Social Engine is becoming worse each day pass
Do not misunderstand me, but each day Social Engine is getting worse every day in comparison with their competitors:

Just to know in a straight comparison with phpfox:

1- Social Engine is more expensive. PHPfox out of box has more features that the Social Engine with a lesser price;
2- Social Engine is heavy, so heavy that page load usually takes 5 or 6 seconds. PHPfox loads in 2 or 3 with same quantity of addons;
3- Social Engine use an almost outdated technology with Zend Framework 1 and Mootools.
4- Social Engine almost doesnt have is community to exchange experiences and ideas;
5- The marketplace is a mess with several outdated plugins;
6- The showcase is a mess with several websites that neither exist;
7- There is no expectation of some improvement. There are no ideia about the next major release SE 5.0;

If one year ago I knew it would be so disappointed with Social Engine, I probably stayed with phpfox. My experience just is not being worse because there is the Social Engine Addons Deleoper, otherwise would not have come here.

Please Social Engine Team, show what you are made of. If you need help, just ask. 

    • 1
    Florin "Social Engine is heavy, so heavy that page load usually takes 5 or 6 seconds" I agree and this is a real problem. On top of that, I will suggest to SE to create some quality standards and best coding practices for the MOD Developers and try to enforce them in the Marketplace.

    The Forum component (out of the box) is very poor. I think this is an important element that will attract people to join niche communities and not creating groups on Facebook. The moderation tools are very basic and, the performance is bad. Try to import 1 million messages in the Forum , from 150k users and you will see it. We had to spend lot of energy and money to integrate SE with IP.Board as a decent alternative.

    My last feedback will go to the mobile experience. 75% of our community members are using mobile. But all the mobile versions out there (and the mobile apps), default and add-ons, are far from doing a good job. Why:because the mobile framework is overloaded with unnecessary application logic and heavy presentation. The code is not optimised for mobile. I will strongly suggest SE invests in a mobile first experience and this will really give it a strong competitive advantage.
      • 1
      Donna Hi Florin, thank you for your post and feedback. Some improvements are already in the works and we'll see what we can do to let everyone know of what's coming. We'll see what can be done with the other suggestions you and others have posted in this thread.
      • 1
      Sieg Hi Florin.

      Just to explain some points that I learned about the SE:

      1- "Social Engine is heavy, so heavy that page load usually takes 5 or 6 seconds" I agree and this is a real problem. On top of that, I will suggest to SE to create some quality standards and best coding practices for the MOD Developers and try to enforce them in the Marketplace.

      The problem is a bit beyond the third party developers, because the own SE use a framework that is deprecated. Create best coding practices is a real good idea, but difficult to develop. Just imagine that to be effective this program all plugin will need be revised by someone.

      One point that brother me is how each developer create plugins without any compliance with the SE style. Example: If you take the Advanced Groups from Younetco and Groups/Communities from SEAO you will notice that despite being plugin with the same goal they are completely different in the way they work. Advanced Groups use the standard tables from Groups, while Groups/Communities is completly a standalone plugin with their own tables. This create a huge problem of incompatible plugins between third party, you as a customer will never get the best of two worlds.

      2- The Forum component (out of the box) is very poor. I think this is an important element that will attract people to join niche communities and not creating groups on Facebook. The moderation tools are very basic and, the performance is bad. Try to import 1 million messages in the Forum , from 150k users and you will see it. We had to spend lot of energy and money to integrate SE with IP.Board as a decent alternative.

      To be honest I never saw a good forum plugin to any Social Network script comparable to a dedicated plugin like IPboard or Vbulletin, the best one that I saw was bbpress for buddypress. I am using the advanced forum from SEAO but I am considering to deactivate it since my users prefer the discussion from pages/groups.

      3- My last feedback will go to the mobile experience. 75% of our community members are using mobile. But all the mobile versions out there (and the mobile apps), default and add-ons, are far from doing a good job. Why:because the mobile framework is overloaded with unnecessary application logic and heavy presentation. The code is not optimised for mobile. I will strongly suggest SE invests in a mobile first experience and this will really give it a strong competitive advantage.

      Mobile is a problem affected by the question of "started bad and now is difficult to change" and that each developer follow their own way to structure their plugin. If you take a responsive theme from a developer that dont produce plugins (like SEtweaks) you must be prepared to not have a full responsive website since each developer will work in the own way. If you buy a responsive theme from a developer like SEAO or Younetco you need be prepared for not responsible areas from others developers.
      • 0 1 vote
      • Reply
        • 1
        Donna We're working on something for point 1 already as that has been in the works for a while. Point 2 is on my list I'm making of client issues so that we can at least check out everyone's concerns and see what can be done. Point 3 is also on my list but it might be taken care of already with the improvements for point 1. :)
    • 1
    Donna Hi everyone! Thanks for posting and for this feedback. We definitely want to hear your concerns and appreciate your time in posting. We want to assure you that we are working to improve. I’m working to get you more information which might come by way of a blog post if possible. We do expect to roll out some improvements within the next two weeks. We have a release also coming soon and are working towards a release for v4.9 as well.

    As you all know, I’ve been brought in from phpFox and am the Chief Evangelist on the SocialEngine team now. This should help to bring information, documentation and other forms of help so you know that you are not alone and we do truly care about every one of our clients.

    In addition to these helpful posts with feedback for concerns, we would love to see some new posts about things we are doing right so we know when we’re going in the right direction. Both ends of the spectrum help us to improve things for you all.
      • 1
      Sieg To me is a bit hard to talk about what Social Engine is doing right because since I am part of this community no sensible improvement was made to the script, all that we had in a year was bug fixes or some small improvements. To me is like to have the same script from one year before. Years ago transparence and communication were the best Social Engine features, but actually is a bit far from what should be. Just to illustrate, GIF support is mandatory feature today with social network using this type of media extensively, I am asking for this feature for almost 6 months and everything that I get in response is wait that we will make an announcement soon.
        • 1
        Donna Great news! GIF is coming! As soon as we can get screenshots for a blog, we'll post more info about v4.9. If you can bear with us until we can get those. It won't be today but we are working hard to get information in the works.
          • 1
          Sieg Thanks Donna! Would be a good idea open a topic for users talk about their necessity with SE. I imagine that each one of us have a set of different necessities. I, by example, need that gif support, that SE accept dots (.) for thousands in numbers (Portuguese use commas for decimals) and a better filter option to use the language manager. Without "dots" and the filtering option is almost impossible to full localize the website to a Latin language.
            • 1
            Donna Hi Leandro :) Yes it would be great if clients would open a new post with their issues so that it's easier to follow each client's issues. We do want to improve and intend to improve. We already have a lot of improvements coming and I hope that we can put something in a blog to let you all know what's coming.
            • 0 1 vote
        • 1
        Donna I'll do my best to get you more information. You know me pretty well by now and know that I tend to follow through. :)
    • 1
    Eugene While I agree with some of your points, I can't agree that phpfox is better. We have tried development for both platforms (and tried other platforms as well). At this moment SE is still better than alternatives within the same price range. They have that momentum before competitors and currently largely due to the amount of 3rd party plugins.

    > The marketplace is a mess with several outdated plugins

    We have provided suggestions how to improve this. SE promised us some new marketplace for some time, but I believe there were some issues with that. The main complexity here I believe is the amount of plugins out there.

    > Social Engine is heavy, so heavy that page load usually takes 5 or 6 seconds. PHPfox loads in 2 or 3 with same quantity of addons;

    Zend Framework isn't something small, but it's configurable. But Zend Framework is stable and can handle the load if configured correctly

    > The showcase is a mess with several websites that neither exist

    We have a similar problem. A lot of interesting projects hide the platform they are based on (for numerous reasons) and require NDA before the development.

    > There is no expectation of some improvement. There are no ideia about the next major release SE 5.0

    SE team promised the update to ZF3. I believe we will hear if they are serious about this in the next update on their blog.

    My overall conclusion that even that SE has it's own cons it's still better than available alternatives. But without serious updates (ex. migration to ZF3, jquery, etc.) that won't remain forever.
      • 1
      Sieg Thanks for your reply Eugene. Each day I feel more that SE is abandoned, that the owners just prefer to ignore that their product is getting behind. For example this thread is open for almost 2 weeks and nobody appeared even after I reply topics and blogs from they. If we as costumers and developers don't make pressure they will never change. I remember to follow the discussion about the version 5 and cloud some years ago and the community was really big, now seems that there is just a couple of people here. I don't like to feel that I am in a shrinking boat.
    • 1
    gs IMHO ...

    "straight comparison" - that's a relative term and there are some things each is better at
    1 - yes and no
    2 - yes, very very very heavy
    3 - yes
    4 - yes, something I've mentioned in other posts. 2-3 years ago when I was shopping for a CMS, almost any post would have a comment within minutes and typically several within a day or so. As you can see, your post has 1 reply so far (mine) in 4 days. Based on things I read, it seems that tens of thousands of Admins are using SE, but you typically hear crickets here.
    5 - Although I won't agree with 'mess', I agree there are many outdated Plugins. I also wish there were many more specific review questions for each Plugin, as well as the Developer review should be an entirely separate type of review - different questions than Plugins. There are Plugins and Devs here that have hundreds of positive reviews (another problem - only a thumbs up/down - there should be an actual ratiing system) yet based on my experience I don't see how there could be so many positive reviews (case in point - I'm dealing with one dev who hasn't been able to resolve an issue in 2 Plugins for OVER A YEAR - yes year).
    6 - yes - this almost convinced me to stay away from SE initially as it seemed (back then when I first looked) that SE was used by a handful of people with communities not much larger than a few friends/family.
    7 - 'improvement' - I've mentioned this in other posts. I would like to feel that SE is an actively developed application with an active community of Admins. As far as SE5 goes, I have yet to see if/when 4.9 will be available (the SE 4.9 Roadmap was announced 14 MONTHS ago - not SE5, but SE 4.9 - and it's still not out). There's MAJOR resources required to move to SE5 (if it's supposed to be on a new platform, including a rewrite, as well as PHP7 support).

    Although I'm very disappointed with many many things about SE (site, application, marketplace, etc.) I can honestly say that I'm glad (well, glad might not be the best choice of words - kinda like glad one lost a finger instead of a hand). I selected SE instead of the one you mentioned. I actually purchased that CMS but switched to SE before installing it. The primary reason I'm here is for the Plugins - what I needed simply didn't exist on the other platform.

    The biggest issue I see is being left in the dark - there's little information provided about the future and more specifically WHEN things will be available. Communication is so important in this situation - and it so often feels like there's little to none of it.

    Thanks for your post. Wishing your site much success.
      • 1
      Sieg Hi GS,

      Thanks for your reply. My community is going to well, just that I've had bads experiences with programs that are abandoned by developers and this is the smell I'm feeling here.
        • 1
        gs I get the same feeling of abandonment, but that might be primarily due to (almost) no SE community and little communication from SE. The lack of communication makes any 'relationship' feel abandoned. But I still believe SE is the better overall platform than phpFox (a recent CMSCritic review of phpFox, well their newer named platform, shows how bad it is over there).

        Hopefully SE will get on the ball and get going with:
        - software updates to 4.9 and then 5.0
        - incorporate ZEND (or whatever 'newer' platforms that's secure, robust, and efficient)
        - PHP7
        - reply to posts here with some insight into what they're doing
        - get the new marketplace going (and weed out the old stuff), hopefully with much better review capability (thumbs up/down is no way to rate a plugin or developer - simply not enough room for Site-ADMINs feedback)
        - provide a timetable for the future (ex. 4.9 Roadmap was announced over a year ago and since then - nothing as far as 'when' or how close)
        - etc.

        I'm very glad I chose SE (thanks mostly to the Plugins and some excellent devs) but am growing weary of this abandoned feeling (with real proof of why).
          • 1
          gs This post is an example (one of many) that shows how SE does such a great job of communicating their plans - NOT!. Over a month and no reassurance from SE about what/when - nothing. No comments anywhere (that I've seen) on 4.8.9, PHP7, updated ZEND framework (or whatever they may choose for the future), etc. Zip. Nadda. Zilch. Sigh .. oh well. Maybe 2017 will be the year we hear something for 2020 or 2021 :(