Will concrete CMS v10 start the CMS / marketplace over again like v7, v8, and v9?

Hi Franz,

Can you please clarify if there will be an upgrade path to concrete cms v10 from v9?

The recent email you sent out mentioning it leads us to believe that v10 will kill v9 the same way v9 killed v8 and v8 killed v7 and v7 killed v5.

You mentioned that you will be removing all v8 products from the marketplace soon. This is a little concerning.

Will v9 addons work for v10 or are we going to be left in the same scenario as v8?

Developers abandon their products forcing us to adapt them as our own at a serious cost to our clients.

This has been a repetitive cycle for many years now. It has stunted the growth of the marketplace in a big way.

Can we please get some clarification about your future plans?

As far as I am aware, it is v8 only addons that have not been updated that will be removed. If an addon works across multiple core versions including v9, then the v8 compatible version of the addon will still be available.

Thank you John.

Will downloads for removed addons remain available or will these also be removed?

One objective is that anyone building a site and browsing the marketplace doesn’t have their view cluttered by stuff that is no longer supported and doesn’t work with the current core. Another objective is to cut down on dead-end support issues caused by outdated and unmaintained code.

The “simple” metric is that anything that has been maintained will have been updated to v9. Anything not v9 has not been maintained and is hence abandoned. Anyone starting a new site will be starting with v9 and php8+, so won’t have any use for unmaintained v8 and php7 only addons. Old sites that have not been updated with the core rarely have cause for new addons. So there is no reason to keep stuff that has not been updated to v9.

I expect there will be exceptions. For addon users who desperately want a copy of an unmaintained v8 only addon, they should probably play safe and get a copy now.

As far as I know, removed is removed. v8 addons where the developer doesn’t have time but responds positively can go into the community GitHub.

On your other question in the original post, my experience was that achieving php8 compatibility was responsible for as many changes in my code as v8 to v9. My personal v8 to v9 update strategy was to engineer code to work with both core versions without needing to fork my code into v8 and v9 branches. I too hope that v10 does not introduce as many update hurdles as v9 and especially doesn’t introduce any changes that block code from being engineered to be multi-version compatible.

John’s right.
v7 was a non-backwards compatible jump from v6, but that’s the only time we’ve ever done that, and we certainly don’t want to do it again.

A stock concrete v7 site can absolutely be upgraded to v8 and v9 and will be upgradable to v10 as well.

Now, will there be changes that add-ons/themes need to make to work on new versions? Probably?
Might a development shop that has built a bunch of custom code on top of a version of Concrete need to go through some development work to use the next major version? Yup.

This is kind of a cake and eat it too situation.
If we want ux updates, a better CMS, and new ways to manage content, we have to expect extensions to require updates from time to time too. There’s nothing keeping people from running Concrete v.1 in production, and I’ve certainly seen some very old sites out there.

It’s not like we’re charging some license fee and then sunsetting your software out from under you. We’re simply saying that we can’t provide security updates to every legacy version of Concrete, keep building new features and improving the core, and provide a seamless upgrade path for all extensions, and whatever custom code any 3rd party shop has made, all for free in an open source project.

Look, I get it. We still have client sites running v8 that we have to upgrade. No one is sending me Slack DM’s begging to be the person leading those projects. :wink: Upgrading software is a lot like vacuuming my house. Not a lot of pleasure in doing it, and the longer I don’t, the longer & nastier it gets when it finally happens. It’s a chore, but it is nice to have a freshly cleaned home.

As the project maintainers we’re always going to have to play a balance between offering some security support on recent legacy versions and also championing the need to keep things moving forward. As far as I understand it, it’s either this, or enjoy the version-less experience of SaaS. If there’s another way to manage software, I’m all ears.

We did send an email out to marketplace developers last week pointing out that v9 was first released in 2021 and we’re going to stop offering extensions that are only v8 compatible in 4 months. To me, it just feels wrong to simultaneously be selling extensions for something we’re telling people they should be upgrading away from.

Will we continue to offer downloads for existing licenses for older software? Possibly? We sunsetted the 5.6- marketplace a long long time ago in terms of finding it in our dropdown menus, but those pages still exist on our site and can be found through search. So, if you bought ChadStrat’s calendar add-on in 2012, I think you can likely still download the latest package for that extension. Do I want to promise that we will always do that? Nope. Even that feels like a bad idea to me at this point. I mean, Chad’s certainly not maintaining that. It doesn’t seem very realistic to expect marketplace developers to be providing updates to packages they wrote and sold a decade ago at no additional charge.

It’s not like I can go download ScreenFlow version 1.7 from the email I have archived from 2012 either. :wink: I can go buy a new copy for $165, or I can enjoy the one I have on a USB drive somewhere. Telestream doesn’t make it their job to be the library of congress for my past purchases, at least past a certain point - which is usually a couple major versions back.

That does lead to my last point. On the new mini-marketplace we’ve built and integrated with our SaaS hosting, extensions are offered on monthly & annual subscriptions. Under this model you’re always dealing with the most recent version of the extension’s available codebase, and the extension developer is being compensated overtime to keep their software healthy. I know when Formidable upgraded to v9, they did so in the form of a new extension with a new cost. I think in 2023 in a world of SaaS it makes sense to be thinking about the ongoing cost of maintaining safe and healthily maturing software. Expect our marketplace to continue to move in this direction over time. We’ll always want to embrace the spirit of open source by not relying on compiled code and letting someone take the copy of the code they’ve paid for and run with it when they want. That said, we’ve put our marketplace developers in a bad position by allowing there to be an expectation that upgrades should always just happen and be free forever.

Hope that helps, just trying to make things better and move forward for everyone.

Thank you for all the clarification Franz