I used to love Concrete5, but now......

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It's freaking awful!!! Soooooo many bugs and problems with everything - from trying to move blocks to editing blocks to almost every aspect of the CMS that I have started to use Wordpress!!!!

I thought - this would just be teething issues, and that it would be all sorted soon - that was 6 months ago and still it is awful. I tried to upgrade a site from 5.7.2.1 to the new 5.7.3.1 - Keeps telling me no upgrades are available!

I am at a loss as to how you could have released this to the market with so much wrong with it!

A very disappointed former concrete5 user,

Gary

garyjhills
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JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
c5.6.3.x is still better than Wordpress.

c5.6.3.x is reliable. Its supported. There are few bugs and they tend to get fixed. There are lots of free and paid themes and addons in the marketplace for 5.6.3.x and more are still being released.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
I agree John, I'm not planning to touch 5.7 until it's thoroughly tested and de-bugged by the C5 community and is supported with as many add-ons themes as Concrete5.6.3 - I am looking forward to getting my hands on 5.7 though and all its improvements.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
I agree John, I'm not planning to touch 5.7 until it's thoroughly tested and de-bugged by the C5 community and is supported with as many add-ons themes as Concrete5.6.3 - I am looking forward to getting my hands on 5.7 though and all its improvements.
EngineerofStuff replied on at Permalink Reply
EngineerofStuff
I think that Concrete5 is the best free website designer there is.

It is normal for programs to have bugs in the new updates.
ideasponge replied on at Permalink Reply
ideasponge
If 5.6.x was a version you liked, then use that. No one is forcing you to use the latest version. If you've been a c5 user for very long then you might remember some of the issues we had back in 5.4 and 5.5 when the new upgrade process was introduced. These issues were eventually ironed out. Kind of weird to abandon the whole platform just because the latest version isn't as stable as you'de like it to be.
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
ramonleenders
You have to manually download the newest version and drop it into the "updates" directory. If you download version 5.7.3.1, create that folder within updates like so:

updates/5.7.3.1

Now unpack this version in the 5.7.3.1 directory (or whatever version you have).

Problem solved!

And 5.7.2 is a bit older version which still has some bugs, so try out the latest version first or try and get some help before "shouting" about how bad a product is. The guys at Concrete5 do their stinkin' best to get the product out there FOR US and FOR FREE. We should really embrace all that (they only did a rewrite for all the new features PSR brings and all dem packages).

Just my 2 cents.
MrKDilkington replied on at Permalink Reply
MrKDilkington
To add to what ramonleenders said.

The move from 5.7.2 to 5.7.3.1 is significant.

5.7.3.1 brought many features, improvements, bug fixes, and improved performance.

5.7.4 is due next week. It looks to be an even bigger release than 5.7.3.1.

There are many changes coming.
https://github.com/concrete5/concrete5-5.7.0/issues?q=milestone%3A5....

As an open source project, if you have issues or ideas for improvements, please get involved. When posting issues, please be very specific. Non-specific generalizations of problems make it very hard to troubleshoot issues and make it hard to identify ways to make improvements.
nesoor replied on at Permalink Reply
nesoor
Concrete5.7 had indeed a lot of bugs, but since the release of 5.7.3.1 I am not using 5.6 anymore.

Concrete5 5.7.3.1 is great! :)
nesoor replied on at Permalink Reply
nesoor
Concrete5.7 had indeed a lot of bugs, but since the release of 5.7.3.1 I am not using 5.6 anymore.

Concrete5 5.7.3.1 is great! :)
MichaelG replied on at Permalink Reply
MichaelG
Agreed - I'm with this party. 5.7.2 was a bit buggy, but still almost usable. 7.3.1 is pretty stable, and 7.4 has pretty much everything else I've been waiting for.

All I'm saying is we've done simple sites and complex applications already with 5.7, and there's no way anyone should look back.
Veronikan replied on at Permalink Reply
Veronikan
Even up to 5.7.3.1, never should have been released beyond beta. I just tried to do some simple edits on a 3 month old site, impossible. Bugs everywhere, disappearing blocks, disappearing everything. I regret I made a site for a client with this. It ain't cooked yet.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
I use 5.7 regularly for PRB testing. I keep my test sites at the latest released version.

My typical process is to create a page beneath a test branch in my site tree, add a title or content block, then add one or more copies of the block under test.

Adding a page works, but takes more actions on my behalf than it would under 5.6. Time wasted.

Then I waste considerably more time trying to drag blocks from the panel to the area where I want them to be (they try to land anywhere but where I actually want them), then moving blocks because they landed in the wrong place (which is again a random process). Its a great idea for an interface, but it just doesn't work cleanly. Maybe the 'area click to add' that is being brought back in with 5.7.4 will help alleviate this.

The overall process is so time consuming, error prone and frustrating that I would never inflict 5.7 on a customer.
MichaelG replied on at Permalink Reply
MichaelG
I'd agree page creation takes longer, but I actually like the block panel. Mainly because I'm NEVER adding a block to the bottom, and if you're not, you save a tremendous amount of clicks.

5.6 Add Block
- click add to area
- click add block
- click block you want and hit save
- click block
- click move
- click and hold block
- Drag block (which this is wayyyyy worse then 5.7s drag and drop)
- release

5.7
- Click plus sign
- click and hold
- drag block
- release
- save block

Sorry, but 5.7 wins for me. It wins for every client we've showed it to
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
I like the idea of dragging and dropping from the block panel, especially when I lock it open to drag several blocks. The problem is, the dragging never drops in the right place. It hops about all over the shop and its only pure chance that it drops where I want it. So while it should be fewer clicks, it actually takes a lot longer to get the desired outcome.

EDIT: Mlocati had a pull request for 5.6 to provide an 'insert block'. It was fully functioning and tested but got denied.
RadiantWeb replied on at Permalink Reply
RadiantWeb
that's shocking.
soupmedia replied on at Permalink Reply
I resisted moving to 5.7 until my third new client in a row called me up and queried why the editing interface wasn't the same as the instructions in the documentation on the C5 site (they were looking at the 5.7 info).

Having to explain that there was a massive rewrite and everything had changed but it wasn't production ready caused some to doubt my choice of platform. Last weekend I built my first site in 5.7.3.1 and it was much easier than I thought given the negativity around the new version.

I cloned Elemental, gave it a new namespace, took out most of the editing design customisation and knocked out a reasonable fully responsive site based on bootstrap 3 in a couple of hours. With a few mods to the theme and a handful of custom block templates, it was rock solid and I won't be looking back. In fact, using 5.6.3x feels cumbersome by comparison. I have four client sites currently in development in 5.6.3.2 and I'm toying with the idea of moving them over to 5.7.3.1 before they launch.

I understand the hate and reluctance to change. I tried 5.7 when it first came out and thought that the platform I've been working on for all these years was making a huge mistake. I think I was wrong.
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
I have to agree with both @soupmedia and @JohntheFish: the possibilities offered by 5.7.x are too good to ignore for a developer. BUT the end user experience definitely needs lots of polishing, especially the drag and drop of blocks
KorkolaDesign replied on at Permalink Reply
KorkolaDesign
We have many sites on the go. Some of them use 5.6 and the newer ones use 5.7, so I'm always having to jump back and forth between the two. Now that I've wrapped my head around developing for 5.7, when I go back to 5.6, it feels outdated.

5.7 is very promising, you just need to give it more time for the updates, documentation and community to progress.
garyjhills replied on at Permalink Reply
garyjhills
Well thanks everyone for replying, yes, it was a very frustrated moment when i wrote this. Since then, and having read through every ones thoughts I am still giving 5.7 a chance. I loved C5 and so did a lot of my clients, it's simple front end editing was a god send to them.

5.7.3.1 looks much better and once i get time will look at 5.7.4.
nesoor replied on at Permalink Reply
nesoor
Nothing is more frustrating than something that does not work ;)
Glad you still believe in Concrete5, I think we have a great community here!
s2d replied on at Permalink Reply
s2d
I loved C5, too, but after spending a few weeks of my spare time going through the documentation, working through the videos, working with it and trying to get up to speed with the changes in v7, I am nothing but frustrated. C5 used to have such eloquent ways to develop themes and add-ons, but now everywhere I look there are more convoluted hoops you have to jump through. I see a lot of potential, wonderful new features I was excited about initially, and prepared to tackle that learning curve to master new tools, but things just seem to break with every edit, and I have to run debugging on the errors to find the fix for because the error messages are so irrelevant to the actual problem they don't help at all.

For the amount of effort I've put in, I've gotten very disappointing results. I will focus more on WordPress for now, as I've made much greater gains with it in the last year. Maybe I'll check back later to see if things have improved, but for now, working with C5 is just a waste of time for me.
nesoor replied on at Permalink Reply
nesoor
Hey KateD,

C5.7 had indeed a few versions that had a lot of bugs which was very very very frustrating. But the newer versions are great and a ease of use I find myself.

I think you should give it another try with the newer version (5.7.4.2).
A few websites are running on this version and to be honest.... I think you would love the new features!

I quite working with WordPress/Joomla 2 years ago because my customers had a lot of questions about it, which I do not have with Concrete5.
In my experience is Concrete5 easier for the front end user than WordPress or Joomla.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
I still love Concrete5, but...

...I think long and hard now before choosing it, because as a business model is only as good as the level of support offered by the C5 community (aka theme and app developers). And while in the forums the help is really, really good, unfortunately when it come to providing support by developers to their paying customers for apps and themes it's not generally not good at all. And why should the forum have to pick up the slack for slacking developers?

Sometimes, you literally have to wait WEEKS just for a response, which is usually in the form of a question you've already answered in the support request and then wait WEEKS AGAIN for the follow-up reply to your answer! Honestly I'm not unreasonable and don't expect people to drop everything they are doing just for little 'ol me - but come on guys "weeks", ...really? Sometimes you don't even get a response at all.

But I'm not saying it's all bad, as there are a few developers (John the Fish being among the best) on here, who go above and beyond to volunteer help and I'm blown away by their spirit of generosity and time offered for free (I have even sent posted bottles of wine to some for their help - so it's not all take from me). Even developers with free apps and themes have given a better level of service than some of the paid-for app developers. I have even had developers offer me support and solutions for apps and themes that weren't theirs when the app developer didn't and this restores your faith in the C5 model for a short while, that's until you have another issue that should be sorted by the developer who created it and has sold it. After all, you wouldn't buy a car from Ford and expect Toyota to put it right for you when it goes wrong and you'd be incredibly peeved if they just ignored you. Wouldn't you? Or is that unreasonable lol????

I have even bought support tickets for apps and in the end (weeks later) got support from the forum and not the developer, who ignored (or forgot - nah!) the support request. ...Jeez!

Unfortunately these few (and a couple of them are on the "C5 Beta Crew" and "Important Members of The C5 Community" too) must be effecting peoples decisions when is comes to choosing this platform (it definitely effects my decision about whether to use Concrete5), when there are so many other challenger brands out there catching up with Concrete5. And as such, must be effecting the businesses of the good developers on here?

And it's a sad state of affairs when you have to email the CEO of Concrete5 to get a developer to respond (thanks Franz btw - there is a guy who love his brand - max respect to you) and he has to run around after developers who aren't being professional.

I think Concrete5 is fantastic, but I only use it when I really, really have to. Concrete5 really needs to clean it's house up and get rid of the bad apple developers who aren't interested, aren't committed to the Concrete5 brand values and it's success, are just here for a quick buck and take no or little responsibility for what they create ...and sell!
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
(Thanks for the compliment)

Any open source ecosystem has a mix of developers with various levels of commitment and quality of work. Their commitment varies with events and time and the quality of their work can change with experience. Its not just a c5 problem. I think c5 fares better than most. But being a long established CMS it has had more time than some of the more recent systems to accrue problems in that area.

In particular, there were some serious and committed developers who were very active 18 months ago who became disillusioned by the way the changes to the core and the community were handled when 5.7 was announced.

There are occasionally new developers who submit something to the PRB 'fire and forget' , and those who just about see something though review then ignore it, under the illusion they could hack something together and have a steady stream of dollars coming in for no further effort.

Its impossible for the core team or even active members of the community to police such developers.

What we need is more site builders to post reviews. Not just when an addon or theme is first used, but follow on reviews later when it is or isn't updated, when great new features are added, when support is or isn't answered, when it breaks after core update and stays that way.....

Its impossible for a developer to have a perfect score, no matter how hard they try there will inevitably be an issue somewhere. However, with dynamic and ongoing reviews from users, addons and themes with consistently repeated 1-star reviews will sink to the bottom and those bottom and those with a stream of 4 and 5 star reviews will float to the top.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
I agree with all the issues you raise John, but when it's some of core team developers (by that I mean developers who are Important members of Community and beta team developers) service that is well below par (and I'm sure you know who they are - I know Franz does as he has agreed with me in emails), then why should anyone else up their game? There comes a time in any business when no matter how valuable a person talents are, if they are detrimental to the business/brand then they should be given the opportunity to improve, or booted out if the don't - they devalue the hard work of all the other good developers like you.

And on the subject of reviews, I have seen people that have given quite reasonable (and "unreasonable" also) less than favourable reviews to get blasted by the developer with all their woes and Concrete5 moans (which btw, doesn't instil confidence in the brand) and then you worry if you do this that you are going to get a worse service or ignored next time.

I say all this, not because I want to moan although I am frustrated, but because I still really like Concrete5 and I want it to succeed. But at the end of the day, it not me that will suffer, because I will just move on to another platform (which is what I have done for a few clients, although it's not yet as good as C5, but it is getting there), it's you guys the developers who are losing money.

People just want a system that is going to work and can get a "reasonable" level of support when it doesn't. I don't think that is unreasonable, ...do you?
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
I agree with John on everything but I would add something. We need more competition.

@thebigideasman describes a situation that can only be possible in the absence of choice. Waiting weeks for a developer to answer tickets and help fix problems only happens when the plugin has no competition.

I hate to use Wordpress as an example but for each plugin you have hundreds of competitors and I don't think anybody would wait a week to get an answer. They'd get their money back and move on.

With C5, unless you're buying a gallery, you're pretty much dealing with (near) monopolies.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
@mnakalay, I think you've hit the nail on the head and couldn't agree more.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
JohntheFish
A clarification of terminology
- Core Team = Franz, Andrew, Korvin and others who works for Portland Labs.
- Community Leaders = Those who have been in the community a while and have done enough work, either helping people or developing or promoting.
- Beta = open to pretty much anyone who has asked to be on it and no cleanup of lapsed participants
- PRB = Peer Review Board, a few developers from the community who review marketplace submissions, usually also community leaders.

A review that is just bitching or disguised blackmail reflects poorly on the reviewer. A response that is just bullying and berating the reviewer reflects poorly on the developer. Both reflect poorly on concrete5. Hence the necessity for a balanced and rational stream of honest reviews backed up by clear evidence.

A nuisance with the mechanism of reviews is that an addon or theme user can post multiple reviews and then edit those reviews, but a developer cannot edit their response, so its possible for a response to be left out of context. I wish it were a perfect system. I am afraid I have to agree with you that it is not.

There have been products removed from the marketplace because they don't work and, having been given time to update, still do not work. But that is an extreme measure.

The difficulty arises where something works, but isn't supported. Or its core functionality works, but some fringe functionality is now broken. In such situations there will be those who are happy to go on using it without support and there will be those who run into lack of support issues.

Removing such an addon or theme from the marketplace is a judgement call that can inevitably then run into protracted arguments and re-evaluations, not just with the developer, but also with some of the users who are bemused their favourite unsupported addon or theme is no longer available. Especially if, as @mnakalay has noted, there is no competing product, (even worse, if it can be misconstrued as an attempt to give a competing product an unfair advantage).

A change that I would like to see is a list of 'reviews posted' and 'reviews received' on a member's profile and linked from other review posts. That way purchasers could easily look and assess the reputation of a both a reviewer and marketplace developer, not just that of a single product.

Despite all that, concrete5.org is way ahead of the morality of reviews in the travel business. In my other job as an underwater photographer I unfortunately meet too many locations that have been held to ransom by scamming 'customers' or deliberately smeared by competitors through Trip Advisor.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
Thanks John, ...certainly no complaints from me about any of the core team, just to clarify and apologies for any confusion, but I think it's fairly clear who I actually mean.

And again, I have no problem with anything you say, but having something where an element of the functionality doesn't work, might for some be like having a car where the gear box is screwed, but the rest of the car works perfectly - it doesn't help.

I think there has to be a minimum level of commitment from developers - or make it clear that there is no support offered, if that's the case.

And I also think that no one has the right to bully, be rude, or abuse developers either - I have sacked a client for this. And so have MD's of agencies I have worked for. These people should be warned and then if necessary be taken off Concrete5 too.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
Just like to add that we can blame our partners and suppliers all we like. You either have to sort it, work around it, work with it, or move on, just like the customers will because they aren't interested in our problems - they just want something that works and they can rely on. ...And if it does break down, they want to be confident that it will fixed in a timely manner - not wait weeks before they can restart their business and earn their living - I think that is really unreasonable, because these people have paid you and me in good faith!

At the end of the day, we shouldn't forget that everything we do as designers and developers should be about the end user experience. At the moment in some cases, with some of the major apps from very senior developers in the Concrete5 community, this experience sucks! I'm sorry but it does.
madesimplemedia replied on at Permalink Reply
madesimplemedia
Too right. VIVID have produced a really nice eCommerce add-on and offer it for free which is great, but now they seem to have disappeared. I spent $60 on the Stripe Gateway and it doesn't even install properly. Now been waiting over 2 weeks for any contact from this developer to say what the issue is. I've emailed them direct too but no response.

I want to go and sell C5. I want to go and sell C5 eCommerce. When I show 5.6 or 5.7 to clients they love it, but right now I don't even have an eCommerce option to go and sell.

BTW for anyone who hasn't tried it lately, 5.7 is improving quickly. The first release was very buggy, but I recommend 5.7.4+ (haven't tried 5.7.5+) and I am currently building multiple sites with it.
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
Vivid
I can only comment in regards to our products alone, and specifically in reply to Daves post which I'm directly replying to.

First of all, we love providing quality products to the marketplace. That said, it's quite difficult to support them sometimes, but we understand that support is certainly a necessity (anyone looking for a part time job???). Personally we've gone from a modest sized web shop to a 1 person operation with a contractor or two. That will likely change over the next couple weeks. However, it's made this year a bit difficult.

So if we've dropped the ball, we're always willing to try and correct it, rather it's head on addressing the problem, fixing it and refunding, or offering additional products at no cost. We do what we can and am glad to have the community's business.
s2d replied on at Permalink Reply
s2d
JTF said: "In particular, there were some serious and committed developers who were very active 18 months ago who became disillusioned by the way the changes to the core and the community were handled when 5.7 was announced."

And I'm one of them. I had finally gotten to a point in my situation where I was prepared to devote serious time to developing and supporting new themes and add-ons for C5, but when I showed up and saw the state of affairs here, particularly with the v7 release, I had to reconsider. Should I just develop for v6, and hope the core team continues supporting it as long as I want to continue using it? Then have to re-do everything to stay on board with v7? Or should I bite the bullet and just develop for v7, and face a mountain of frustration working with a release that came out before its time, and not get any sales for a while because not many people are using it, and hope they eventually get all the issues worked out? Just too much uncertainty, either way, to base my own business model on.

C5 really pulled the rug out from under the developer community with v7. They threw the entire architecture "up for grabs" as they put it, and when I finally downloaded and ran v7 in my test environment, I saw they really weren't kidding! I was very pleased with some of the new features - the grid support, the degree of theme customization that could be made available to site content developers, etc. But there were three major things that bothered me.

1. Just the way they chucked the developer community to the curb. v7 imposed a very steep learning curve on developers and site builders, and would require just about all the themes and add-ons in the marketplace to undergo significant redevelopment to continue forward. I understand their desire to innovate - if that's what you'd call it, it's *different*, anyway. But the way they forced so much change all at once on the community leads me to think the core team must not value the involvement of the developer community in promoting and improving their product. Of course, they can do what they want, it's their product. I accept that completely. But I need a stable platform I can rely on to base my own work upon, and the lack of continuity from one release to another makes it unsuitable for my needs. I'm okay with having to make minor to moderate updates with each new release, but not okay with having to redo everything.

2. The entire overall look and feel has gone from eloquently simple, yet flexible and powerful, to become much more convoluted and restrictive. You work with more of your content from dashboard functions. Some of them are rather cryptic, while others require work to be done in multiple, distantly-placed areas of the dashboard functions. There are so many things now that have to be "just so" for some things to work at all. With v6 and prior, you almost didn't have to think, to make your content behave as you wished. My clients loved that.

The core team says they've gone this direction to catch up to more current expectations of how a CMS should work. In my opinion, they've merely caved to all the old school folks who are used to doing everything from a back-room dashboard, and can't seem to wrap their brains around the idea of in-context content development. C5 *was* the future of CMS frameworks. With v7, though there are some newer ideas implemented, I believe it has taken a step back to become more like its old-school competitors.

3. The irony that the work of 3rd party developers are run through a ringer to get on the market, while the core team can release something as flimsy and buggy as v7.

Anyway, I've moved on for now. I will check back occasionally to see how things develop, but for now C5 is completely off my radar.
mnakalay replied on at Permalink Reply
mnakalay
I don't know if others can confirm with their own experience but as far as I'm concerned sales seem to be going ok for 5.7
anete replied on at Permalink Reply
anete
I am a small website/graphic design business, that has been creating websites for around 16 years.As I am a one person show, C5 has been wonderful for me to develop sites that are easy for my clients to update. I create my own themes but do purchase add-ons. I've found the C5 community really helpful over the past 4 years and support for add-ons generally has been good, sometimes it may take a couple of days for a response but I understand that the developers are busy with their own businesses.
As my strength isn't as a developer, I have been following 5.7 with interest and trepidation, as it meant having to invest quite a lot of time into an already heavy workload to learn new ways of doing things.
I tried installing 5.7 a few times over the past 6 months but always reverted back to 5.6 up until the 5.7.4 release. I have nearly completed my first site with 5.7 and will stick with it from now on. Thanks to Ryan at Mesuva I was able to use his basic Skeleton theme which he setup as a simple starting pointhttps://github.com/Mesuva/skeleton-starting-point-for-concrete5.7.... This has been successful in launching me into 5.7. I have a lot to learn and haven't tackled sass/less yet, but hopefully by using it, things will become more familiar.
zanedev replied on at Permalink Reply
zanedev
5.7.5 rocks. Most of the issues are worked out. The UI has a few rough edges but the critical stuff is fixed and it is definitely a solid production worthy piece of software.

Yes it was a bit premature when they did the first 5.7 release but they held to their promises and got it up to speed very fast. Thanks core team you knocked it out of the ballpark and my confidence is even higher than before.

Use the new 5.7 version going forward you won't regret it unless there is an addon you absolutely need that isn't available in 5.7 yet.
mesuva replied on at Permalink Reply
mesuva
This is how we feel, 5.7 has turned out awesome and is continuing to improve. We've got lots of production sites on the go and those are going great.

With the underlying code overhaul and all the new features, I have no hesitation in saying that 5.7 is now better than 5.6. I'll drink to that!

Of course the jump between 5.6 and 5.7 has been very disruptive, but it was an update that was inevitable when you look at the way PHP development has evolved over the last few years, with PSR, composer, etc. We've now got this VERY modern platform, one that is only going to get better. I think a lot of people don't quite understand how much of a code upgrade 5.7 has been. It's more like concrete6.

I'm feeling very positive about concrete5's future, I think we need to spend more time highlighting all the great things about the platform.

With 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 5.7, there is one thing I've constantly done: scratched my head and wondering why more devs aren't using it!

It's on a weekly basic that I'll use something like permissions or rearrange some layout on a c5 site and say something like 'I'm glad I'm not using a different system, I have no idea how that long that would have taken in a system like Wordpress". (my wife/partner Lelita can attest to that)

I need to do more videos...
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
I hope those who initially freaked out the the first 5.7 releases won't abandon concrete5 forever. Yes there were certainly some headaches at first, but the core platform is solid now and you certainly can't blame the core team for trying to take advantage of significant changes in the supporting technology, and, I'm sure, taking the opportunity to implement all of the lessons they've learned through 5.4+. As much as I was truly not excited to go through this transition, it's illogical to expect concrete5 to have remained viable in the long term by sticking with the tried and true as the world speeds past. As I see it, they either had to upset people now by leaping forward, or face slow attrition as people move away from an outdated platform in a few years. The fact that the core team worked so quickly to move 5.7.1 to 5.7.5 is a testament to concrete5's core team.

I do worry a lot about the marketplace. I think some of the really talented developers have turned their backs, whether for valid reasons, general petulance, or just a knee-jerk resistance to change. Concrete5 - for many web designers/developers who aren't sophisticated enough to create their own add-ons - is only as strong as its marketplace. I hope someday soon to be adding my own to the marketplace, but for now it's still relatively slim pickings, and the support for some paid add-ons is non-existent. I'm not entirely sure what the solution is (other than of course to start contributing, which I sincerely wish I had the skill to do!). The catch-22 of course is, the more robust the marketplace, the more attractive it is to potential developers. Right now I think it's at this weird point where developers aren't sure it's worth the investment, thus perpetuating that uncertainty by not placing products in the marketplace. I think it'll take a handful of dedicated developers to get the marketplace up to speed, and then it will be a more attractive opportunity and really take off.

So, I'm not going to be a fair-weather fan just yet and still believe in concrete5...it's a solid platform, it's easy for clients to learn how to use, and it's super flexible and powerful. If/when the marketplace catches up, it's going to be a no-brainer. I hope those developers who threw up their hands come back and help concrete5 be great!
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
I couldn't agree with you more @kspitzley on every point you make.

I too love Concrete5 and while I haven't yet dismissed it, I have certainly sidelined it and moved onto another platform that does, as a "less sophisticated" designer and non-code writer offer me the support I need to stay in business.

I understand that many developers have other jobs to do and indeed I never expect anyone to drop everything they're doing to help me, but when they abandon you and ignore you (especially even when you've paid for additional support), it really sticks in your craw.

Concrete5 should give these people the opportunity to mend their ways, or cut them loose, because it's these developers that are damaging the brand.

I can't run a business like this with an unreliable resource and when my new platform account manager asked me why I moved I said "I love Concrete5, but I can't use it because the support generally, with the few exceptions - sucks!"

Like I said, I haven't jumped ship yet and hoping Franz can sort out whatever the issues are, before it gets a such a bad name that no one will touch it.
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Reply
ramonleenders
I think the marketplace has grown quite a lot last couple of months. I think the marketplace stuck on a couple of pages of add-ons the first few months, but we're down to 14 pages by now. Certainly hope that will continue growing. Me myself will be adding stuff to the marketplace as time goes by. Trying to come up with ideas as much as I can and have univeral stuff out there to use. I've just recently build out an opening times/hours add-on, which initially was for a client project, but which I thought would be usefull for others (designers/concrete5 users) as well. So I invested some of my own time to get this done and hoping to earn back some $$ by having some sales on that. I do run a company and try out stuff. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. But I think having Add-Ons in the marketplace for 40/50/60 dollars in the marketplace will always be better than someone having to programm it from scratch or moving to a different platform where this Add-On already exists.

Some developers say it costs a whole lot amount of time to convert their Add-Ons into 5.7. I do think that's the case when you have an eCommerce platform or whatever that's "big" (big is relative though). But honestly, if you have enough coding skills, it shouldn't take you days/weeks to convert from 5.6 till 5.7. I think people are kind of "scared" to make this step to change from 5.6 to 5.7. I did not want to convert in the beginning either, but that's just because it was the first version and there are always these bugs available that you don't want on a live site. But now it got to version 5.7.4/5.7.5, it's become real stable. Surely, some bugs exist here or there. But what a huge difference code-wise this version is! You've got composer (packages), namespaces and whatnot. Why should we use old PHP code where we can use new technology? It's never too late to learn new stuff and I think one should not be using 5.6 anymore for new projects, but contribute where you can to make 5.7 a real MUST HAVE. Even small Add-Ons matter. Each dollar sold is $0.30 for the Concrete5 team, which means more times being spent to make the core CMS better. So developers, go out there, make Add-Ons and sell some. Eventually this will support Franz and his team to make this better day by day.

Just my 2 cents! :)
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
I agree, there has been growth in the marketplace. I think it's a lot of low-hanging fruit type stuff right now sprinkled with some really great add-ons. Some of the more powerful add-ons from 5.6 are still in limbo (two of the developers I contacted about their plan for converting their 5.6 addons to 5.7 simply never responded, which was disheartening). As a user who relies on the incredible talents of these developers, I'm trying not to be upset at them for what I perceive (key word: 'perceive') as an abandonment of the concrete5 community because things got harder for a little while. I will be completely depressed if I ever have to move to WordPress, and for now, I'd rather try and learn how to make my own add-ons here than shift away from this awesome community and solid platform.

I wish these developers that are turning their backs felt the same way, and I wish I could tell them directly how impressed and grateful I have been for their work in the past and how much I think they can offer this community.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
Again, I totally agree because if one of the developers is who I think you mean, he is incredibly talented - but boy, judging by a recent (deleted) public rant on the forum, is he peeved (rightly or wrongly) with the deal he gets from C5.

However, a few individuals can't dictate the future of this brand.
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
No! Especially when there are some super awesome ones like Mesuva, JohntheFish, jgarcia, Vivid, ramonleenders, SkyBlueSofa, mrkDilkington, c5hub, and others that I'm sure I'm missing!

This whole conversation just inspires me more to strive to be a contributor and not just a user. Got a lot to learn...but no one gets into this field if learning something new scares you :)
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Reply
ramonleenders
If Add-Ons are available for 5.6, but not for 5.7 (and you don't get response from the original author), perhaps some 5.7 developer can recreate this functionality. I say recreate, because you can not copy/paste and edit it to work with 5.7 (without permission that is). Perhaps there are developers willing to make this and make 5.7 the version 5.6 was before!
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
That's actually sort of becoming my plan going forward but I wondered about replicating functionality (without copy/pasting code of course). If I recreate something with the same basic functionality in 5.7, but write the code myself, that's not an infringement on the original 5.6 add-on?
ramonleenders replied on at Permalink Reply
ramonleenders
There's no copyright on it I assume (on the idea I mean). It's not that you're creating Duplo/Lego with another name. You're creating code from scratch. It's not that you're not allowed to make a CMS either (as there are many already). Just don't copy the name, that's most important. Correct me if I'm wrong here though. Some ideas could be really really unique, but if there's no copyright paper for that, I don't think the author has to say anything about it. Look at how many slider Add-Ons are out there already. That's not copyrighted either.
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
Vivid
For what it's worth, depending on what you're looking for, and the level of interest in others, let us know what would be valuable for you.

We have a list of pretty complex apps for C5.7, some of which are public, many aren't. But nothing is impossible.

- Store/eCommerce (and a million extensions nearly complete)
- HelpDesk ticketing system
- Forums
- Member Map (map of members if that's not obvious)
- Store Locator

I'm really curious what people find keeps them stuck on 5.6. I feel like there can't be that much.
thebigideasman replied on at Permalink Reply
thebigideasman
@Vivid - I'd like to see another events calendar booking system with ability to take Paypal payments and/or deposit, as there is only one other add-on like this. But you could make it different by offering multiple booking options - e.g. weeks and days (for when clients only want to block book their accommodation), with different payment for each and with seasonal price variations. Also a payment summary calculator added to this so the customer could see exactly what what it would cost them showing deposit, booking period fee and any additional costs for extras or discounts.

I have a client who I know would be interested in this and happy to discuss it further.
edbeeny replied on at Permalink Reply
edbeeny
Vivid, I think the main thing holding people back from 5.7 is the lack of free themes and add ons.
Looking through the 5.7 marketplace there isn't many add-ons missing, but more are paid apps compared to 5.6
anete replied on at Permalink Reply
anete
As a self employed graphic/website designer who isn't strong in programming skills, C5 has been the perfect fit for me for quite a few years, using it for all the website I develop.

When 5.7 came on the scene I endevoured to be positive and try and embrace the vision the C5 team had for the future. I tried a few times installing 5.7 only to go back to the 5.6 version. That was until a few months back. I am now on my third site using 5.7 and am really enjoying it.

I create my own themes, so add-ons are important to me. Looking through the themes and add-ons the other day I was surprised that quite a few new ones had been added of late. I use @ramonleenders block designer which is fantastic and his support is excellent.

I have always found the support from the C5 community very good when I've needed assistance with things. In particular @mesuva has been great and helped in launching me into 5.7.

It has been a challenging transition and frustrating at times, wishing I had stronger programming skills etc, but I feel I've come through that fog and have definately learned a lot. Of course I still have loads more to learn, but I feel confident in moving forward with 5.7 as a stable and intelligent CMS for me as a designer/developer and a very user friendly solution for my clients to manage their sites.

Keep up the great work C5 team!
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
I'm not a marketplace developer, but I have to say one thing about expecting a ton of free things...yes some basic functionality and themes should be free to give people something to start with. But these developers spend a ton of time developing these themes and add-ons. Even simple ones still take time...not to mention the hours and hours of learning and training they have to go through to get to the point where they can develop themes and add-ons. And there's the ongoing support issues they deal with as well..., which I imagine takes up quite a bit of time on top of development.

I know I enjoy being paid for my time, and while I'm geeky enough to consider this a hobby, I'm not willing to give gobs of my personal time away for free, and I certainly don't expect these developers to either. $15-$40 for a theme or add-on that saves me hours and hours....that's basically a steal in my book. And on top of it, I know a cut goes to the c5 core team that help support this fabulous CMS that took hundreds upon hundreds of hours to develop and maintain...that we get 100% for free. I've never been sold on CMS's that claim to be 100% free...that just does not seem sustainable to me.

I'm all for paying the relatively small costs associated for themes and add-ons that support the developers and core team, and that make me look good to my clients. :)
anete replied on at Permalink Reply
anete
Yes I think the prices we pay for add-ons is very reasonable. I always factor in a certain amount of $'s into my website quotes for the purchasing of add-ons. This gives me the freedom to purchase the items as I see fit at the time of development knowing that it's is being covered.
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
In particular I miss these two add-ons from 5.6:

http://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/image-file-search/...
http://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/proforms/...

And I second the motion to get a well-supported, robust calendar/booking add-on that can be used as a simple list/calendar of events all the way up to a payment booking system.

I think there could be more add-ons that support creating a document library, which i get a lot of requests for. I know we have various single-fileset-based add-ons and the core team's Document Library, but I think there's room for an file management library that combines the functionality of the core team's document library with the above-linked File/Image search add-on. Something that both allows the user to search by keyword, filter by set, and allows for a *controlled* file upload that requires a minimum of a good file title and at least one file set.

Pro Forms in 5.6 was AMAZING - an incredibly flexible, powerful form add-on that could be used as a base for everything from a contact form to a help desk system, and everything in between.

That being said, there are a lot of great add-ons available for 5.7...those areas above are just where it happens to be falling short a little for me.
RadiantWeb replied on at Permalink Reply
RadiantWeb
The second someone is willing to partner and make PFv2 happen, it will be a better, more robust, more flexible, more extendible form building tool than it ever was. I have all kinds of new experience and ideas to make sure of it. I just can not eat that size of product cost all on my own. It's too bad really, such a great tool.
kspitzley replied on at Permalink Reply
kspitzley
I will definitely keep that in mind!! It is an amazing product, and if I know it's possible I can rope your team into a contract that moves it to 5.7, I can once again sell that kind of service. I understand the cost issue completely, it's left a big void in 5.7 for me so I'm, glad to know you're open to the possibility.
buurvrouw replied on at Permalink Reply
buurvrouw
+10 for an event/booking system like ProEvents+PfoForms used to be!
We have ProEvents but no good forms add-on now.