It seems than when YOUR clients touch on a nerve to which you have no reasonable answers and you are beginning to look rather silly, you close the topic rather than discuss the issues at hand.
The Marketplace issue in the previous thread WAS relevant to the release of 4.0.0 and several contributors were blocked because their 'support licence' wasn't active; that didn't mean that they had not previously paid the licence fee and had the latest version for which they were contributing to.
You appear to have an ointment for every sore and give the appearance that you really don't care what your clients think - you're going to do whatever you want regardless - customer feedback is not just pointless to you it's worthless.
No I am not a contributor, but I have purchased from contributors and if they are not allowed to continue to support their products because of your archaic business model then that affects me directly and I am not happy about that at all. Do you care? I doubt it!
I'm astounded that you even make comparisons with another company that offers a completely different set of products - you don't have to 'copy' others; be innovative and lead rather than following. As for you not requiring, specifically, a fee is also not realistic as it 'costs' to have an active licence which is a 'specific fee'.
I've also discovered that this is not something new having been discussed previously elsewhere. Going back two years someone else pointed out the short-comings of not allowing Contributors access.
See here >>> http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=629449&postcount=83 read the last paragraph of the comment.
When you buy something you expect a level of support and what better place to provide that support than the market place you bought the item from. Not allowing Contributors to support their products through this medium makes no sense.
Just because you're not required, by IPS, to provide support that doesn't mean you don't want to provide support. There is a Catch 22 in what Charles is quoted as stating, in that you don't have to provide support but if you choose not to and complaints are received (which will undoubtedly come fast and furious if you don't provide support) then the files will be deleted; meaning that anyone who purchased an item will be left dead in the water.
No one has given any 'reasonable' (note the operative word) explanation why a 'support licence' for IPS software is required by contributors to support their own contributions. If IPS are paid a commission for sales made through the market place, then asking for an additional payment for a 'support licence' is like wanting your cake and eating it. Contributors add value to the IPS product and make it more attractive to those in the market for forum based software - they already pay for the privilege via commission for adding value to something that would be the poorer if they did not add their contributions; penalising contributors for this added value makes no sense to me at all.
As for wanting 'something for nothing' - that also does not hold true; many contributors spend hours on end beefing up shortfalls in the feature set that people desire; in the UK there is a minimum wage per hour and if Contributors were to add up the hours they spend creating something that benefits others and charge for the work 'value' they have expended on their contributions they could easily outreach the cost of the IPS software itself.
I'm not a contributor, so I'm looking from the outside in, but as someone who runs their own business I would most certainly not penalise anyone who added value to my feature set.
I have to say that I find the whole debacle surrounding contributors to the marketplace shocking. Why do they need an active support licence to IPS software, which is current, to provide support in the marketplace for their contributions? I can understand a 'buyer' requiring an active licence, but a contributor who is required to provide support for their contributions being 'locked out' is unbelievable. If I purchased an add-on from the market place and I couldn't get support for it because the contributor is 'locked out' by IPS, I'd up sticks and move elsewhere.
If, as it has been mentioned, IPS receive a commission off contributors for sales through their market place then that should off-set any costs for maintaining it. Contributors are an essential attraction for IPS and their clients and this addition should be seen as a real positive and plus, yet IPS seem hell bent on negating this positive to their software; it's like cutting the string on your bow and still expecting it to fire arrows. If I had the ability to code I'd be looking elsewhere to ply my ideas.
I'm afraid IPS has gone down another notch in my estimation.
Would it be possible at this stage to say what will convert from 3.x.x to 4.0.0 without any major issues and what will need attention?
I believe that IPContent is one of the main contenders here as many people will have customised it to suit their needs with HTML and CSS - will such customisations transfer as is, or might there be issues?
We mostly all accept that change is inevitable in many aspects of life, none more so than technology; which seems to be evolving at a far greater rate than we are as a species. People are, generally, adverse to change unless that element of change is 'seen' to be beneficial to them. Once people can see that a particular change is good for them, they more readily accept it. What drives that acceptance away is 'not knowing' and 'not knowing' has a habit of inventing problems that don't really exist, or may not be as terrible as believed.
The only way I can see forward with this change with the coming of IPS 4.0.0 is for a more consistent stream of information as to what the major changes involve and how they are going to affect those with existing forums that have, as has been pointed out, heavily customised. We've already been told that add-ons and skins developed for the 3.x.x model will not work in 4.0.0 but what we haven't been told are the listed functions that have been included in 4.0.0 that may negate the need for certain add-ons; if, indeed, that is the case.
Although it's unlikely that 4.0.0 may not follow the self-destructive route of vBulletin in terms of flawed coding that generated huge problems for it's clients, IPS may find that 4.0.0 will not be so readily accepted because of the complications it presents in incompatibility with it's previous model that may cause huge problems for their clients.
Admittedly it's a bold move, an innovative move and undoubtedly a huge technological move in terms of what we have been used to; but even in technology their has to be a friendly warm organic element to attract people. So far we haven't seen that element and have been dished up the cold stark vision of efficiency. My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that it's time to start showing what the end user experience is going to be like.
I'm playing devil's advocate here because I'm not a developer, but if this is so why are some developers getting stressed if this information has been made available to them? Are ALL developers included or only selected developers?
My own experience is similar, though a lot more involved. We're ever on the lookout for something better, something that will cover all bases; but it's an almost futile task because there will always be something to like or dislike about a chosen software. I started with IPB back in 2002 and my last site was based on IPB 3.4.x - in between I've tried them all (including Xenforo and vBulletin - and vB5) and they all have something nice to offer, but none of them offer it all. So you have to decide what you 'need' as opposed to what you 'want' and ensure that those needs meet both your own expectations and those of your prospective clients.
On the face of it 4.0.0 is breaking new ground and that's exciting for many reasons, but will it fulfil all of your needs? Will it offer a new 'positive' experience to both admins and clients alike? That's something that remains to be seen. What's been revealed so far is OK but nothing much that hasn't been done before elsewhere - admittedly it's approach is different, but the end result remains the same.
The one bleeding edge factor that has been revealed for 4.0.0 is that each of the applications can work independently of each other and that is something genuinely different - how people will implement that choice also remains to be seen.
One of life's lessons I have learned is to try and see both sides and find a middle ground; it's not always easy, but everyone should try it at some point. Not everything is one-sided and that is especially so in business - never, ever, tick your clients off to prove a point because all you will see is their backs as they walk out the door. Unification and collaboration is always more productive than chaos and confrontation.
There have been some valid concerns expressed and, for a few (not all), an explanation has been given (whether those explanations were satisfactory or not will be a personal matter)
As for 'work in progress' - we have been told, when asking 'when is it going to be ready' we've has 'this year' (referring to 2013); we've had 'late 2013 early 2014' and now it's Q2 2014 which can be anything up to the end of June. So I don't think that's it's unreasonable for people to raise or express their concerns - it's not done for the sake of it, it's done out of concern; that last word being the operative word.
Midnight Modding has raised a genuine concern - there are, as stated, technical reasons for his concern not to be addressed, but they haven't been explained - although I'm not a developer I can understand his concerns and that they may have a far reaching effect on other developers. Sweeping statements such as 'Nobody is forcing you to do anything ...' from a member of staff gives the impression 'we don't care'; though I would like to believe that is not the case.
As for a 'life' - yeah I have a life and I have a vision for a new site which I can't implement using 3.4.6 (for the many reasons I stated in this and other topics) so my project is on hold and has been since late 2013. I have a choice, wait for 4 or go with another solution. Presently I am in the process of moving home so it would be unrealistic for me to start anything now; that's good fortune for IPS (though it may not be viewed as such) as they still have me as a client-in-waiting.
I've said it in a previous post - if this project was of such an undertaking that the projected deadlines could not realistically be met (allowing for a small percentage of slippage) then announcing 4.0.0 in February of last year (2013) was not a smart move. Additionally because it is a complete overhaul we are told at this late hour that existing mods and skins will not work - those last words must be the nightmare of all nightmares for those developing mods/skins and those using them.
The lack of information, both visual and technical, has lead to many people expressing their concerns - only to be lambasted by those who either don't care about other people's concerns or who will stick with 3.4.6 until they're forced to upgrade - most likely when support ceases for 3.x.x
Perhaps a wise move coming from IPS to help those wanting to develop for 4.0.0 would be to open up a developers forum accessible only to developers where they can ask their technical questions and receive technical answers so they are prepared for what's to come and not be left hanging in the air until the last hour.
Because people saved it up for the end of 2013 - when that didn't happen, they saved it up for early 2014 (Q1) - when that didn't happen we now have to save it up until the end of Q2. WOW!!! That's a lot of angst to save up - I wouldn't want to be around when that lot was released lol.
Personally I am not 'upset', but I am concerned that something that was announced over a year ago - pegged in for late 2013 and then changed to early 2014 and then changed to Q2 without even being afforded the pleasure of seeing any of the core elements that most people are interested in and, to add insult to injury, we are shown out-of-date screen shots that will not resemble the finished product.
Says who? It's all relative as to what your expectations are :smile:
Try working in a competitive industry for over 40 years and you may change your mind on that one
Something that is not going to be out-dated and left behind and something that isn't going to require a major overhaul for a good while. Don't assume that IPS are the only ones who are pioneering forwards.
In that you are correct - patience is a limited commodity these days and after waiting over a year and no sign of even a beta I guess you could say that patience has walked out of the door
In relation to the previous quote that is kind of out of context
No they haven't treated me badly at all - I have a great deal of respect for anyone who can produce quality software. But I too have a life and a project and a deadline and as it's my money and time I'm investing I will invest it where it will be of most benefit to me and my projected client base. My clients don't need loads of bells and whistles - they need simplicity and continuity and those are the two overriding factors.
I've been a client of IPS since 2002 (in and out) and I recognise they produce quality software - but then so do others (VB aside). I understand that timelines can slip, but we're not dealing with amateurs who are just starting out. Before 4.0.0 was a twinkle in someone's eye they must have had an idea of what was expected of the software and how to implement it and if they foresaw that this was a huge undertaking that was going to take a fair while to achieve, then they shouldn't have announced it so early. Some of the IPS staff have already stated that 'they go through this every time a new release is mentioned'; time to learn a lesson I reckon that it's best to say nothing until you have it close to a wrap.
I've been carefully looking at (with a fine microscopic view) the competition and I like what I'm seeing more and more. So, I am prepared to wait a little longer, but not much. And if IPS don't care that they will lose a customer that's their choice, but when a customer is walking out the door you still have an opportunity to pull them back, but believe me when I'm gone I'm gone and no amount of bells and whistles will drag me back.
It also begs the question how many others either feel the same or have already gone.
If a businesses clients are concerned and troubled and looking at competitors for a solution, then, as a business, I'd be worried. It doesn't matter if what you will eventually offer is the best of the best, once a commitment has been made and your budget is blown, you stick with what you've bought until such time that you feel able to or comfortable moving up.
What has concerned me over the recent blogs is the amount of concern expressed over the look, feel and functionality of what is being described. When that concern is voiced the stock defensive statement is used - "these are old images". It doesn't make sense to show something that is obsolete in relation to what is being proposed; hence the critique of the clients.
I decided to hold off my own project with the expectation that 4.0.0 would be in, at least, beta by the beginning of Q2. If that expectation is not fulfilled then I may have to just go with another solution, because I can't tie up my project indefinitely.
For those that will advocate going with 3.4.6 and then upgrade - that's not an option for me. Once I commit to a software I want no major upheaval in the very near future - a year on, perhaps; but then the competitors will be a year on too.
Once a client is lost, it's near impossible to get them back; that's something I learned the hard way. When you have competitors you can't afford to be complacent and you can't afford to tick off your existing client base. Just as in the housing market the edict is 'location, location, location' when dealing with clients who sustain your business the edict is (or ought to be) 'customer, customer, customer' - first, last and centre; they are your business.
IMHO it's time for IPS to get off the fence and start showing what is instead of all this cloak and dagger secrecy and dangling the carrot, because at some point the carrot will not be so appealing.
This is precisely how an event list should be stacked - the eye candy of it leaves a lot to be desired, but the flow is the most important aspect; although people can, for the most part, be quite illogical, there are aspects that have been pre-programmed into our thought processes and one of them is that a list normally reads from top to bottom. Perhaps to placate everyone add in an option as to how the list is presented; columned (choice of) or stacked.