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Upcoming releases. What to expect.

Speed is huge!!! There is no way in today's world that people will be attractive to a slow site. Cheetah will rock!!

I think it's important to look at who will be the average person wishing to use Cheetah? Are we catering for a TOP-END user base who can handle all these server and database settings with ease, or the Average Joe who struggles to make sense of how Page Manager works. I'm at the Average Joe end of the spectrum I just want to present a good social networking script to my users and I'm not overly concerned if TinyMce or whatever will allow for emojis. Speed is still important. Places like Australia and even the USA where the Internet isn't up to scratch, anything that slows a program down should be considered fatal.

 

 

It is slowing down database operations

I wonder if that is the reason UNA is so much slower than Cheetah?  I think UNA is fully using InnoDB engine.

It's possible. Because of how InnoDB works, the database server needs to be properly configured in regards to key_buffer_size and innodb_buffer_pool_size based on the amount of ram the server has. And the more ram the better.

Probably other tweeks as well. InnoDB is suppose to be faster. But i don't see it. But i also don't have time to play with it. And if it requires a ton of server tweeks to get it to perform the way it's suppose to, then i can't expect those that use Cheetah to do all of that.

 

It is slowing down database operations

I wonder if that is the reason UNA is so much slower than Cheetah?  I think UNA is fully using InnoDB engine.

Ok. Update on the database conversion. After much testing and consideration i have decided not to convert the entire database over to InnoDB and utf8mb4.

Reasons.

1) It is slowing down database operations.
2) It takes 3-4 times longer to install and uninstall a module.
3) If someone selects all modules to be installed, the script will timeout in the middle of the operation which can cause other problems.
4) The actual conversion on even a empty site takes close to 5 minutes. A fully loaded site, i don't even want to guess as to how long it will take. And the upgrade script will timeout before it is done as it did with me.

I am not willing to sacrifice that much speed for the convenience of full Unicode support.

Thus i have decided i will convert only the tables that need converting to support the full Unicode character set where needed.

So this database upgrade will be delayed for a while while i figure out what tables i need to do and the best way of doing it.


 

Where Cheetah/Dolphin displays an asterisk if a field has been incorrectly filled in, Wiccle actually states what the problem is.

Yes, this was also a complaint I had from users.  If you go to the circle it would tell you the problem but many had trouble understanding that.  

I'm not suggesting Cheetah should look or work like Wiccle. I simply agree with the Boonex member that some of the latter's features are good and "could" be a big plus if incorporated into Cheetah.

I've since been able to get Wiccle to work by entering a registration code I found somewhere into the database. I won't be using it as a working site because several organisations claim it was vulnerable. However, it will be interesting to explore some of the features that could find there way into Cheetah, considering Wiccle's code was open source.

Here's one of the features I mentioned some time ago in the Suggestions section if I recall. Where Cheetah/Dolphin displays an asterisk if a field has been incorrectly filled in, Wiccle actually states what the problem is. This is exceptionally handy for dyslexic people like myself, or people using smaller screens where the asterisk may be easily missed. 

Most scripts that offer this facility usually say "User name or password are incorrtect". Wiccle actually tells you which one is incorrect. For example, if you enter the correct password, but the wrong user name, the message will read "User xxxx not found!"

I think it's highly unlikely that Modzzz will focus on Cheetah soon, and it's most unlikely that Anton ever will. 

I suggest that Cheetah users continue to purchase 7.4.2 compatible modules from the Boonex store and convert them to Cheetah using Deano's existing converter, or wait until it's included with cheetah. I don't see any problem with this approach. The user agreements on the modules I've looked at say "one site only" and do no specifically specify a Dolphin site. I feel that Modzzz in particular would rather get money from existing modules instead of wasting money converting his modules for a small user base.

Provided Cheetah can actually use the converted modules, I don't see any problem with this.

If there isn't a web site or YouTube presence for Cheetah, it will be very difficult to market.  If you do a Google search for any of of the following,  the results should be of interest:

- Best social networking script
- Best script like facebook
- Best content management script
- and dozens more

Dolphin, UNA, or Boonex are rarely, if ever mentioned. Even sites reviewing the best 20 - 50 social networking scripts fail to list any of these for some reason. This is odd considering that Dolphin has been around for years.

When Deano updates the database, he's literally done everything he can to bring the script into the 21st century, except for one thing: How easy it is for admins to develop a site. 

In my opinion, ease of use for admins should be the number one development priority. This needs to be supported with a manual and lots of tutorials on YouTube. Deano, I somehow think you can't possibly do all this alone. I've written a couple of tutorials, but they're a drop in the bucket. In a few months I'll be 80, my main interest is scale model making and I just don't have time to do much more.

I feel there's a need to develop a support group, something Geek_Girl touched on right at the start. That may attract outside programming people who are ready to contribute. With sites like Discord and even this forum, it shouldn't be difficult to organise such a group and keep it focused. 

A Boonex member once wrote to me and said if Boonex obtained the defunct Wiccle and used many of the features it offered, Dolphin would be the best script in the world. I was only able to obtain the free version of Wiccle that had to be registered for ongoing use after a 14 day trial. Unfortunately the registration page closed down when Wiccle folded, so I was locked out. I only used the Admin section, but there were some very interesting features there and I could see where the Boonex member was coming from. Despite the company closing down over unresolved internal disputes, Wiccle was never taken up by someone else. Having said that, there's a mountain of documentation out there and heaps of tutorials on YouTube.

I have a feeling that Wiccle's template was made up of graphic elements, Thus it may have been difficult to change the design. I was hoping to find out but . . .

 

 

The update system does not automatically install updates.

Thank you Deano; you will be surprised at how many UNA sites got trashed because auto updates were in place.  Users would come in the next day after an update to find parts of the site no longer working.  One of the first things I do with a client's UNA site is to turn off auto updates.

This sounds great Deano; you are creating a first rate platform that will be sure to entice more users.  There are many that went to UNA and are not that happy with the decision.  I have talked to Modzzz and he has shown some interest in converting his modules to Cheetah.  At the moment, he is busy converting them to the UNA platform.

That's fine and as for other developers, hopefully they will see Cheetah as a bad a** platform.

As i am sure many of you are aware, we do not have any module developers here providing modules for Cheetah. Thus those that use Cheetah are still forced to use Dolphin modules on their sites. The lack of developers is a bit disappointing, but it is what it is, and i need to move forward and at the same time make things as easy as possible for those that are using Dolphin modules.

So with that said, i would like to point out a few changes i will be making to make things not only easier for you, but easier for me as well.

1) Cheetahs Database will be upgraded. This change is switching from standard utf8 collation to utf8mb4 collation. This will allow for the full unicode character set to be supported by Cheetah. The second part of the database upgrade is switching from the old MyISAM database engine standard to InnoDB. A more modern database engine which is becoming the new standard.

2) Cheetah will be switching from the Symantec versioning system to the CalVer versioning system. This change i had mentioned from the beginning and i noted on the sites release schedule page. Versions will switch from something like this. 1.2.0 to something like this. 21.12.13.

In that example 21.12.13 can be represented as December 13, 2021. The version is basically the date it was released as YY.MM.DD

Also note that this will create a compatibility issue with 3'rd party modules due to the fact that the compatible with setting in the modules config file will not match the new versioning system. This will be resolved by removing the compatibility requirement check for the time being. It will remain disabled until module developers get onboard with this project.

3) Cheetah will have a built in updater that will allow for updates to be released into beta and stable channels to be downloaded by Cheetah. There will also be built in editors powered by ACE to allow update files to be patched easily by the end users before the update is installed. The update system does not automatically install updates.

This update system will replace the current way that Cheetah is updated. This is being done mostly for my benefit because it will improve the speed in which i can provide updates.

Once this new update system is in place, updates will be released as i develop them. Every 6 months the full installer that will be available for download will be updated based on the current version at the time i create the full install package.

4) Cheetah will have a built in Dolphin module converter. This will make things easier for you. You can just simply upload the module to the site as it would be on a dolphin site, and when you go to install it, Cheetah will detect that it is not been converted for use with Cheetah and will ask if you want to convert it.

Having the converter built in also allows me to keep it updated easier and will also be able to help me deal with any future changes i make to Cheetah that might affect 3'rd party modules.

These above changes i plan on making through December with the last one maybe in January.

I wanted to get these things out of the way for the start of the new year. Once that new update system is in place i will be able to work on things faster and more efficiently.

The database change will be the first of the changes to be released and will be soon. Within 1 to 2 weeks.