The Countdown to Dolphin 7.2
BoonEx loyalists have been waiting patiently for way too long to see a major upgrade to the Dolphin Platform. The latest version of Dolphin (v7.1.6) is solid enough to qualify it as an Apex Platform but Dolphin in its current state has limitations that should have already been taken care of many updates ago. The devout Dolphin supporters will have to wait a little while longer but change is on the horizon. Unfortunately, the change will come at a price…there’ll be some good changes but you’ll have to put up with the bad and the ugly as part of the packaged deal.
The Good – Lots of improvements in the works
BoonEx has been leaking teaser screen shots (with descriptions) of their accomplished improvements scheduled to be released in Dolphin 7.2 and things are looking good. I must say that I’m already a fan of the upgraded “photo uploader”.
The new photo uploader features a new interface and new functionalities (multiple photo upload option, photo preview before upload plus more) and the best part is it will be non-dependent on Flash.
You can get a sneak peak of more of the planned improvements for Dolphin 7.2 here.
Changes to look forward to in Dolphin 7.2
- Redesign of Vital Modules (photos and videos modules among others)
- Responsive Design
- Improved Payments System
- Improved Front-end Content Moderation Tools
- Enhanced Caching of Codes/Scripts (Speedier Site)
- Language System Improvements
- Updated Android and iOS Mobile Apps
- Updated TinyMCE Editor
- Improved Image and File Manger
The Bad – Higher overall cost
BoonEx plans to turn Dolphin into a modular based platform. The core software and base module packages which includes the very basic features of a social network (friendships, status updates, messaging) is expected to be available for download at no cost. Other modules such as blogs and forums will be available at a premium on the BoonEx Market at prices ranging from $10 to $50 per module. BoonEx has already admitted that this new system will lead to a significant increase in price for those looking to build a fully loaded online community using Dolphin v7.2. At present it only cost $599 to build a fully loaded network using the current version of Dolphin (v7.1.6). The cost to build that same network on v7.2 is estimated at $1000. Ouch!
The Ugly – Potential for spying
The current users of Dolphin are a bit uneasy with BoonEx’s new plans to regulate the licensing of their software which is scheduled to be implemented with the release of Dolphin v7.2. The improved software is expected to employ a “phone home” function to authenticate purchased modules API Keys. According to BoonEx, the software will also connect to boonex.com once a day to check for system and modules updates.
For those who aren’t familiar, “phoning or calling home” is the term used to describe the discrete communication of a software installation between users of that software and the software’s developer (s) via an internet connection. Users tend to steer clear of software with implemented “phoning home” functions because of concerns over privacy. These functions have the potential to reveal sensitive user information that goes way beyond the collection of information specific to the installed software. Let’s put things into better perspective…consider this – Hackers and other cyber criminals use the “phoning home” technology in spyware and other malicious computer programs to steal usernames and passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
There’s a little bit of good news that may calm the nerves of a few. Network administrators will be have some control over the way in which their Dolphin installation communicates with BoonEx. Admins will have the ability to turn off module automatic updates and doing so should disable daily communications between installed modules and boonex.com. Of course, there’ll be those who will always have their doubts and remain suspicious about spying.
It will be interesting to see how BoonEx’s plans for Dolphin 7.2 plays out. Some are already crying foul and have vowed to abandon the platform if BoonEx moves forward with their current plans.