This may be more of a philosophical issue for SE management on how they
wish to approach future upgrades, so I'm just tossing an idea out there
to get anyone's response (SE, developers, Site-Admins).
As a developer (not SE developer) I realize that updating (to PHP7 and Zend3 support or similar) an application like SE is a major major undertaking, which involves man/woman power (many hours), what I call drying time (measured in weeks/months not man-hours - to give things time to be tested/analyzed/diagnosed/integrated/fixed/dust-settling, then repeat), all of which consumes a lot of finances over a lenghy period. (This is a general statement - it's obviously quite complex to implement such a project).
I feel like (as a Site-ADMIN) that we're left in the dark when it comes to future plans of SE, and thus we must respond reactively rather than proactively. I've never been in such an environment where I have no clue what's coming when or how to prepare for it.
Sometimes I wish that SE would simply calculate an estimate for this (ugh - I can't stand typing here - man, please use something different for onsocialengine.com) - and say to us Site-Admins & Developers "here's the deal... it will take us X months to develop/roll-out and the cost will be Y. See our Kickstarter/IndieGoGo or TryCelery.com/Pre-Order page to jump in so we can see who really wants this and how badly". This way SE can see what type of interest there is (anyone will 'like' or 'up-vote' something, but it's when you ask for $$ that you find how serious they truly are), and we as Site-Admins & Devs can understand that there's an option, but it's based on the community's response as to when/if it will be built. I sincerely feel expecting SE to foot the bill is unfair, and quite frankly feel that if they're expected to pay for it all, it will never get done. After all, what does SE as a company gain by spending a fortune to create something that may never be paid for (by Users through sales & upgrade fees)?
Yes, a Survey could be used, but again - that's not a 'true' result due to many people not completing it, and probably skewed #s due to 'sure - if it's free I'll take it' mentality.
I also feel that beyond SE, some Devs might consider doing something similar to offset some of their costs. I'd much rather share some of the cost of upgrades to be sure they are developed, rather than be stuck with old software/technology (or lousy/no Plugin options) due to SE and Developers not having the $$ to update anything. We're all in this together, so let's act like it.
I want to be part of a growing/thriving community and there's a cost to that. There's also a cost to NOT having a growing/thriving community (and I prefer not to be a part of that but I feel I may have no alternative which stinks).
Any thoughts (besides I'm nuts)?