A Worried C5 Supporter
I'll apologise in advance for my ignorance. I don't have as much time as I would like to come here. When I do, I find it difficult to find what I need. I do look and search, sometimes for hours, and I don't know if it is me but I find it difficult to find what I'm looking for. So I have a few questions and I'm sorry if they are answered elsewhere. I've been a member since 2010, I've bought many addons and themes and I have a server that I run my sites on because I was really fed up of poor support or slow services from hosts. I would have gone with C5 for hosting but it's simply not affordable for me to do that whilst still being able to experiment with multiple sites as I like to do.
I really appreciate the efforts of those who develop for C5 and give so much help in the forums.
Is there somewhere on this site for announcements? I hear about the legacy marketplace potentially being retired but I can't find out when or what will happen if I want legacy code later. I periodically come on to search for the latest info regarding upgrades, reliability etc and it is hit and miss whether I use the correct search terms or happen to look on the right day. Have I missed something and the latest info is centralised somewhere?
I use 5.6 for all my sites. I tried to use 5.8 for my latest one a couple of months ago and the install failed. I spent days trying to get it to work, the host just directed me here and hours of searching didn't help me. I know I'm not the best in php and setting up my server or webspace but I just can't find something definitive that tells me - use PHPX, do this in your htaccess, have xyz in your ini file and at least you'll get a basic installation. So frustrating. I can install the big alternative CMSs in minutes and I wish I wanted to use them but unfortunately for me I don't. However, the reason i don't want to use them is because I can get what I like out of 5.6 and I'm continually worried about how long that will last.
I'm an early adopter of almost everything in technology both in my day job and in my personal life. I upgrade my software regularly. I use cutting edge technology in work. I WANT to use the latest thing and I've been trying to do that with Concrete5 for years. I have years of investment in my websites and I need a way forward but I can't see a way. I've completely failed in trying to move beyond 5.6.
Looking at 5.8 I don't see the sophisticated addons that I like from 5.6. There are some amazing themes but not so many of them, less choice. I can't even see how I can manually cut and paste from my old sites into new versions because I don't have the same functionality available (it seems).
Each of my sites needs a great forum, full ecommerce with lots of options, an excellent blog, fantastic email facilities that cope with thousands of users, built in cookie compliance and general compliance with laws. In 5.6 I can usually make the sites do what I would like, primarily thanks to JTFs amazing addons being able to interact with the other many and various addons. I can't see how to move forward and it is pretty depressing.
Ok I'm sorry for raising this topic which I'm sure many of you are fed up with. I can't even find the most recent thread discussing these things so maybe I'm just not very good at searching, I don't know. Some of us spend hours thinking about our websites and that's what we want to do, not thinking about the mechanics behind them. That's the reason I've enjoyed C5 for so long because if I could think of something I could generally achieve it. No idea what to do going forward, I'm daunted.
I knew this would happen when those who push version 8 started saying 5.6 is living on borrowed time.
I, like you love 5.6 for exactly the same reasons as you, it is lightweight, fast, extremely extendable and very stable.
I have several sites running on 5.6 and php 7.2.12 (the very latest release) without any problems at all, even if I did no further development work on them I am confident they are good for many more years to come.
Also like you, I have tried using version 8 but find it too cumbersome, slow and unstable.
In my opinion 5.6 still has a good future.
I hope so. My post is after literally years of worry, trying out the latest versions and thinking how to migrate my sites to something else so that I don't have to live with the anxiety (but not finding anything).
I could have learned to become a programmer by now probably but I'm interested in what my sites do, not how they work in the background. I just learn what I need to as quickly as I can so I can move on. One of my sites has 9000 registered members so I've had to learn how to truncate tables when my stats blow the database size... and goodness knows what else, I have to look it up every time obviously because it's just not interesting to me, why would it be?
Moved onto a server being fed up of hosts telling me I can't use PHP-such-and-such and learning that they host the database on a different server so that's why I'm grinding to a halt. On and on and on with every little step wasting my spare time. Taking me away from my family and loved ones is how I view it.
Your response gives me some hope. Maybe I just plug back in with resolving a few current issues in my 5.6 sites and getting better at CSS.
If you need any help getting your sites to run on php 7 let me know by private message.
Also, I have created a couple of single pages that take care of clearing out old page versions and truncating certain tables on 5.6, again if these interest you, PM me.
For v8, https://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/extreme-clean1/... adds a lot of additional functionality for cleaning and managing cleaning, so is a paid addon.
The difference with support is that I will not be proactive about it. For example, I won't be running about testing all my 5.6 addons for new php versions. But if a user tells me a new php version causes a problem with one of my 5.6 addons, I will resolve it.
If you have not already seen it, I posted on the forums and a howto about updating eCommerce.
Unfortunately, while eCommerce
https://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/ecommerce... is now free , it still has a marketplace license, so I can't legally provide the simple solution and just post an updated addon zip file.
I have pointed this out to Franz and he has assured me that the license will be changed, but the license has yet to catch up with that.
I've always installed the latest -1 released version and never had a single problem with the site itself unless I break it myself with my own packages.
Yes, v8 is subjectively slow. But I didn't compare it to other CMSs. I'm pretty conservative, if I like something (like butter chicken), I'll stick with it (can't make myself to try something else because I know I always love butter chicken). Same with Concrete5. I've made myself to install WP and Joomla and after a minute of poking around I deleted them.
You either like C5 and forgive its minor drawbacks or you don't and use something else. Majority of developers will always be where money is. Linux is way more secure than Windows and it's free but its market share is still like 1% and the majority of developers code for Windows because that's where they make money. The choice is yours.
And yes, C5 v8 is more developer oriented than designer. But if one learns the programming skills, it's mind blowing how many opportunities, options, things you realize you can do in C5 and how easy they are. It takes a lot of time but the result is awesome!
When I looked at the way Doctrine deals with databases - I was scared ***less to even think about trying to figure out what's going on there. And now, half a year later when I think I got the point, I just can't believe the power and ease of Doctrine. All search, filtering, listing and all are sooooooooo easy!
I'll respond to them all soon but not very well at the moment. Also, my apologies if I ramble a bit because of that!
Especially, if I may single someone out, JTF has been a massive help to me (and to just about everyone involved with C5 as far as I can see). It is reassuring that he is continuing to support people, I'm sure it doesn't pay the bills!
The main reason for my current concern is that I'm planning a relaunch of my main site, which will take a few months of work to do. It is a hobby site with some paid-for features that help to recoup some of my running costs. It has 10,000 registered members, and some paying members, thousands of forum posts (Discussion forums addon), tens of thousands of free and paid-for downloads, E-commerce addon, a shared membership system between seven domains (Multiple Domains Addon), Magic Data, Black Magic Data and many of John's other addons. There are 71 addons on the site (I just checked) many of which are actively altered by Magic Data, and almost all of them are in use.
It should become a bespoke site, but I don't have the knowledge or resources to employ a developer. However, I'm coming to the point where I think I'll have to get more work done by a developer.
As I'm writing, I'm coming to realise that migration isn't possible.
Regarding the analogy with computer operating systems, I always use the latest, but unfortunately, I have to keep computers with old operating systems on them to run older programs in connection with my work and my hobbies, for similar reasons. I suppose that's how things go when you're involved in niches.
Part of what I do has me engaged with some of the best medical practitioners in the world, and I'm also aware that Microsoft (for example) does support old operating systems privately in connection with worldwide health organisations. Some of the best equipment available (CT scanners and other items that would cost millions to replace) is driven by old OSs. The software will never be re-written (they are kept isolated from the Internet of course).
Thanks again for your responses!