Finish What We Started or Move On

Andrew Boon posted 6th of June 2011 in News. 47 comments.

Yesterday post about Dolphin 8 brought up some comments suggesting that we should "finish what we started first". I believe that there's a dose of confusion that needs to be cleared...

Dolphin 8 is not a 100% new product

We have been working on Dolphin 7.1 and realised that it is getting so good and can potentially be changed a little more to finally form an awesome product. One that would comfortably compete with something like Drupal in technical flexibility and remain as friendly as Dolphin should be. And so, we decided to discontinue our work on Trident, bring its ideas to Dolphin and call it Dolphin 8. This project is an evolution of current system and a continuation of ongoing work. Dolphin 8 is finishing of what we started. And it is a start of something new at the same time.

We will be releasing service updates

Despite ongoing Dolphin 8 development we will be releasing 7.0.7 very soon. Service updates that fix urgent bugs and security issues will continue to be released at least until a stable release of Dolphin 8 and likely for some time afterwards.

Three Methods of House Upgrade

There are basically three main ways you can approach your house renovation or update...

1. Build a new house. If you can afford this and if your house really sucks, you might just build a new one and demolish or sell your existing house. We figured that this is not the case with Dolphin. Current version of Dolphin is a highly valuable combination of software and surrounding ecosystem. More importantly lots of people use it already and need an effective upgrade path.

2. Fix broken bits. Another way is to fix things that get broken and just leave everything else as is. You know, just glue back those teared pieces of wallpaper and change the misbehaving light-switches. It's a good way, until most of your house becomes dated and maintenance becomes too tedious a task. We did this with Dolphin for many years now and even more so with Dolphin 7. We will continue doing this for a while. But hey, life's too short to live it one same old house!

3. Renovate. And finally, if you like your house, but want to refresh it, want to look modern and want to wow your friends - you renovate. If done well you could end up on the same nice spot, but with new house. Just keep everything that's good about it and get rid of anything that's not top-notch. With any luck it could save you time and money while leading to a great result. This is Dolphin 8 project for ya! One big renovation with a beautiful plan on hands. 

So cheer up boys and girls! It's all good and no snag, really. Just enjoy the process and our old dear house will shine as new before you know it.

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Will it be compatible with existing mods or will we need to buy new ones.....
Andrew Boon
I've noted in the previous post that we will run a few weeks-long program helping developers update their mods to work with D8. Some might work as is. If we were to stick to Trident path - none would work or make sense.
Nathan Paton
I've heard this somewhere before...

And please tell me that isn't the new logo for WebHome.
Andrew Boon
nah.. it's a happy house jumping out of water, just like a dolphin :)
Be careful, one good wave can knock the house down.
In a russia there was sort of fake villages called "potemkin village" it was only fake scene as there was made only street viewable part of every house in village - so when you walked on street you think all buildings are real and great but if you look to behind house you find out that its only fake. Potemkin builded that because he wanted show how nice villages can russian build but in reality that was only unusable fake village to keep foreigners attracted, Andrews "house"announcement see more evocating me Potemkin village in a big way as Andrew build already many unfinished houses looking good on first sight but on second you see its just a scenery setting but not real house. And same as potemkin instead turn unfinished village into real one he rather moved on to build another fake village with even greater fronview look :-(
I think that's what people were getting at as far as moving on to another major version.
Bugs have been reported about and just want them fixed before moving on to another version.
It's explained well using a house as a term for dolphin and it's renos.

So if i understand this correct, Dolphin 8 will be a renovated version of Dolphin?
New modules = New walls, New template = New paint etc.
I like the fact that discussions on future major releases take effect as it realy gets hopes up see more for everyone.

Boonex can be very tight lipped about things and i think when it comes to release such as Dolphin 8 it should be tight lipped until a closer begin beta stage is approaching.
I think it would be best to have the development team work on it such as the 2 listed in the previous post and who ever is working on updates .7 .8, etc. to release information and news on those updates if this makes sense.

We all love hearing news on bigger things coming but as you noted it's realy hard giving a timeframe of when to expect releases.
This is my thoughts on for what it's worth lol.

Thanks for a much broader explanation to.
im concerned with the Title:
Continue what you started or move on?

thats worrisome to say the least. you mention here that Dophin 8 is not new, that it is all of what 7.1 was supposed to become. then you further state in your announcement that you have scapped Dolphin 7.1, you have scrapped Trident.

my answer short and sweet is that you are not dealing with a house here. you are talking about an evolving system, thus this requires updates and upgrades, as well as new releases. but you cannot see more confuse the two.

you have to Finish what you started. if you are going to put in a new window, so you get the sawzall and the scaffolding, you cut the hole size you are wanting.

and you stop

yeah hole in the wall, scaffolding as your scenic view, and you stop

so that is the answer, do you finish what you start? or move on, and decide to build a deck on the back of the house?
Andrew Boon
The title shows how many see this as black or white, while it is in between. Big news here is that we're not doing any Trident work anymore. That means no updates and no new side projects. This should allow us to carve a little deeper into Dolphin renovation layers.
great work , go on we be up and open eyes and WAITING your great work :)
Okay Andrew lets say you renovate your existing house, though it may look beautiful on the outside, and has all the flare of the million dollar homes.
The only entrance is through a doggie door, because the hinges were the wrong size, and instead of getting the correct hinges, you nailed the door shut to the frame, and cut in a doggie door.
Ok great we are in now.
Whoa what the heck, the floors were started but they ran out of material in the center of the foyer, so now you have to beam walk, see more careful not to fall in between the joists.
Oh wow look at the size of that bathroom, man that is a nice tub, but you reach for the knob to test the shower pressure, the knob falls off in your hand! Dang, so you report that to the builder.
The toilet is nice looking, updated version, you raise the lid and it falls off in your hand! hmmm.
You then go to flush the toilet just for testing purposes and the water has back pressure from faulty plumbing, the water spews in your face, well damn!

Ok a few minor glitches, that need some enhancements....Need i continue...
Andrew Boon
But you haven't seen any of the Dolphin 8 changes yet. Cheer up. It IS going to be different this time.
"It IS going to be different this time."....hmmm Were have I heard that before?...Oh wait,... Husband beats wife, leaves her broken. Gets her fixed again and then breaks her another time. Now each time, husbands reply was "It IS going to be different this time"

No choice but to wait and see, but bet I'm going to get broken again and again and again...

Those phrases scare me, just like "Honest you can trust me"....I see danger ahead.
Andrew Boon
Well, your experience and observations are based on a method of upgrades that we've been using for years - fixing wat's broken. We never really ventured into overhauling the system deep enough to remove EVERY part that wasn't up to the standard. We had to cut corners. Now, Dolphin is close to the point when it CAN be renovated completely without spending years.
But you been selling a product Andrew, and if I bought a toaster at the store, I expect it to cook my toast but not burn it. All settings should work. I don't like burnt toast.
it looks like you applied upgrade patch wrong way
What patch? What are you talking about? This was a metaphor do know what those are...yes?
Maybe picked the wrong Builder.
but andrew, what about those unity members who have built their sites from Dolphin v-6.1.x only to be abandoned and forced into upgrading to Dolphin 7, where modules were no longer functional, which had been purchased. custom programming was no longer functional, due to an upgrade.

this was all accepted, and many moved forward, thinking we were on the path to consistent updates and upgrades with some forward look to something stable and 100% functional?

we have yet to see 100% functional.

will see more Dolphin 8 actually see a completion? My guess is no, as has been the historical Modus Operandi of BoonEx with all releases of all software from the very beginning.

i am not trying to thwart your plans on upgrades and updates and new releases, by all means you have to in this demanding market. but at the same time, you have to consider the community at large:

i googled NBT and this is what i found:

What's happening re NBT :: Stuart038's blog - BoonEx
When is the NBT coming out and is there any more info on this? ... - Cached -

952 days ago that inquiry was posted by one of the unity members here. Only to find out today, that there is no more NBT. so what has happened to the promise from 2.76 years ago?
Have you seen the movie "Gone With The Wind"?
They best do something soon as I feel a shift in the energy around here from others, and it does not feel good or happy.
Andrew Boon
Dolphin 7 was the first one to have modular system at all. That was not so much an upgrade of features as an introduction of new architecture. Surely enough modifications couldn't be carried over since they we're hard-coded into the old system. Now that Dolphin is modular it is developer's responsibility to make sure their stuff is presented as module and if it is, it would likely have minimal problems upgrading to D8.
ok andrew, go for Dolphin 8, but can you define 'soon' you state soon 7.0.7 will be released, and you mention soon. that is the same variable you gave 2.76 years ago. LOL

when you announced Trident | Dolphin 8 |

that it would be released soon.

when can we expect an upgrade and a list of bugs that will be updated would be nice as well. i have been waiting nearly a year for an update on the polls module.

the voting tracking was reported as not functioning. slated for 7.1, now that 7.1 see more has met its demise, when and we would really like a date, that would be extremely swell of you, to provide a time frame. 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, just something that is not ambiguous. soon is not an answer.
"Soon" is a word that's been invented by Belgian politicians and look ... we still don't have a government :-)
get some big cup of coffea or tea as soon means about 2 years, but than after d8 will be in similar stage as is now d7 you can get another big coffee as they start working on d9 :-( after another 2 years when d9 will be at similar not really usable stage as now d7 they will start on d10. Wake up dos ..that is happenning from begginning of dolphin and as andrew saying ..something like.."thats how things are and thats how things gonna be .... "
Dolphin 7.0.x upgrade?? then working on D7.1? and working on D8? How I wish you can develop something stable rather than upgrade it every other month. You call one version 'STable" but then you have to upgrade it in a short time because of bugs to fix. I can't see the logic sirs...
Andrew Boon
That's how development works. You gather up bug reports and release a "Stable" version with fixes. Then you gather up a new bunch. Same for any software. Every now and then, if new features are introduced, a major revision is released.
actually you are supposed to test what you have written prior to releasing. having knowledgeable and understanding beta-testers go through the functionality, to check for performance as well as functionality based on documentation of what each entity is supposed to do.

so hopefully with the idea of Dolphin 8, there will be a different outlook all the way around, starting with documentation.
Really? I hate to say this but you are wrong. Well, that is unless you have the resources Microsoft has to approach products that way. Do you?
Actually, when I develop code, I normally try to test it, and get it as error free as possible. (Alpha Testing), then I hand it off to the owners of the Company (non-programmers) to test extremely thoroughly (Beta Testing), *THEN* we release it. Bugs will still get through occasionally, but a lot less than the "OK, code's done, let's release it!" approach.

We don't have a large staff (Between 3-5 people), but we take the time to test things thoroughly. So you *DON'T* have to have Microsoft's see more resources to beta test. It's just good business practices!
Can we not simply wait for D8 to come out rather than us upgrading our dolphin every time you guys found some bugs? Or better yet, make sure that the script is 100% fixed before you release it to the market. It should be okay to upgrade if it's too easy to do, but for those who can't upgrade by themselves, they have to spend $50-$70 to hire somebody.
Andrew Boon
100% fixed scripts don't exist.
you are right but if we endup at least to 95% fixed will be great.Its lofgical that there will be constantly appearing some new tiny bugsbut core thing is all big bugs will be fixed and all that half working features will be fixed and some core features like admin backend member levels added.
"This will all end in tears". (from Marvin the Android- Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy).

Seriously, Andrew, please listen to people here. First understand that the names you call things: "Dolphin 8", "Trident", "Shark", "The Next Big Thing" - whatever, no longer have much meaning to us here - we just want out sites to work and keep getting better.

Wasn't it a few months ago that you came up with the list of features and bug fixes you see more were going to put in D7.1? Then we learned that you did this upgrade of instead. Now you have announced what seems like a major new development project and expected people to be excited? Those who have been around for a while know that new versions don't necessarily mean you will gain functionality - sometimes we have lost functionaly we had before with the older version.

Sorry, I am with the "finish what you started" camp - you can't afford to lose half your member base everytime you release a major new version. While D7 has some flaws - search, matching, the avatar, etc - come to mind, it is at least slowly gettng better. I would like to see a new incremental release every three months or so. YOu could still do the grand plan you described here - but just do it with 20 or 30 percent of the company time and developer's effort. That means D8 would still happen - it will just take a bit longer, and we won't lose the massive time investment we have made in D7.

In American football terms, you keep leaving the ball on the 80 yard line, and we want you to make a touchdown.
...........years *POOF*
well Andrew you already started to build several houses but on each house you end up with roof unfinished and instead finish roof you decided move to start build new house. SO finish at least one house to be totally completed please...
Should I assume there is no expected timeline of completion? I haven't seen any potential release date mentioned. Christmas, next summer,.....?
Well, well. Some people dream big things, but never reach them. Why because every-time they take a step towards their goal they seem to get distracted because the grass seems to be greener on the other side. Guess what? The grass is greener where you are.

I have a simple analogy; two determined young men, one vocal, one quiet. Both have ambitions of climbing the highest and toughest mountain peaks. Both camp at the base; one keeps mouthing off; I will climb this mountain one day, one day I will see more conquer this mountain, whilst all along he remained at the base.

The silent one just got his gear, never said a word and started to take one step at a time; through tough days and many challenges, he reached his destination, without any fanfare or talk he reached his goal. People noticed and nodded with approval.

The noisy one, is still at the base of the mountain making loud noises about how he will one day make his climb.

Well which one will you be?

The one that always finds other people's houses more attractive and wishing to get one just like it, or slowly building your own and making it the best for you and your family.

It is time to choose. Will it be all talk or will it be silent action?
it would appear historically, that the base of the mountain looking up is where this is destined. because nearly 3 years ago Dolphin 8 was announced, Trident was announced, and now, those posts are dead and gone, there are a new gathering of people, and it seems that these impromptu announcements are playing to the ear of those who are unknowing.

Dolphin 5 unfinished
Dolphin 6 unfinished
Dolphin 7 unfinished

you see the pattern, the pattern has to be broken.
Boonex never done working with Dolphin software.. and unfinished from all version are release.. I saw before that next version is 7.1 and now i am use 7.0.6 with a lot of issue.. but I am try to fixed some out by self. because post to get help but very slow answer or no one can help..

D8 is a next version and allow only premium member can see or download.. then you must point new Dolphin 8 is not longer to be Open source .. because the point of your product to sale not for community anymore. see more it's mean your software is not an open source.

Anyway, for me it enough to stop use Dolphin anymore.. D7.0.6 will be my last version that will use Dolphin software.. Why?
- Not Open Source
- Very Slow
- A lot of bug issue
- fix design .. don't feel your own design.. all of Dolphin website looks same face.
- not really community .. every user need to be paid for help.
- very expensive software, extension and plugin too
- and many more reason..

NO more Dolphin for me , Thank you!
see moreThe problem with Boonex is that everything changes every day.. My advice: Plan your future and stick with it..
I am tired of announcements like the great "Shark", "Trident" and now "Dolphin 8".. Beside being confusing is also annoying to watch the blog, comment, plan, invest etc. and then ruin your entire scheme..

Whatever you plan to release next, it better be good and launched ASAP, your competition has discovered warp speed, yet Dolphin swims happily in the ocean..
Dolphin development has become so helter-skelter, I can't even force myself to read through these blog posts anymore. Boonex is a predictable creature of habit. I have no reason to believe that "Dolphin 8" is going to solve any of the problems with D7. I see history repeating itself, changing to D8, buying modules all over again, and trudging through a whole new set of bugs for another two years.

Screw it. Somebody send me an email when this stuff works,
Wouldn't it be a hoot if Boonex released all of the old, buggy, unfinished Dolphin's under a GPL license and see what happened?
I have a simple question prefaced with a statement. I was not around when was being built or deployed so I have nothing to say on that. I have been around for most of D7 though. I have decided that I will no longer be applying patches or upgrades to my Dolphin site. I am going to finish it and put it to work just as it sits. I have someone who can help me solve some of the smaller problems and I will just disable or remove the parts that are the biggest headaches. (and there are many) The site see more won't be as functional but at least it will work.

I believe you have some very great talents. I also believe there are many other skills required to bring a project like this to a successful conclusion that you do not have.

Here's my question.

When are you going to hire a good project manager to help you get this under control before it all blows up in your face?
Answer: Never

You are echoing some of what has been said countless times before. It hasn't happened up until now and it never will. Everyone will continue to get "huge" announcements about what's to come instead. It's how it's always worked - sadly.

I *have* been here since 5x - though I didn't become actively involved until 6. There is no difference between what was happening/being promised then - vs now. Well..... the name changes, the look changes, but it's all the same spiel.

Dolphin see more is a great toy to play with and learn how to tinker with code - if you use it correctly. Else, it becomes a money pit. I am pretty sure it is supposed to be that way. It's part of the business model.

I wish someone would come up with a Dolphin style front end to WPMU. Boonex is constantly re-inventing the wheel. I don't see why that's necessary when there is a hardened framework that can be built upon already. I digress.

I like Dolphin still because I can learn things from it. I'm a master a being frustrated. Now that I'm past that point, I see it for the learning toy it is. That's really all it seems to be good for.

Sorry Andrew. I'm not trying to be a jerk, just being honest.
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.