An Open Letter to Third Party Developers

. . . .  and possibly Boonex as well.

Offering endless free upgrades for a product is madness. Almost all software developers charge their customers a reduced fee for upgrades as opposed to bug fixes.

Dolphin 7.4 is NOT a bug fix. It's a major rewrite to allow it to run on PHP7 and from what I can understand, PHP 5.6 retrospectively for those of us still using that version.

It's unfair to expect a developer to make major changes to their product when it was working perfectly and not get some kind of compensation." 

Will a car manufacturer supply you a free fuel system when Ethanol replaces Petrol? No way! Nor will they replace the oil when the original stuff passes its use-by date.

I keep talking about WYSIWYG Web Builder. They have a policy of producing a new version every year which often contains 20 to 50 NEW features. Regular users can purchase the latest edition for about one-third of the retail price, but they don't pay for the "fixes" that are released between versions.  Even so, a fix often has one or two minor new features thrown in as well.

It may well pay the few third party Dolphin developers to dump the Boonex market and start sites of their own. That would give them the freedom of selling the product for X dollars and offering upgrades for a lessor amount based on what the market will bare.

For example, I asked Modzzz if he could upgrade his nifty Profile Completeness module to automatically upgrade a promotional member to a standard member as soon as the profile was 80% complete. "What a great idea I thought". Modzzz was no doubt less impressed because it meant that all module owners would get a free upgrade at his expense. But what if he offered the upgrade for (say) ten bucks? What a small price to pay for a great improvement.

As it is, the module works flawlessly, but now we're expecting him to upgrade it to PHP7 for nix, and do it urgently!

So folks, I'm prepared to pay ten bucks for my PHP7 module upgrades when I move to PHP7 because I want the developers to keep coming up with improvements.

Now let's talk about Boonex. Andrew Boon recently let the cat out of the bag when he said that UNA was being driven by the needs of corporate sponsors. (Or was it corporate customers?) What he probably meant is a large number of dating sites, possibly owned by the same conglomerate need to be updated to address the new and powerful GenerationX cell phone based market place. Some of these mobs are massive - really massive and they can control who they like when they like.

I'm not suggesting that Boonex is part of the system, but I do believe that Dolphin has been ditched because it doesn't meet these dude's standards any more. Whether they're funding UNA is for us to guess, but one thing is for sure, UNA will be targeted to that audience and you can take it or leave it.

Oxwall went the same way. It was essentially funded by a huge dating conglomerate under a different name and Oxwall users were essentially unpaid Beta Testers.

If Boonex were just a teeny bit sincere, they would drop the price of Dolphin, like Modzzz did with his 200 plus modules, but NO! They did the complete opposite and priced the product out of the market.

I don't believe Andrew Boon wants Dolphin to continue beyond his predicted five year termination date because that may well be in a contract he's committed himself to somewhere.

If he was sincere, he would review his pricing and spend more time making Dolphin work. Alternatively, he would give it to us and forget about it getting in the way of UNA.

My suggestion:

Free version: 6 months.

Licence Fee: US$150 - my money will be on its way tomorrow!

Annual upgrades: US$50 - includes at least one new or completely rewritten module and template. That keeps the cash flowing and it should make most of us happy.

Fixes: free.


Third Party Developers:

Either run your own site, or have Boonex completely revamp the market site. You may as well run your own site because there's little to gain from using the market. It's almost impossible to find anything.

Alternatively, Boonex could charge developers $5 per module which they should have done from the outset and moderate the site properly.

Fixes - Free

Upgrades $10 or what the market will bear.



Quote · 1 May 2019

I agree, when Dolphin upgrades; minor point releases, were minor releases often all one had to do was to simply test on the new release and nothing was needed; the module was automatically compatible because no major changes happened.  Dolphin 7.4.x is not a minor release, there were major changes to Dolphin.  I think most users don't realise just how much work is involved in writing and testing code.

I have paid for changes in modules and the module developer sent me the module directly through email.  I have also paid for changes in which later I requested the module developer put the changes in the market download for my convenience.  In doing so, everyone got to benefit from my paid changes in the module.

Third party developers for Dolphin have been scared away by Andrew Boon; and I believe this was deliberate to help kill Dolphin.  If you know that a platform is not under active development and the company plans on ending support, why waste your time developing for that platform?  You won't.  Look what Andrew did with the website; this was designed to kill Dolphin.  There was no need to touch the Dolphin website because UNA has a website.  Andrew has told everyone coming into that they need to go and get UNA.  Any new client interested in Dolphin is told that Dolphin is now UNA; that is misleading; maybe even dishonest in my opinion.

We have offered to take Dolphin off of Andrew's hands.  We take over the GitHub, we do the development, and as for the market, we let each module developer handle their own sales at their own website.  Andrew never has to worry about Dolphin again and never has to hear us bitch about Dolphin or him again.  This is the preferable solution because we keep the Dolphin name on the software.  However, that may be the issue for Andrew because UNA is a crappy name for a platform.  However, we have the legal right to clone Dolphin; we just have to rebrand it and then let everyone know that we clone Dolphin and that your Dolphin modules will work with our {insert new name here} platform.  All perfectly legal.  If we go this route, I would like to see a group effort; I don't want to see six Dolphin clones out there.  b2evolution was a fork of b2 that stopped in development.  Then the guy woke up and join the Wordpress fork.  So from b2 there are two main forks, b2evolution and Wordpress.  Wordpress did become the dominant fork but b2evolution has a very strong following as well.  Wordpress just did better marketing.

Geeks, making the world a better place
Quote · 1 May 2019
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.