost everyone has a "Twiddle Box", but not everyone has a desktop or laptop computer. Thus, all the developers that I know of, are trying to cater for both platforms, when in fact, they're like chalk and cheese.

Going one step further, a huge number of Dolphin sites are dating or sex sites, so where does the average Joe spend his time looking at them - on the dunny (toilet) of course!

I maintain (not own) an Adult site in Australia and we have a survey on the front page asking our members how they access it on a regular basis. Of the 800 plus members, only 54 have bothered to respond. (See attachment)

Only 8 use "Twiddle Boxes", yet we're constantly bombarded by these people demanding better access. They're demanding that the site which is already 99% responsive is made even better for them.

Here's my drift! If Boonex concentrated on making UNA 100% "Twiddle Box" compatible and Dolphin 100% PC compatible, with a common database and storage area for posts, photos, videos etc we could run both scripts side-by-side sharing the same data and give our members exactly what they want. Maybe MySQL can't handle this but I don't see why not

Boonex could then concentrate on making both platforms better for their users, stop wasting time trying to compromise, plus give Dolphin and UNA owners a better run for their money. This would allow people who want to offer a service for both platforms to maintain both scripts on the same server.

So the core programs would be:

Dolphin PC

and

UNA Cell.

Each platform would have its own modules and the third-party stake holders such as Modzzz and AntonLV would have a reasonable future ahead of them.

twiddle.jpg · 21.6K · 19 views
Quote · 24 Jun 2018

Thank you for starting a topic I wanted to discuss for some time.

 

The key to your proposal is the word "concentrated". It is difficult to concentrate when you have two different goals to achieve. 

I mention in my previous thread that a complex software such as Dolphin.Pro or UNA needs 100% commitment from the creator/development team. Having to manage two independent platforms create unwanted bias towards the money maker. Since the launch of UNA (which is not much different from Dolphin), I see the slowing down of development to Dolphin. In my bias opinion, I see Dolphin being supported by the users more than the admins themselves. I am sticking with Dolphin because I have already invested heavily and of people such as Modzzz and AntonLV that commits to their products and support.

In comparison, if you take a look at Social Engine, even though it is not as customizable as Dolphin, the team continues to improve their platform and their UI over the years. They started about one year afer Boonex acquired Dolphin in 2005/2006.

It is 2018, with full license cost $500+, all three default templates on Dolphin are out-dated with much needed face lift when compare to industry standards. Users are left with using 3rd party template to make their Dolphin some what attractive to attract and increase user base.

I understand moving toward UNA is a business strategy but Dolphin.Pro is still a kick-@ss platform in its adjustability (just need a lot of commitment and concentration). Let us be real, a business can not operate if they charge products a one time fee and expect to provide support and survive. As an incentive for the development team to focus on Dolphin.Pro equally as UNA, may sound crazy, is for Andrew to start charging for major milestone release of  Dolphin.Pro. I am sure there are people out there that is willing to pay between $300-$400 for any major release that contains QUALITY updates. Of course, simple updates, bug fix, and security patches should remains free of charge.

 

Just my two cents. Time to get back to my Dolphin.Pro **sigh**

Quote · 24 Jun 2018

one thing i like to say is, if Boonex wants something good, they have to listen to there clients, without us, there would be them.. another pointer here is UNA is noting, it looks bad plus i would not even use it... if Boonex wants to stop there Dolphin script just for UNA then i guess its time to look for a new script or make our own... What i don't get is, why would they stop this, for UNA, and yet all of the scripts and UI, i have yet seen anything new... wheres the new UI for admin, or the main site.. it looks same as before.. wheres the pro 8.0 demo or beta, to see what and how its coming along, wheres the change me files, what about giving us a little break on the $500 + price and give some license out to say, thank you to us when we stick by there side and hand them clients. i mean, i get it, its money, devs comes and goes, but one thing i use to remember that they alway put us first and always give us a support, before pro 7.x came out.. its sad, and its becoming a issue with devs these days that wants money, but wont want to help us clients on giving back --- 

Quote · 24 Jun 2018

 

I am sure there are people out there that is willing to pay between $300-$400 for any major release that contains QUALITY updates.

 Absolutely! 

As much as I have invested in Dolphin already, that amount is almost trivial.

Especially interested if the quality update included a decent forum more comparable to what is freely available as 3rd party, but nearly impossible to integrate with Dolphin. 

That by itself would make a *huge* difference, IMO.

7.3.5 with responsive UNI
Quote · 24 Jun 2018

For many people, paying large sums of money to entice a manufacturer to do better sooner is far from trivial. Dolphin was/is sold with lifetime updates, so asking a person who's just spent over AU$800 on a product to fork out several hundred more in a year's time probably isn't the greatest marketing strategy on earth. (I'm using Australian prices because Boonex is an Australian business.)

It's obvious that Boonex as a company needs to make money and I don't deny anyone that right. It's also not easy to continuously develop a product if a regular income isn't there to pay the development costs. The developer must be able to amortise (pay off) the cost of development from whatever income is available and still make enough money to survive.

Because Andrew Boone is so tight-lipped, it's difficult to know how Boonex is fairing, but to pay people to create a vastly improved Dolphin 10 will probably cost a fortune. Maybe Boonex has that fortune tucked away, or maybe it doesn't. In other words, the Boonex team may not not have forgotten about Dolphin, they may not have the funding to take it to the next level. We just don't know.

Unlike Oxwall and Elgg which are developed by a team of volunteers, it would seem Boonex pays for the development team's time one way or another. Even if this is on a commission basis, developers don't rush to work if no commission is coming in.

The solution isn't necessarily charging more, but doing things differently and that's what Andrew Boone implied in one of his very rare posts to this forum.

I particularly like the idea of a free core product and a reasonable annual fee for attached modules, provided they're of the highest standard. I think this was muted with the release of version 7, but somehow UNA got in the way.

It's important to assess the product against all competition and be more competitive and creative. It's better to make less money per unit and have more satisfied customers rather than having a handful of people trying to keep the ship afloat.

Let's look at a case-study and introduce the word Crowd Funding. 

I was a beta-tester for an Australian Railway Simulator called Trainz. As with Dolphin, the product changed hands and the new owners needed to attract a larger market. They did this by bringing out the same product with more features annually, but at AU$40 nobody complained about spending that amount once a year.

Then the company decided to bring out a totally new package, rather than an improvement on last year's product. The cost of funding the development team was huge and they literally couldn't afford to pay. The option was to shelve the idea, or ask their devoted customers to fund the development costs which they predicted to be a couple of hundred thousand.

This crowd funding idea turned out to be a huge success and they eventually found themselves over committed with people still wanting to come on board. From memory, they asked for $40 per person, which was returned with a copy of the new simulator valued at $60.

If Andrew Boone came to the table and started a regular and informative dialog with his users, this could be one way to finance Dolphin 10.

It goes further than that: Dolphin 10 is an unknown quantity. In fact it's literally pie in the sky! What is Dolphin 10, what will it offer, why is it different, why should we be excited?

Most importantly, will it run existing third-party modules, or do the likes of Modzzz and AntonLV format their hard disks and start again?

My last question is this: Why is it that the Dolphin team through Boonex, allowed the most lucrative component of Dolphin to slip through their fingers? If the Boonex developed half decent payware modules, there would be funding and a very real need to keep Dolphin alive.

This wouldn't affect the third party developers because they already face competition.

Your call Andrew, I'm ready to debate with you at any time.

 
Quote · 25 Jun 2018

I am game with any solution right now including free core with annual fee for attached modules. Let us face it, lifetime updates for $600/license scheme does not allow a prolong relationship between the seller/developer and purchaser. I have always prefer core modules made by Boonex than 3rd party vendors due to the fact that the chance of incompatible is less if modules are made in-house by the developer themselves. Also, we don't have to beg and chase after 3rd party vendor to fix their modules. Dolphin is such a powerful and customizable  platform but the core package looks like it has not been touch for quite some time.

I just hope Andrew can redirect the development toward Dolphin and give a much needed overhaul and change the pricing scheme to allow profitable business (which is an incentive for Andrew to continue making Dolphin a competitive platform).

**side notes: I have nothing against 3rd party vendors (only some) - Dolphin would not survive on their current core package without these awesome vendors.

Quote · 25 Jun 2018

even with the lifetime license / you still have to pay for updates and then if you dont - that license is pretty much gone and you cant even re-download the script.. i had a billing panel that offers one time fee, and yet, 6 months support and updates, you would think paying $599/ for Hostbill app, you would think! you get the updates for lifetime and pay for support tickets as well get the script download, nope not anymore. these devs are not only taking money, but also not understanding why there members is leaving them for lack in support and as well lack in dev work on there scripts ( BUGS ) as well some can't get script after there expired time when using that lifetime license; one thing i like about boonex its the only script u can download over and over, but yet after they killed off the license system from 6.x it just was not the same, now the paying fees are more then it was back then... and sad to say, the company does not see that.. i get it they need money, but dam, there's ways to make income then forcing there clients to pay just to remove the banners / ads/ --- if they want a team, then they need to set up a tool for free and paid, as well offer free members paid if they been with them over the years like they use to.. even allow the clients to work with boonex to get license.. from telling there friends, or posting, or better yet, have there free clients do forums support, or PHP coding or something they can offer to the community.. this is how we work as a team.. P.s i was a coder long ago,  i know how hard it can be, but pushing it to the limit will just push the members away from the company more

Quote · 25 Jun 2018

 

I absolutely can agree with all comments above, but please don't hate the player, it's genius move to change the platform and consequently force the customer to spend more $$ and make new investments, it's ruthless but very effective. I mean someone with enough coding skills and knowledge would probably not spend all this money to buy a licences, not only do they profit on the aftermarket (modules) also do they intentionally not implement features and improvements to make you almost get what you need and accomplish your goals, but only if you hire their affiliate's for custom work. See it from the bright side and think positive, it's a great way to make you start coding and learn more, but no doubt it's money business...

 

Quote · 25 Jun 2018

...However, if dolphin 10 is not released in time, according to their own due date... the only reasonable option left would be the nuclear one... I mean it can't be that hard to find the boon ranch in kangaroo land, an eye for an eye... 

Quote · 26 Jun 2018

Project LEAP and the new versioning scheme.

Andrew Boon posted 23rd of March 2016 in Dolphin.pro News. 30 comments.

DolphinPro is currently at version 7.3. It may seem like not that far from 7, but, in reality, our "second-digit" updates always include hundreds of improvements. Some people find this versioning confusing, and don't think much about upgrading from, say, 7.1 to 7.3. This is about to change.

Starting from the next major release, we will be numbering them according to "FEATURE-UPDATE.PATCH" convention. So, whenever we include any enhancements, the first number will change. If it only comes with bug-fixes, the second number will change. Therefore, instead of DolphinPro 7.4, you will see Dolphin 10, and then relatively quickly 11, 12, 13, 14, etc. For follow-up service updates, patches, security updates that don't add any new features you will see 10.1, 10.2, etc. Only the Dolphin 7.3.1 will be released under the old scheme. 

 

Project LEAP

DolphinPro 10 is going to be the first LEAP release. LEAP is a focused effort to bring platform-wide improvements in 4 main areas: 

- Learning

Clear and straightforward instructions for both site admin and end users, guides, tips. 

- Engagement

Immediate user involvement, virality, sharing, instant connections. 

- Administration

Efficient site configuration, content management and analytics. 

- Performance

Site loading speed, browser-load reduction, server load optimisation. 

 

We expect to deliver LEAP project in three subsequent stages - version releases - 10, 11 and 12. As a result all DolphinPro package componeånts - modules, apps, platform, integrations, templates and languages - will receive an update according to the LEAP focus points.

We expect all the updates to come with gradual changes, without serious disruption of 3rd-party extensions compatibility. As usual, we will be offering free update service to all paying subscribers and full DIY update packs with instructions to those hosting independently.

Quote · 26 Jun 2018

2017

Andrew Boon posted 2nd of January 2017 in Our Journey. 19 comments.

Lean, efficient, concise. These are the words for 2017. Less talk, more walk.

We have a lot to do...

- Release Dolphin v10

- Release UNA v9

- Build a new Messenger for both Dolphin and UNA

- Tidy up Boonex.com

- Bridge Dolphin and UNA

- Improve support response time

Therefore, we shall...

- Keep our posts and mailouts short

- Build up Knowledge Base and Documentation

- Make a few "starter" videos

- Focus on highly-demanded features development

- Be informative and succinct in our support conversations

 

In the upcoming posts, I will tell more about UNA, the new messenger, Dolphin v10, plans for mobile apps and Boonex.com cleanup. We have been relatively silent in the last couple of months even though this period was easily the busiest we ever had. We have learnt a lot from 2016. Thank you for sharing this journey with us!

Quote · 26 Jun 2018

10 (LEAP)

 Due by December 1, 2018 5% complete

First iteration of 3-stage LEAP project. LEAP is a focused effort to bring platform-wide improvements in 4 main areas: Learning: clear and simple instructions, self-evident use-cases. Engagement: immediate user involvement, virality, sharing, instant connections. Administration: straightforward site configuration and content moderation. Performance: site speed/performance, server load optimisation. LEAP is planned for 3 subsequent version releases - v10, v11, v12. As result all DolphinPro package components - modules, apps, platform, integrations, templates and languages - will receive an update according to the LEAP focus points. UPDATE: Due to uptake of UNA platform development and appearance of the new Jot Messenger, the DolphinPro v10 will first focus on integration of the messenger and bridging with the UNA platform.

Quote · 26 Jun 2018

Let me just remind you that we are currently in the second half of 2018 which means that dolphin 10 is due in about 4 months from now, according to github/boonex/dolphin page, and that naturally begs the question, how could that even be possible..?? considering that no progress has been made so far this year (at least not any publicly known progress) and github milestone is currently at 5% which is the same it was a year ago...

  

It's truly sad to see this community slowly but steadily go into the abyss... Why like this? Dolphin is a great platform and IMHO by far better than UNA, except for it's outdated documentation and codebase, it's really a shame that nobody relevant (admin) seems to give a f¤%k. I would gladly invest further and spend more on this platform, UNA on the other hand is for many reasons not even an option  ATM, maybe in the future if the Bx team can find a way to maintain rapid and continuous development of Dolphin, release Dolphin 10  in time (the great LEAP) and make it merge-able with UNA, at least to a certain degree, also of critical importance would be improving or completely overhauling the currently awful "studio" or when it, and by it I mean the admin panel "studio" or whatever, has become, how to say, less "user friendly" and more useful, it's give you an eerie feeling of windows 8, sorry but that's my honest opinion. I guess the future will tell, but don't wait to long, especially with the release of PHP 7+ compatible Dolphin 10, hope it all goes well, because time waits for nobody...!!

 

and BTW big thanks to @johnk42 for opening this thread and trying to revitalize/resuscitate this dying community!

 

 

 

Quote · 26 Jun 2018

One of the worst faults of Boonex is the fact that they don't listen to the users.  Boonex is not running sites like we are; we have real data on what our members want.  Even it it is a terrible idea, if Andrew gets set on it, it takes a team of mules to pull him away from it.  One example is having two different platforms with the same name; not a good idea but boy oh boy was it difficult to get Andrew to change it.

Andrew has never answered the question if Dolphin is open source or not; those two words have distinct meaning in the software world.  If it is open source, I say we have the right to fork it; as it states on GitHub, remove the licensing server bits, remove the branding (of course keeping the attribution to Boonex in the code; not in the visible site part but in the code), and create a new project and take it in the direction we want to go.  However, if it isn't open source (and if it isn't, then how can we fork it on GitHub?) then we are stuck with what Mr. Boone decides.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 28 Jun 2018

i personally gave up on their development team a few years ago and just sourced 30 something skilled volunteers from my hundreds of thousands of active daily users to maintain and improve the platform.

Quote · 28 Jun 2018

Gee @Arkane220, I wish I was in that position. I can't find a single person in my town of 140,000 that even knows how to write in PHP. Most have never even heard of it. Of course there are people who could help, but they're hardly likely to "Volunteer".

The question of Whether Dolphin is Open Source or Creative Commons may not be of any importance. From what I've read, the code is the work of several people who wrote in different styles and even different programming languages. Therefore, taking on a fork may be far more trouble than it's worth.

A member recently told me about another similar script which has become defunct. It's open source and it's literally sitting there waiting for some enterprising person to take it on. It has similar modulesto  the important ones included with Dolphin, with many more listed in its also defunct "enterprise" edition. I've tracked down the script but I'm still trying to evaluate it. The amazing thing is, this script is less than 5meg with 1200 files compared to Dolphin's 68meg and well over 4,000 files.

It's unlikely the script is ready to run from a security aspect and you couldn't use the current popular third party scripts available for Dolphin. The same could said for a heavily modified fork of Dolphin, so maybe the major vendors could port a free modules across and get a revitalised income?

I'd much rather stick with Dolphin, but if Dolphin isn't going to stick with us, I guess we need to at least consider another option.

Quote · 29 Jun 2018

I picked up a few errors but it was to late to change them:

 

It's unlikely the script is ready to run from a security aspect and you couldn't use the current popular third party modules available for Dolphin. The same could said for a heavily modified fork of Dolphin, so maybe the major vendors could port a few modules across and get a revitalised income?

Quote · 29 Jun 2018

Yes; if we forked Dolphin; that is if we would be allowed to fork Dolphin and that can only happen if it was truly open source because Dolphin has licensing built in and that would have to be ripped out, and made it a volunteer supported platform, enough changes to the platform could result in third party modules not working.  However, if that was not the case; if we did work on making it compatible with existing third party modules, then current vendors could sell modules for both Dolphin and our new Dolphin based platform.

I wasn't that happy with the market changes; as were others, and called for an independent market for modules. That never happened but maybe it should have. 

Here is one thing, Dolphin was written to have Boonex all over the code.  It is everywhere; classes, variables, functions; everywhere.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 29 Jun 2018

The Index.PHP file and others state that Dolphin is distributed under Creative Commons License CC-BY 3.0.

From the Creative Commons website:

This licence allows users to distribute, remix and build upon a work, and create Derivative Works – even for commercial use – provided they credit the original creator/s (and any other nominated parties). This is the most accommodating of the licences in terms of what others can do with the work.

Quote · 29 Jun 2018

You might also want to read this. https://sarafhawkins.com/creative-commons-licenses-explained-plain-english/

I have no interesting in working on Dolphin if it has to have Boonex all over it and attribution to Boonex; the footer that can not be removed.  Did you know there is cripple code in Dolphin that if you remove the footer, even with a paid license that it will cripple Dolphin, taking the whole site down and replacing it with a single line of text?

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 30 Jun 2018

I am pretty sure the license requires Attribution Only. Basically proper credit to the original authors.

Boonex has this at the top of all source files.


/**
 * Copyright (c) BoonEx Pty Limited - http://www.boonex.com/
 * CC-BY License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
 */

If that is left in, or even reworded so that boonex is credited as the original author that should suffice. And add your information as the author of the modifications or a list of authors that worked on the code.

I am pretty sure i can remove the license system from dolphin which would allow the removal of the footer.

I am also sure this was addressed by Andrew Boon once, but cannot find the post.


Quality modules. http://www.boonex.com/market/posts/deano92964 | Hosting: zarconia.net
Quote · 30 Jun 2018

Great to hear from you Deano. We miss you.

Quote · 30 Jun 2018

 

I am pretty sure the license requires Attribution Only. Basically proper credit to the original authors.

Boonex has this at the top of all source files.


/**
 * Copyright (c) BoonEx Pty Limited - http://www.boonex.com/
 * CC-BY License - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
 */

If that is left in, or even reworded so that boonex is credited as the original author that should suffice. And add your information as the author of the modifications or a list of authors that worked on the code.

I am pretty sure i can remove the license system from dolphin which would allow the removal of the footer.

I am also sure this was addressed by Andrew Boon once, but cannot find the post.


I am fairly certain that the attribution has to be visible to a third party viewing the site on the web.  The mention of Boonex in the files headers is not proper attribution under Creative Commons from what I have read.  For example, if an image is released under Creative Commons, the attribution has to be visible to the person viewing the image normally and not just listed in the meta data.

As for the licencing and the call to Boonex and the storing in the database, yes, that is easy enough to remove as well as the cripple code that shuts down the site if the footer is removed.  However, from my understanding of the licence and Creative Commons, some form of attributiion to Boonex would have to be visible on the site.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 1 Jul 2018

 

Great to hear from you Deano. We miss you.

I second this.  Your absence from the community forum is greatly felt.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 1 Jul 2018

 

Deano Your absence from the community forum is greatly felt.

 I hear that. Welcome back.

Gary http://molosserdogs.com
Quote · 4 Jul 2018

We spent a lot of money on Boonex licenses and Addons.

If boonex stops making serious updates, we will have to migrate to other products.

We did tests on UNA and it really does not suit us.

The features are often silly, cumbersome and badly thought out.

 

We find all the defects of Boonex in Una and worse, it is bridle and incomprehensible.

And I'm not talking about the a esthetic aspect that is disastrous. A real disaster.

We have recently looked for solutions to migrate our sites and we chose Social Engine.

We wait patiently for things to get better because we still trust Boonex.

But beware, our confidence has its limits and we will not migrate to UNA.

We still hope a lot of our dolphin. Preserve it!

Quote · 14d ago

I am ready for changing. Already moved one site to phpFox. Looking that I might send more that route if it does not get better soon.

Quote · 14d ago

 

I am ready for changing. Already moved one site to phpFox. Looking that I might send more that route if it does not get better soon.

 

I am also looking to throw the towel in and walk away. The two platform I am looking at is PHPFox and Social Engine. Since you already moved one site to PHPFox, how is PHPFox compare to Dolphin (no need to include bugs - every software has them). e.g How is the interface frontend and backend. Can the code be easily modify and is accessible? How is the community and the development team? I assumed you said "moved", you meant move the user database or do you mean move the site, design, and database to PHPFox?

Henry

Quote · 14d ago

Oops Sorry to hijacking this thread and steer it in the a different direction John!

TruckingSpace could you PM me pretty please? I would love to chat for better insight about PHPFox.

 

Thank you,

Quote · 14d ago

What is sad is to have waited 9 years to have a site:

- For not have a correct Google indexation  (/ m - You have to be crazy to do this)

- No mobile app to geolocate members correctly.

- No recurring payment and modern payment solution

- Still no possibility for a member to load a photo during registration !!!

(The picture does not appear while everything is OK on UNA.)

But the worst is Google indexing. This is very penalizing.

We get used to it, but it's really annoying.

And we should migrate to a worse solution : UNA ?

It is totally excluded.

Quote · 14d ago

Maybe someone should email this thread to Andrew.

I have thought about working on a new payment system for recurring paypal payments that doesen't use PayFlow.  Boonex could have done this but they decided to go with PayFlow; there are ways to do it.

If Andrew does not really care about Dolphin then why not release it to the Open Source community and let them work on improving the code.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 14d ago

Martinboi had worked on a recurring payment module.

It worked very well. But he has totally disappeared.

It no longer respond to our requests for other sites.

Quote · 14d ago

 

Oops Sorry to hijacking this thread and steer it in the a different direction John!

TruckingSpace could you PM me pretty please? I would love to chat for better insight about PHPFox.

 

Thank you,

 I can't says no profile? Message me and see if that works

Quote · 14d ago

Andrew has spoken, Dolphin is dead.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 3d ago