Crowdfund SE PHP5 with PHP7 and Zend 3 support?
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)? 
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    Eugene > 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)?

    Upgrades should not be free for website owners. It's a serious procedure where a lot can go wrong.

    Migration to ZF3 is a serious investment that will not pay off right away. But as a developer I see that such migration will give a lot of benefits:

    1. Speed. ZF3 is considerably faster and uses benefits of php7.
    2. Security. There are no more security patches for ZF1.
    3. Availability of plugins/scripts/solution. This is important. I remember when SE3 has chosen mootools (it was approx. as popular as jquery back then) - a lot of plugins/extensions appeared every week. It's much easier to incorporate something existing, actively developed than dig into old no longer developed library code to implement something trivial (I'm looking at you, cerabox library and CSS Scafford).
    4. Renewal of 3rd party plugins. It will be a shock, but it might be just what SE development community needs. There is a lot of no longer updated plugins, search directory is a mess. Clean re-submissions for new platform version might introduce some additional verification rules (possibly even minimal QA from SE team).
    5. Availability of developers. Give it a year and will will be really hard to find companies/developers familiar with ZF1. Who will want to learn an outdated tech to jump in? Fresh dev. blood brings fresh ideas. That's the thing you need for thriving dev. community.
    6. Chance to re-do some things. It's pretty much impossible to incorporate any serious change in the core right now (feed, layout editor, plugin system, advanced caching, etc) as this will break a lot of existing things. Version 5 may be a good chance to implement such changes as 3rd party developers will need to upgrade plugins anyway. And clients will also be aware that things are to be changed in v5.

    But most of those benefits from the migration aren't the main thing. Those benefits were on the table for quite some time. Right now there is no other choice - we have reached ZF1 "end of life".
    So I hope SE team is up to the challenge and there is plan and schedule for this work. I'm sure 3rd party developers will gladly assist (so SE team can concentrate on the core itself and may not touch any plugins for the start). Give us early access - we will update our plugins and provide improvement suggestions for the core.
      • 1
      gs Yes Eugene, I whole-heartedly agree. There are many benefits to Site-ADMINs (and Devs of course), along with the the necessity of moving away from ZF1 due to security/end-of-life issue.

      Since SEPHP'5' would be a major release, there should obviously be an upgrade cost to Site-ADMINs, and if compatibile with PHP7 (which I would hope something of the magnitude and probable rewrite of SEPHP5 would be) there would be a savings on server reequirements (for some Site-ADMINs). There are many many many benefits (some of which you have thoroughly expressed) to us Site-ADMINs. I just wish this was sooner rather than later and SE would provide a rough estimate of when, along with a roadmap toward SEPHP5 (I realize we're not even at 4.9. yet, but that doesn't mean SE, Developers, and the Community shouldn't be thinking of beyond that). v4.9 offers some benefits, but not like a core/rewrite + ZF3 + PHP7 would offer. Heck - I'd be willing to pay 100% of my license again if this could be moved up to 2017-2018. Of course this would also require a huge investment from Devs for upgrades to Plugins (yes, as you said - a shock). But if we know what's coming & when, we can all better prepare for it rather than 'some day'.

      An upgrade of this magnitude should buy us all a lot of time into the future. It seems we're at the end (or past the end in the case of ZF1) of the road and it's time 'the car got replaced with a new one'.

      Thanks Eugene for your input. Hopefully others will chime in, or it may just be the two of us purchasing upgrades (and I'll be first in line to re-purchase my Webhive Plugins :)