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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    This is why I don't generally buy any script with zend or ioncube encoding. Even a relatively "bigger" shop like this one invariably ends up in the crapper or a good company is sold to someone else who runs it into the ground.
    There is a half way house which are companies who sell sourcecode licenses to a large proportion of their code, recognising that this won't necessarily dent sales much if at all and that it can actually be seen as a USP and increase revenue, but who will none the less protect their evaluations because they recognise that not doing so is throwing money down the pan from there being little to no incentive to even the honest prospects to then convert the eval into a paid purchase.

    The real problem here though as others have said was not doing due diligence before hand. Products becoming obsolete or bought out and then not maintained is a legitimate risk, more so in software than many other fields, and then again more so in the market of PHP scripts and the like than other software arenas. However whilst a good product may at some point become stale and not progress relative to alternatives, it will often stay as good as it was when it was bought. A bad product, however, will always be exactly that, a bad product. If the source code is provided then there would be the option tinker with it and try to improve it, but that would cost money and be time better spent elsewhere in the business, and such issues should be resolved by the software providers. There is no substitute for checking that a product performs well with an evaluation, investigating how support issues are handled, and reviewing release notes to see a prior update history of not just new feature additions but also bug fixes. Given that bugs always exist in any non-trivial software, release notes or private communication should reveal a history of bug fixes or otherwise signal concern. If a product performs well, has a history of evolution of new features and bug fixes and a general "good vibe", then whether open or closed source you should be fine. Otherwise, look at the alternative options.

  2. #27
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ioncube
    There is a half way house which are companies who sell sourcecode licenses to a large proportion of their code, recognising that this won't necessarily dent sales much if at all and that it can actually be seen as a USP and increase revenue, but who will none the less protect their evaluations because they recognise that not doing so is throwing money down the pan from there being little to no incentive to even the honest prospects to then convert the eval into a paid purchase.

    The real problem here though as others have said was not doing due diligence before hand. Products becoming obsolete or bought out and then not maintained is a legitimate risk, more so in software than many other fields, and then again more so in the market of PHP scripts and the like than other software arenas. However whilst a good product may at some point become stale and not progress relative to alternatives, it will often stay as good as it was when it was bought. A bad product, however, will always be exactly that, a bad product. If the source code is provided then there would be the option tinker with it and try to improve it, but that would cost money and be time better spent elsewhere in the business, and such issues should be resolved by the software providers. There is no substitute for checking that a product performs well with an evaluation, investigating how support issues are handled, and reviewing release notes to see a prior update history of not just new feature additions but also bug fixes. Given that bugs always exist in any non-trivial software, release notes or private communication should reveal a history of bug fixes or otherwise signal concern. If a product performs well, has a history of evolution of new features and bug fixes and a general "good vibe", then whether open or closed source you should be fine. Otherwise, look at the alternative options.
    I agree... I wouldn't blame a crappy car on the security features given by lojack when it's obviously bad mechanical design of the engine.

    While I do believe having 100% source code is great - I also feel for the company who may lose out by selling to a "customer" who may be a "group" of crackers who are looking to give the code to the general public.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clenard
    I agree... I wouldn't blame a crappy car on the security features given by lojack when it's obviously bad mechanical design of the engine.
    I think you're confusing the point. If any car is locked down so that maintenance can become a risk, then it doesn't matter whether the car is great or mediocre. There may be hell to pay either way.

    I've bought scripts that began very promising and were then followed up by an encoded upgrade and then dead wood. Another one really looked good, was bought out soon after I purchased it and then the new owner just let it die. Can't explain it. Wouldn't even answer emails.

    While I do believe having 100% source code is great - I also feel for the company who may lose out by selling to a "customer" who may be a "group" of crackers who are looking to give the code to the general public.
    There is an alternative. If you're a small company and worried about these issues, enter into an escrow agreement with a low cost but reputable firm. This way anyone who is looking to use the script as a primary component for their site can be protected without concern. Of course, everything needs to be put in perspective - one must weigh the cost of the script and the importance it plays. With dating sites, it could play an extremely critical role even if the script only cost you $500. One PHP upgrade and you could be toast.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    I think you're confusing the point. If any car is locked down so that maintenance can become a risk, then it doesn't matter whether the car is great or mediocre. There may be hell to pay either way.

    I've bought scripts that began very promising and were then followed up by an encoded upgrade and then dead wood. Another one really looked good, was bought out soon after I purchased it and then the new owner just let it die. Can't explain it. Wouldn't even answer emails.


    There is an alternative. If you're a small company and worried about these issues, enter into an escrow agreement with a low cost but reputable firm. This way anyone who is looking to use the script as a primary component for their site can be protected without concern. Of course, everything needs to be put in perspective - one must weigh the cost of the script and the importance it plays. With dating sites, it could play an extremely critical role even if the script only cost you $500. One PHP upgrade and you could be toast.

    No, I think you're getting confused by the analogy.

    There's always "alternatives" to keeping thieves away but none (other than zend, ioncube, etc) work very good. I've seen a million ways people try to keep the scripts from being stolen but they never work.

    The reason companies choose that is, obviously, to protect their interest.

    Of course you know this - but you're not owning that company who is trying to protect their interest.

    But, you're right... a bad company is a bad company. I could say "I wish there was a 100% efficient way to reverse the code to normal" but there isn't or else it wouldn't be effective as it was... everyone would own the script to reverse it.

    It's much easier to ask for better customer support than an Encoded Script. Rather than "not purchase because the script is encoded" - research the company and figure out if it's worth it or not.

    Some companies get blasted for using it and in some cases deserve it. If the company is not known for having solid code - they have no business encoding their script. Then again, as a consumer , people need to research the company they're purchasing from.

    Let's be honest... Where can you find that says "E-Friends" or Alstrasoft is any good? They're terrible and it's obvious. They have customers all over forums pissed off and can't control their situations because they choose not to. With a simple google for E-Friends or Alstrasoft - I'm sure you can find a million links that the company and it's product are no good and they have a ton of pissed off customers?

  5. #30
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    I think the problem is that we aren't really dealing with "companies" in the PHP world for the most part. They are a couple of guys with a web site. It's even possible they may have incorporated but they aren't a business with a history, perhaps several different clients over the years for consulting work, etc. Accordingly the chances that these guys will have other priorities is high.

    Other companies are outsourcing machines, also run by a single person or a very small group of persons. They have little interest or ability to provide good product support because the development was outsourced from the beginning.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    I think the problem is that we aren't really dealing with "companies" in the PHP world for the most part.
    Exactly, and this is what I had in mind with my earlier post. Company size is not so much the issue, with it being preferable to invest in a small company that spends its revenue wisely in order to build a solid foundation for longevity, than one that incurs large amounts of debt and is on the road to ultimate failure. A translation of an article about how this happened to one such PHP company before they barely started is provided here.

    After their first demise thanks to mounting debt and mismanagement, in this case the company in the article were reborn by a few of the former staff and then grew to be one of the successful PHP IDE providers, but in other cases a product could die that way.

    The bigger problem in the PHP arena as slinky suggests is that some products are created and released by people who may even just be school kids, and the commitment and acceptance of the responsibility to provide support and maintain the code may not be there. It's all too easy for anyone to knock together a few lines of PHP code that does something useful, sign up to accept payments with paypal and 2checkout, and start selling it without any awareness or acceptance of the responsibilities that go with having even just one customer. That said, some highly successful and well regarded PHP based products did start with young creators who did have the right strategy, but the market is a real mixture.

  7. #32
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    Very true ioncube. One of the few items that I invested in with some encoding is phpmydirectory (yes, ioncube, ) since it is well written, does the job well, and the data contained within can be exported if I ever needed to migrate. The program is relatively low cost, the support is actually superior, and I'll say that my experience there has been far better than most. I'd have to put them in the very small minority of companies that I've found sufficient for my needs.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  8. #33
    SitePoint Zealot cherie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    If the software doesn't work, then essentially they breached their agreement. The developer can whine, complain and protest that their policies are no refunds but they have NO CHOICE but to give you a refund if there are MATERIAL defects like you claim. They did not deliver on your half of the agreement so you should get your money back. This does not generally apply with minor bugs (always look at the terms of the agreement) but it sounds like a whole lot more than that and essentially the script does not work as advertised. Good luck.
    Unfortunately they state in their TOS "ALSTRASOFT SOFTWARE ARE PROVIDED ON "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. ALSTRASOFT DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES...FURTHER, ALSTRASOFT DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SOFTWARE WILL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE, ACCESSIBLE, ACCURATE, COMPLETE, OR ERROR-FREE."

    I asked for a refund, they have offered me another application at a reduced price. Why I would want anything else from them is beyond me.

    If anyone who is using e-friends can help me out with getting the user uploaded images to work, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Cherie
    foamyindustries.com
    Movies We Watch - we watch it and tell you what we think
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  9. #34
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    I have efriends I bought yesterday and I am trying config.

    Unfortunaly I didnt see this forum before, but now I keep walking

    We can use this forum to help us, so if you have efriends please use this forum

    About images I resolve the poblem in data.php

    $base_path="/home2/domain/public_html/directory/friends";//full path to script

    Where directory is your folder or could be if you install in your public_html

    $base_path="/home2/domain/public_html/friends";//full path to script

    You can use you cpanel to see basepath so he formula is

    Root directory + public_html + your path (folder)

    I am trying config all block of efriends in the middle of page, but have a lot of javascripts, CSS. Anyone can help me in user.php and loging.php?

    Regards

    MACM

  10. #35
    SitePoint Zealot cherie's Avatar
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    I have the data.php scripts all set correctly. They suggested looking at one of the settings in my php.ini script.

    It appears that the entire Alstrasoft site is down. All lit says is "This Account Has Been Suspended
    Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible."

    I did all of my customization using the styles.css (not style.css). That appeared to let me do a lot of things I wanted including moving the log in box, navigation and user info on the main.php page.

    Cherie
    Cherie
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  11. #36
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    Their site seems to be running now. This is just an observation with no inferences intended, but I did notice that in places it shares content with other peoples sites, and that can be a cause for concern. Fair to say that who copied who isn't clear, but via Google, choice phrases from their job search and mission statement page show up for the inverseflow site too, such as here and here. Another site called zipzap matches too here.

    This happens quite a lot on the web, sometimes because people have purchased templates and just filled in the blanks, but can be disconcerting and trigger alarm bells. Seeing whether site content is unique or not can be useful, and it's something that we sometimes take into account with our fraud checking on orders.

  12. #37
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    Hey guys Im a user of the script and I have it installed on two sites and I have no problems now. Read my earlier posts. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT! If you couldnt figure out how to change your admin password like me to prevent hacking. I FIGURED IT OUT!

    Go to the data.php file and change password. Its here that you can also change the border slogan on top of the explorer or firefox window.

    ALSO: I must have a newer version than most of you because I havent noticed any problems in Firefox. daveyboy312005 at yahoo message me directly if you need help I can fix damn near any bugs in the script.

  13. #38
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    HEY REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU GET AN ERROR MESSAGE ON A SCRIPT THA HAS FUNCTIONED PROPERLY AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER YOU CAN DO A DATA BACKUP RESTORE TO FIX ERRORS. BUT THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOUVE HAD YOUR SITE WORKING CORRECTLY AT ONE POINT IN TIME.

    ALSO LETS SAY YOU HAVE AN ERROR- "_/public_html/main.php_string_blablabla_line 32"
    IF YOUVE HAD YOUR SCRIPT OPERATING CORRECTLY BEFORE SIMPLY REPLACE THE .php FILE THE ERROR REFERS TO! In this case it would be the main.php file. NOTE you should always save in a text.doc the main.php you edit when it works right so that you dont lose all of your editing wrk when you get a string line error message referring to a .php file that you cant find and fix the error on. I hop this isnt jibberish please respond with a direct error message. And Ill tell ya how to fix it so long as it is what I have dealt with so far. Just remember that you may need an updated script wich I can send you in a .zip! If you already have a license that is..lol Anyways I have the new script (e-friends) with all of the updates so if you need a new zip file I'll send you one that WILL work for free just install it properly!

  14. #39
    SitePoint Enthusiast UnderTheGun's Avatar
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    try phpfox, Ive heard good things
    "through the coolest haze of this dreamlike maze...."

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherie
    Unfortunately they state in their TOS "ALSTRASOFT SOFTWARE ARE PROVIDED ON "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. ALSTRASOFT DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES...FURTHER, ALSTRASOFT DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SOFTWARE WILL ALWAYS BE AVAILABLE, ACCESSIBLE, ACCURATE, COMPLETE, OR ERROR-FREE."

    I asked for a refund, they have offered me another application at a reduced price. Why I would want anything else from them is beyond me.

    If anyone who is using e-friends can help me out with getting the user uploaded images to work, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks
    That doesn't mean that they can send you crap which they claim works and doesn't work. The situation is a little different if you have the ability to view and use a complete demo and, after your satisfaction, it works. I'm not sure you have that ability with Altrasoft.

    From my recollection of their site and products they are good on the sell but it didn't pass my own standards. It seemed to be potentially outsourced work and I didn't have any sense of confidence of support with the company. I passed on all their options even at a time when they seemed to offer what the marketplace wanted. "Seemed" is the operative word.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  16. #41
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    OMG. You guys saved me almost $500. I almost bought this software yesterday until I read this forum. Your experiences with Alstrasofts almost sound like the experiences I had with WebScribble.

    What kills me is both of the companies almost never have a negative review on Hotscripts.com.

  17. #42
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    I never rely on anything at Hotscripts. It's always had an extremely poorly maintained comment system and sometimes my comments would simply never appear for arbitrary reasons only the site owner knows. If you find something on Hotscripts, look anywhere else for reasonably good, honest, informative reviews of the product as a whole.
    My law forum and legal information website -- I also buy websites you may wish to sell

  18. #43
    SitePoint Zealot cherie's Avatar
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    ISPs that successfully run e-Friends?

    Can anyone that has gotten e-friends to work recommend an ISP? We can't get this to work at 1&1.com. My regular and reliable ISP is not running the correct MYsql. I have no desire to use one of their affiliated ISPs as they are even less responsive that Alstrasoft.

    I just want to get this up and all of it running.

    thanks for your help in advance.
    Cherie
    foamyindustries.com
    Movies We Watch - we watch it and tell you what we think
    chickenflicker.com - everyone needs a chicken a day

  19. #44
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    I don't use any alstrasoft, but I just switched to LiquidWeb hosting, and they were VERY accomdating with the versions of mysql and apache that i needed to have.

    When you call, they pick up the phone.
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    oops, I did it again...re-relaunced July '07

  20. #45
    SitePoint Enthusiast nickthrolson's Avatar
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    altrasoft sucks i got the e-friends script never got my $$ back from them waste of $300

  21. #46
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    A link to this thread, plus links to more reviews of AlstraSoft software can be found at http://www.alstrasoft-reviews.com

  22. #47
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    So, which software, would you all collectively recommend, if it were to be a YouTube clone, Or roundabout that type, and maybe even more.

    Keen to know.

  23. #48
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    could som1 please give me some advice. i am looking to start a social network site for a niche audience, starting of with a cheap software (max 300) and then upgrade the site once i have enough users. i have no knowledge of programming or codes but am a quick learner. do u think its possible for som1 like me to be able to run a software such as alstrasoft or phpfox without the knowledge i.e just by reading the manual.

    also these softwares require sql, linux etc but could i edit the skins and admin controls on my normal windows computer and then send that version to the hosting co.

    your help would be much appreciated.

  24. #49
    SitePoint Enthusiast firmaterra's Avatar
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    If your thinking of spending 300$ on alstrasofts video share enterprise dont bother. I was the fool who did and the script is incomplete. there's problems with sql queries mostly and you'd have to understand how to rewrite database queries. the script is even missing lines of code in the config.php file! As someone else said support is non-existent. I've had to download js files to include in the scripts libraries as the script calls them but their non-existent!

    I'm sorry I ever went near these guys. Have most of it working now (still can't play videos only upload them). this script can be found for free if you look in any case. If you do go ahead and have any probs pm me and I'll try help ya.

  25. #50
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    There is no alternative. noone has a video sharing script.


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