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"Interchange 6"? Really?

 

 

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dances_with_peons at live

Sep 27, 2011, 1:58 PM

Post #1 of 27 (598 views)
Permalink
"Interchange 6"? Really?

Am I the only one that finds a bit...I don't know...misleading?
Disingenuous?...that "Interchange 6" is even being named as such? I mean,
it's already been established that:

* It will have a whole new architecture -- the "ants" vs "rhino" thing;
* There is little if any emphasis on compatibility with the IC that everyone
here has come to know;
* Existing IC installs won't be upgradable at all because of this, and will
have to be totally rewritten -- or IC5 kept alive indefinitely, or some
plugins written to allow "IC6" to use IC5 catalogs.

Seriously, it sounds like a whole new product. What even makes it
Interchange?

/


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jure.kodzoman at informa

Sep 27, 2011, 3:26 PM

Post #2 of 27 (591 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

>Am I the only one that finds a bit...I don't know...misleading?


* the knowhow
* the community
* ideas
* concepts

The fact is, IC hasn't had "idea" changes for a while. And while racke's
approach is a bit "revolutionary" it takes all the knowledge from IC5
and moves it toward a modern perl infrastructure for e-commerce.

That's my opinion at least.


regards,
jure




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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 27, 2011, 4:42 PM

Post #3 of 27 (590 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

>>Am I the only one that finds a bit...I don't know...misleading?
>
>
> * the knowhow
> * the community
> * ideas
> * concepts
>
> The fact is, IC hasn't had "idea" changes for a while. And while racke's
> approach is a bit "revolutionary" it takes all the knowledge from IC5
> and moves it toward a modern perl infrastructure for e-commerce.

I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time and
money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built around IC.

I understand how he feels. However, If Perusion, Peter, or End Point aren't
freaking out about it, then I would rely on what Peter said, and that there
will be a path of some sort for all of us.

I'm sure there were a couple IRC meetings, and everyone decided this was
best. I think David (and I) were just taken aback by the way that Racke
phrased it - as I was too a bit freaked out because I am in the midst of
several large projects with the type of clients that are with you for life.
The thought that I pour tons of time and money into their projects and have
custom code built right now and for the next 2 years only to know I am going
to have to learn something new and rewrite everything - free of charge - is
a bit hard to swallow.

I'm not against rewriting large applications if there are benefits (like
UTF8 everywhere), but I am put off that there is currently an unknown
(unstated) upgrade path. Is my all the tech I currently have going to cost
me $40k to rewrite out of my own pocket? From today till the the day IC 6 is
actually ready to handle my apps, will the tons of time and 20k more I put
into 5.x just have gone down the drain? Am I basically working for free
right now?

I trust Mike, Racke, John, and Peter so I feel okay with leaving it at that.
However I can see that the community would want more than the roadmap. Maybe
someone can describe what it will be like when ready. What will the code I
use in the page be like to achieve [query], [if], [scratch], or what kind of
rework will all my usertags will need?

There are tons of people putting in a lot of time and money into their tech
and there is a hole - not what is going to happen with IC, what is going to
happen with their tech? Did we make a mistake forging new multi-year
projects on IC?

Anyways, like I said, I trust the guys, but it would be nice to know how it
will work (for us) for our own decisions we've been making thinking IC will
be there for us.

Paul



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marty.tennison at dripdepot

Sep 27, 2011, 5:10 PM

Post #4 of 27 (585 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM, Paul Jordan <paul [at] gishnetwork> wrote
>
>
> I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time and
> money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built around IC.
>
> I understand how he feels. However, If Perusion, Peter, or End Point aren't
> freaking out about it, then I would rely on what Peter said, and that there
> will be a path of some sort for all of us.
>
> I'm sure there were a couple IRC meetings, and everyone decided this was
> best. I think David (and I) were just taken aback by the way that Racke
> phrased it - as I was too a bit freaked out because I am in the midst of
> several large projects with the type of clients that are with you for life.
> The thought that I pour tons of time and money into their projects and have
> custom code built right now and for the next 2 years only to know I am going
> to have to learn something new and rewrite everything - free of charge - is
> a bit hard to swallow.
>
> I'm not against rewriting large applications if there are benefits (like
> UTF8 everywhere), but I am put off that there is currently an unknown
> (unstated) upgrade path. Is my all the tech I currently have going to cost
> me $40k to rewrite out of my own pocket? From today till the the day IC 6 is
> actually ready to handle my apps, will the tons of time and 20k more I put
> into 5.x just have gone down the drain? Am I basically working for free
> right now?
>
> I trust Mike, Racke, John, and Peter so I feel okay with leaving it at
> that. However I can see that the community would want more than the roadmap.
> Maybe someone can describe what it will be like when ready. What will the
> code I use in the page be like to achieve [query], [if], [scratch], or what
> kind of rework will all my usertags will need?
>
> There are tons of people putting in a lot of time and money into their tech
> and there is a hole - not what is going to happen with IC, what is going to
> happen with their tech? Did we make a mistake forging new multi-year
> projects on IC?
>
> Anyways, like I said, I trust the guys, but it would be nice to know how it
> will work (for us) for our own decisions we've been making thinking IC will
> be there for us.
>

I'll throw in my 2 cents. :)

This feels a lot like the days when the BBS was dying and we had 1000's of
hours invested in BBS technology and then all of a sudden everything
changed, almost overnight. Those were hard days, but I learned a lot, I
think.

Personally, I see Interchange as being a viable, if not optimal, platform to
run under for quite a few more years. I don't see any new technologies that
Interchange cannot adapt to and utilize with a little coercing. I think
Racke and the interchange group are going in the right direction. At some
point in every software life-cycle you have to make some radical changes or
die. And now is the time to do it. With the emergence of the Real-time Web
and new technologies such as WebSockets, we are facing new challenges that
go way beyond what commonly used modules like LWP were designed for. Because
of this the whole client server stack needs to be rethought with such
concepts as Comet, LWPpng or the like. And with the popularity of things
like REST and JSON it's moving quickly.

So I think the Interchange Development group is going in a good direction
and in the end, it has to be done in order to be competitive and leverage
other projects. I don't know how much I can participate in the transition
only because I've already committed to different technologies. I'm hoping
that some of my current work will be able to be ported to IC 6.

Well, that's just my opinion. I still enjoy programming interchange, it
does everything I need it to do.

--

- - -- ---- ---------------------------------------------------- --- -- - -

*Marty Tennison*

- -- --- ---------------------------------------------------------- --- --


jon at endpoint

Sep 27, 2011, 5:32 PM

Post #5 of 27 (591 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Tue, 27 Sep 2011, Paul Jordan wrote:

> I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time
> and money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built
> around IC.

Nobody can throw away his skills. They may slowly atrophy if they are only
useful on older technologies. We all have to keep up with change.

As to the question about whether it's "even Interchange" if it changes so
much, just consider history. Minivend 4 was a big change from Minivend 3,
which was a big change from Minivend 2. Perl 5 was a huge change from Perl
4. It still felt like Perl, just much better.

> The thought that I pour tons of time and money into their projects and
> have custom code built right now and for the next 2 years only to know I
> am going to have to learn something new and rewrite everything - free of
> charge - is a bit hard to swallow.

You don't have to learn anything new, and you don't have to write
anything. It's one of the beauties of open source. If you host your own
software based on open source on your own server, why would you have to
rewrite it or learn anything new?

Consider the software stack of an average Interchange deployment:

Linux: One of the most popular operating systems on the planet, with
several popular and well-maintained distributions to choose from.

Perl: Perl may not be the hippest language around right now, but it's been
remarkably stable, is well-maintained, and has a more vibrant ecosystem in
CPAN than ever before.

Interchange: Interchange 5 is in maintenance mode. A quick review of its
commit history makes that clear. But it's stable, and makes relatively few
demands even when you upgrade. Compare that to the huge amount of churn in
the Ruby on Rails platform, or Django and Python -- in both cases,
upgrading either the language or the framework brings serious amount of
breakage. It's likely worth it, the cost of progress, but it's still a
cost, and people don't pay much of those kinds of costs with Interchange
5.

PostgreSQL or MySQL: Both very widely used, stable, and maintained
databases. Even with the uncertainty Oracle has brought about MySQL's
future, you can choose from Percona, Drizzle, or MariaDB. MySQL is going
to be around. And PostgreSQL is better than ever, progressing amazingly
quickly.

There are hundreds of serious Interchange 5 applications running out
there, and all of us on the Interchange core team have a strong interest
in keeping Interchange 5 maintained. We've been maintaining it because our
customers need it, and that will continue to be the case. There's almost
no chance that all Interchange 5 sites will be migrated to Interchange 6
or anything else within the next 5 or even 10 years, because migrations
are expensive, time-consuming, and difficult, and Interchange 5 works
well.

In fact, we could use help with the maintenance of Interchange 5. Very few
people actually contribute to it, and there are lots of things to do, for
example, improving compatibility with Perl 5.14 and UTF-8.

> However I can see that the community would want more than the roadmap.
> Maybe someone can describe what it will be like when ready. What will
> the code I use in the page be like to achieve [query], [if], [scratch],
> or what kind of rework will all my usertags will need?

Talk is cheap. I'm not very interested in talking about what Interchange 6
will be like, because we've done that plenty, and that keeps it in the
realm of vaporware, where it's been for years. Obviously we have to
discuss features and architecture to make something coherent, but that can
be done at a small level, with lots of code writing. Without code, the
talk is wasted.

Let's just try it out as it develops, and see. Better yet: Get involved!
Write some code! Ask Racke where you can help and I'm pretty confident he
will tell you how you can help. You can help guide Interchange 6's
direction if you contribute.

Just like with any other true open source project.

Jon


--
Jon Jensen
End Point Corporation
http://www.endpoint.com/

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emailgrant at gmail

Sep 28, 2011, 4:31 PM

Post #6 of 27 (583 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

>> I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time
>> and money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built around
>> IC.
>
> Nobody can throw away his skills. They may slowly atrophy if they are only
> useful on older technologies. We all have to keep up with change.

I've been pondering lately whether to continue forward with IC or
rewrite my store in something different. IC works and as Jon pointed
out, "you host your own software based on open source on your own
server" so there's no reason I can't continue to do so with everything
as-is. If I'm not satisfied with that and I want to stay on the
cutting edge, I have 3 options from what I can figure:

1. rewrite completely custom from the ground up

Compared to utilizing a framework, this provides more flexibility but
requires massively more ongoing development effort to achieve the same
result.

2. rewrite in another framework such as Magento or Spree

I'm pretty sure most if not all frameworks competing with IC claim to
provide "100%" flexibility, and yet I've read horror stories about
converting a complex online store from one to another. The stories
weren't horrible because the process was difficult, they were horrible
because after a huge amount of effort the process turned out to be
impossible. I've been working with IC for probably 8 years and I've
never been able to stump it. I've never felt like what I was trying
to do "won't work in" or "isn't a good fit for" IC. Since my store is
complex, I can't trust a platform other than IC to provide adequate
resolution.

3. wait for IC6 and rewrite

The nice thing about IC6 is it's still IC. Because of this, I feel
like I can trust it to eventually work as well as IC which makes it
the right platform to eventually migrate to.

> Perl: Perl may not be the hippest language around right now, but it's been
> remarkably stable, is well-maintained, and has a more vibrant ecosystem in
> CPAN than ever before.

I just hope people continue to write and maintain Perl API's for their software.

> In fact, we could use help with the maintenance of Interchange 5. Very few
> people actually contribute to it, and there are lots of things to do, for
> example, improving compatibility with Perl 5.14 and UTF-8.

Perl 5.14 doesn't work well with IC? Should the two be considered
incompatible for now? Gentoo will surely be stabilizing perl-5.14 in
its Portage tree before too long.

> Let's just try it out as it develops, and see. Better yet: Get involved!
> Write some code! Ask Racke where you can help and I'm pretty confident he
> will tell you how you can help. You can help guide Interchange 6's direction
> if you contribute.

Has IC ever been considered for Google's Summer of Code?

http://code.google.com/soc/

- Grant

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jon at endpoint

Sep 28, 2011, 5:02 PM

Post #7 of 27 (584 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Wed, 28 Sep 2011, Grant wrote:

> 2. rewrite in another framework such as Magento or Spree

Those are both options, and have been for a few years. I presume Perl and
the CPAN ecosystem are a big reason why many Interchange users would be
interested in Interchange 6.

A few notes on the two:

Magento: Many features, big community, reportedly hard to customize, and
hardware hungry and bog-slow without serious optimization efforts. And
either you like/tolerate PHP or you don't.

Spree: Built on Rails, so all of Rails' benefits (and drawbacks of
frequent churn and broken compatibility); modular; more resource hungry
than Interchange, but less than Magento; good but lots of churn between
versions.

> I just hope people continue to write and maintain Perl API's for their
> software.

I think Braintree is the only service I've seen that didn't have a Perl
module, and they've since remedied that. I too hope that people continue
to support Perl. That's partly up to us -- we have to let people know
we're using it and need it to be supported.

> Perl 5.14 doesn't work well with IC? Should the two be considered
> incompatible for now?

The problems with Safe and Encode have gotten worse in 5.14, affecting
even setups not using UTF-8.

> Has IC ever been considered for Google's Summer of Code?

No, but good that you mention it because it would be neat and Interchange
6 would be a really good project for a student to work on.

Jon


--
Jon Jensen
End Point Corporation
http://www.endpoint.com/

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emailgrant at gmail

Sep 28, 2011, 5:37 PM

Post #8 of 27 (609 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> I think Braintree is the only service I've seen that didn't have a Perl
> module, and they've since remedied that. I too hope that people continue to
> support Perl. That's partly up to us -- we have to let people know we're
> using it and need it to be supported.

google-api-adwords-perl got off to a rocky start:

http://jjnapiorkowski.typepad.com/modern-perl/2010/03/google-do-no-evil-to-perl.html

but looks to be well-supported now:

http://code.google.com/p/google-api-adwords-perl/

>> Perl 5.14 doesn't work well with IC?  Should the two be considered
>> incompatible for now?
>
> The problems with Safe and Encode have gotten worse in 5.14, affecting even
> setups not using UTF-8.

Got it, I'll mask '>=dev-lang/perl-5.14'.

- Grant

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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 28, 2011, 5:38 PM

Post #9 of 27 (583 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

>>> I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time
>>> and money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built
>>> around
>>> IC.
>>
>> Nobody can throw away his skills. They may slowly atrophy if they are
>> only
>> useful on older technologies. We all have to keep up with change.
>
> I've been pondering lately whether to continue forward with IC or
> rewrite my store in something different. IC works and as Jon pointed
> out, "you host your own software based on open source on your own
> server" so there's no reason I can't continue to do so with everything
> as-is. If I'm not satisfied with that and I want to stay on the
> cutting edge, I have 3 options from what I can figure:
>
> 1. rewrite completely custom from the ground up
>
> Compared to utilizing a framework, this provides more flexibility but
> requires massively more ongoing development effort to achieve the same
> result.

I actually welcome rewrites. My main issue was that instead of a fork, it's
as if IC5.x has been put to bed when a variable ic6.x is still 2 years away.
The first demo is slated for July 2012.

So from a business standpoint, anything I am doing now - no matter how well
written, will assuredly need a rewrite sooner than planned. As these systems
grow and evolve, at some point you have to say do I keep dumping time and
money into this, or do I need to get the client onto IC6. This is something
that was never in the original estimate, and it is not a trivial task
considering a rewrite, and all the testing that go along with replacing
something that is already working.

That attitude was based on Racke's phrasing, which I took out of context but
that Jon and Peter have clarified.

But I agree with you somewhat in that, will IC 6.0 be good? I think it will
because the same people that wrote 5.x are writing 6.x, and they are not
dummies. Will it still be IC? No, even though Jure said it will use the
concepts and ideas of 5.x I have yet to hear anything mentioned that will be
the same. So what will it be? It will be the Next IC. That means it will be
better on memory, more easily configured and maintained, and more compatible
with existing (non IC) plugins.

The way I see it, if IC5.x continues to operate for another 5 years, I'll
take on the rewrite on my own time. What can affect this is the PCI standard
making keeping up to date more of a priority, and some updates, like perl,
breaking IC, but there appears to be maintenance support.

I'd like to see some things happen though.

#1 I'd like to see a realistic guesstimate when a fully function IC
replacement will be ready. Whether it is 2 years or 5 years makes a lot of
difference how I run my business.

#2 Are there some projects that the community can fund that will "lessen the
blow"? Maybe we can start using the new syntax now with a middle man? This
will lessen rewrites of tomorrow at the cost of speed today. I'm fine with
that.

#3 Is it possible for the community to pay for an interim tool that that
will run IC 5.x and 6.x simultaneously for a domain? This will allow one to
migrate to the new system over a year or two. We can build new features for
clients in IC 6.0 while taking our time converting older code. I would think
the main issue would be session management? I do primarily back office
systems, very complex compared to a store. It irk's me that I would need to
work in IC5.x bang up to the date that a full rewrite is done... It's not
like a store where complex features are less frequently requested.

Who knows, maybe we can start writing 6.x code in 5.x as or running IC 6.x
apps inside or alongside 5.x by next summer...

I guess what I am asking for is akin to XP Mode... We need a IC5 Mode :-)

#4 Can someone at the Dev Group throw up or link to an interim wiki or forum
for users to use as they wish? I'd like to post tags that I have available,
and others could too. We can also try to get funding together for IC 5.x or
6.x projects - which depend largely on the answer to #1. If you guys can
pick a good one, even if it is off site, and link to it (make it official)
we'll take care of the rest. Although it would be nice if it was somehow
searchable on the main site.

I know I'd like to spur a feature rich coupon system as mentioned a few
months back, for ic 5.x or 6.x. One of the forums can even be about IC6.
You might think I can do this on my own, but I'd rather have something that
has the potential to be indexed in your search, or something that at least
one of you is already familiar with. I myself have never dealt with forums
so would be picking one out of a hat.


---
Lastly, I think in the begging of 2012, or possibly sooner, I will throw up
some redesigns of icdevgroup.com, because it does have an image and
marketing problem. The fact that starting to use it today assures a more
complex tomorrow makes it even worse, so, we need to spin that in a positive
light, and we need to let people know it is a product to take seriously.

Paul





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peter at pajamian

Sep 28, 2011, 9:00 PM

Post #10 of 27 (592 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On 29/09/11 13:38, Paul Jordan wrote:
> So from a business standpoint, anything I am doing now - no matter how
> well written, will assuredly need a rewrite sooner than planned. As
> these systems grow and evolve, at some point you have to say do I keep
> dumping time and money into this, or do I need to get the client onto
> IC6. This is something that was never in the original estimate, and it
> is not a trivial task considering a rewrite, and all the testing that go
> along with replacing something that is already working.

Not necessarily, IC5 will be around for ages (I would say a *lot* longer
than five years). You can leave your existing sites on IC5 and they
will continue to happily churn away for a long time to come, and it will
be supported. Also there will eventually be a clear migration path so
you can move your sites over to IC6. I think that when the
compatibility plugins are ready it should be a little bit more difficult
than upgrading from an older version of IC (say IC4.8 or 5.0) to the
current version. It will mean having to install any base modules for
IC6 and making a few "compatibility" tweaks in catalogs. While a lot
can happen between now and then my personal belief is that there will be
compatibility plugins to support ITL, usertags, catalog and global
config files, actionmaps, jobs, etc. The base goal will be to take a
current standard demo shop and get it to run with minimal changes on
IC6, then to add in any other needed compatibility. At least that's how
I see things progressing.

> The way I see it, if IC5.x continues to operate for another 5 years,
> I'll take on the rewrite on my own time. What can affect this is the PCI
> standard making keeping up to date more of a priority, and some updates,
> like perl, breaking IC, but there appears to be maintenance support.

Right, I am sure that those sorts of changes will be the minimum that we
continue to support in IC5.

> #1 I'd like to see a realistic guesstimate when a fully function IC
> replacement will be ready. Whether it is 2 years or 5 years makes a lot
> of difference how I run my business.

Stefan is the person in the best position to answer this.

> #2 Are there some projects that the community can fund that will "lessen
> the blow"? Maybe we can start using the new syntax now with a middle
> man? This will lessen rewrites of tomorrow at the cost of speed today.
> I'm fine with that.

For now I think we need to focus on getting an initial release out, that
will be mainly up to Racke. I think maybe funding some design work for
a demo shop might go a long ways towards that.

In the future, funding would help to add new plugins, especially the
compatibility stuff (which I would be happy to work on myself but I will
probably need funding in order to make any decent headway on it).

Also there will likely be a need for documentation.

> #3 Is it possible for the community to pay for an interim tool that that
> will run IC 5.x and 6.x simultaneously for a domain? This will allow one
> to migrate to the new system over a year or two. We can build new
> features for clients in IC 6.0 while taking our time converting older
> code. I would think the main issue would be session management? I do
> primarily back office systems, very complex compared to a store. It
> irk's me that I would need to work in IC5.x bang up to the date that a
> full rewrite is done... It's not like a store where complex features are
> less frequently requested.

There is no issue with running IC5 and any other platform (IC6 included)
on the same server or same domain. I would suggest keeping the sessions
separate if you want integration and just setting up some sort of login
sharing (which is easily done).

> Who knows, maybe we can start writing 6.x code in 5.x as or running IC
> 6.x apps inside or alongside 5.x by next summer...
>
> I guess what I am asking for is akin to XP Mode... We need a IC5 Mode :-)

Honestly, I think it's best to just keep IC5 code in IC5 and develop for
IC6 when that platform is ready (I think that there will be something
ready soon). As far as current development goes, I would suggest the
following roadmap:

1. Continue to develop your site(s) in IC5 for now.

2. Develop *new* sites on IC6 when it is available.

3. When the compatibility plugins are available, at that stage you
should move your IC5 sites to IC6, at least the ones still in active
development.

4. After that point you can do new development on those old sites in IC6.

> #4 Can someone at the Dev Group throw up or link to an interim wiki or
> forum for users to use as they wish? I'd like to post tags that I have
> available, and others could too. We can also try to get funding together
> for IC 5.x or 6.x projects - which depend largely on the answer to #1.
> If you guys can pick a good one, even if it is off site, and link to it
> (make it official) we'll take care of the rest. Although it would be
> nice if it was somehow searchable on the main site.

If someone wants to do this then I would be happy to post some of my
code and guides up there as well.

> I know I'd like to spur a feature rich coupon system as mentioned a few
> months back,

Be careful trying to create a one-size-fits-all coupon system. It gets
really complex really fast and then just becomes a PITA to work with.
Keep it simple and it is a lot easier to use.

> Lastly, I think in the begging of 2012, or possibly sooner, I will throw
> up some redesigns of icdevgroup.com, because it does have an image and
> marketing problem. The fact that starting to use it today assures a more
> complex tomorrow makes it even worse, so, we need to spin that in a
> positive light, and we need to let people know it is a product to take
> seriously.

I am all for this.


Peter

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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 28, 2011, 9:20 PM

Post #11 of 27 (585 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> Not necessarily, IC5 will be around for ages (I would say a *lot* longer
> than five years). You can leave your existing sites on IC5 and they
> will continue to happily churn away for a long time to come, and it will
> be supported. Also there will eventually be a clear migration path so
> you can move your sites over to IC6. I think that when the
> compatibility plugins are ready it should be a little bit more difficult
> than upgrading from an older version of IC (say IC4.8 or 5.0) to the
> current version. It will mean having to install any base modules for
> IC6 and making a few "compatibility" tweaks in catalogs. While a lot
> can happen between now and then my personal belief is that there will be
> compatibility plugins to support ITL, usertags, catalog and global
> config files, actionmaps, jobs, etc. The base goal will be to take a
> current standard demo shop and get it to run with minimal changes on
> IC6, then to add in any other needed compatibility. At least that's how
> I see things progressing.




I really do hope it works out somewhat like this. Since I'd have to rewrite them for free, some of my large apps could take a year to rewrite - in that time there would still be active development so as I recode to IC-6, I am creating new code in IC-5 that would just need to be recoded to IC-6.



It would be wonderful if it works this way, then we our sites will work, and we can rewrite as we go, and as we get time.





> > Lastly, I think in the begging of 2012, or possibly sooner, I will throw
> > up some redesigns of icdevgroup.com, because it does have an image and
> > marketing problem. The fact that starting to use it today assures a more
> > complex tomorrow makes it even worse, so, we need to spin that in a
> > positive light, and we need to let people know it is a product to take
> > seriously.

>

> I am all for this.





Just let me know if you guys want a profressional Postgres/Oracle feel, or a youthful Jquery/PerlDancer/Sencha look?





Paul



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jon at endpoint

Sep 28, 2011, 9:22 PM

Post #12 of 27 (585 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Thu, 29 Sep 2011, Peter wrote:

> Also there will eventually be a clear migration path so you can move
> your sites over to IC6. I think that when the compatibility plugins are
> ready it should be a little bit more difficult than upgrading from an
> older version of IC (say IC4.8 or 5.0) to the current version. It will
> mean having to install any base modules for IC6 and making a few
> "compatibility" tweaks in catalogs. While a lot can happen between now
> and then my personal belief is that there will be compatibility plugins
> to support ITL, usertags, catalog and global config files, actionmaps,
> jobs, etc. The base goal will be to take a current standard demo shop
> and get it to run with minimal changes on IC6, then to add in any other
> needed compatibility. At least that's how I see things progressing.

That is all even more highly speculative than the plans for Interchange
6's central features, so I would not count on any of that unless you know
someone who wants to fund it.

I think it's safer to plan on having Interchange 5 and 6 handling
different parts of the URL space for a domain as a coexistence strategy,
which is just about as good but doesn't involve lots of engineering work
that may or may not ever happen.

Jon

--
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peter at pajamian

Sep 28, 2011, 9:48 PM

Post #13 of 27 (584 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On 29/09/11 17:22, Jon Jensen wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Sep 2011, Peter wrote:
>
>> Also there will eventually be a clear migration path so you can move
>> your sites over to IC6. I think that when the compatibility plugins
>> are ready it should be a little bit more difficult than upgrading from
>> an older version of IC (say IC4.8 or 5.0) to the current version. It
>> will mean having to install any base modules for IC6 and making a few
>> "compatibility" tweaks in catalogs. While a lot can happen between
>> now and then my personal belief is that there will be compatibility
>> plugins to support ITL, usertags, catalog and global config files,
>> actionmaps, jobs, etc. The base goal will be to take a current
>> standard demo shop and get it to run with minimal changes on IC6, then
>> to add in any other needed compatibility. At least that's how I see
>> things progressing.
>
> That is all even more highly speculative than the plans for Interchange
> 6's central features, so I would not count on any of that unless you
> know someone who wants to fund it.
>
> I think it's safer to plan on having Interchange 5 and 6 handling
> different parts of the URL space for a domain as a coexistence strategy,
> which is just about as good but doesn't involve lots of engineering work
> that may or may not ever happen.

Well I think things will become a lot clearer shortly as some of the
plans and speculation for the future start to turn into reality. The
first thing we (or at least I) need to do is wait until racke releases
some of his preliminary code and see what can be done with it. Also
when we get a simple demo shop done it will help to clarify things a lot.

To be honest I plan to be involved a lot in the compatibility plugins,
but as you say it is all highly speculative and plans can change.


Peter

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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 28, 2011, 9:50 PM

Post #14 of 27 (583 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> > Also there will eventually be a clear migration path so you can move
> > your sites over to IC6. I think that when the compatibility plugins are
> > ready it should be a little bit more difficult than upgrading from an
> > older version of IC (say IC4.8 or 5.0) to the current version. It will
> > mean having to install any base modules for IC6 and making a few
> > "compatibility" tweaks in catalogs. While a lot can happen between now
> > and then my personal belief is that there will be compatibility plugins
> > to support ITL, usertags, catalog and global config files, actionmaps,
> > jobs, etc. The base goal will be to take a current standard demo shop
> > and get it to run with minimal changes on IC6, then to add in any other
> > needed compatibility. At least that's how I see things progressing.
>
> That is all even more highly speculative than the plans for Interchange
> 6's central features, so I would not count on any of that unless you know
> someone who wants to fund it.
>
> I think it's safer to plan on having Interchange 5 and 6 handling
> different parts of the URL space for a domain as a coexistence strategy,
> which is just about as good but doesn't involve lots of engineering work
> that may or may not ever happen.
>
> Jon


Jon, I don't know what I am talking about here - but could we fund a method to share sessions so one can continue to develop an app while recoding 5 parts into 6? It seems to me that there must be a way.



If an app has 20 areas, it's not like a client adds a new area, i.e., 21, they continue developing areas 2-6, 10-14, and add areas 21 - 24 you know what I am saying? That can be ugly if there are constant login prompts and you have to deal with lost session data.



It may be this "adapter" would solve all our problems, leting one develop in both, with degraded performance, as they move from 5 to 6.



This is quite serious to me. Consider an app that is going to take a year or more to recode and test. In that time development must continue right? So what if the client evolves a section you've already recoded? It's quite possible to have a situation where one could never finish recoding, or have to dedicate resources specifically to recode - and - pay to code portions in both IC5 and IC6 simultaneously.



IC is half the programming I do, but programming is 1/20th of the work I do. As you can imagine, rewriting a couple dozen custom Admin's would be next to impossible for me unless there was a seamless coexistence strategy.



Paying someone to do it for me would throw away most of the profit I ever made from it.



Paul












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racke at linuxia

Sep 29, 2011, 6:33 AM

Post #15 of 27 (583 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On 09/28/2011 01:42 AM, Paul Jordan wrote:
>>> Am I the only one that finds a bit...I don't know...misleading?
>>
>>
>> * the knowhow
>> * the community
>> * ideas
>> * concepts
>>
>> The fact is, IC hasn't had "idea" changes for a while. And while racke's
>> approach is a bit "revolutionary" it takes all the knowledge from IC5
>> and moves it toward a modern perl infrastructure for e-commerce.
>
> I think David feels like your throwing away *his* knowhow, and the time and money he has put towards ideas and concepts in the tech he built around IC.
>

Knowhow is something that needs to be maintained and extended over time, things are changing. IC 5.x knowhow is still valuable for those with
existing sites.

> I understand how he feels. However, If Perusion, Peter, or End Point aren't freaking out about it, then I would rely on what Peter said, and that there will be a path of some sort for all of us.
>
> I'm sure there were a couple IRC meetings, and everyone decided this was best. I think David (and I) were just taken aback by the way that Racke phrased it - as I was too a bit freaked out because I am in the midst of several large projects with the type of clients that are with you for life. The thought that I pour tons of time and money into their projects and have custom code built right now and for the next 2 years only to know I am going to have to learn something new and rewrite everything - free of charge - is a bit hard to swallow.
>
> I'm not against rewriting large applications if there are benefits (like UTF8 everywhere), but I am put off that there is currently an unknown (unstated) upgrade path. Is my all the tech I currently have going to cost me $40k to rewrite out of my own pocket? From today till the the day IC 6 is actually ready to handle my apps, will the tons of time and 20k more I put into 5.x just have gone down the drain? Am I basically working for free right now?
>

The upgrade path depends on the people that want one, they are responsible for putting time / money / effort into it.
Just remember without IC 6 we would be stuck with very little changes coming into IC 5.x anyway.
The main focus of IC 6 is new projects and new people.

> I trust Mike, Racke, John, and Peter so I feel okay with leaving it at that. However I can see that the community would want more than the roadmap.
> Maybe someone can describe what it will be like when ready. What will the code I use in the page be like to achieve [query], [if], [scratch], or what kind of rework will all my usertags will need?
>
> There are tons of people putting in a lot of time and money into their tech and there is a hole - not what is going to happen with IC, what is going to happen with their tech? Did we make a mistake forging new multi-year projects on IC?

I don't think that you made a mistake. There are a couple of things you can do to prepare a later update, like moving your
code (UserTags etc) into Perl modules etc.

Regards
Racke

--
LinuXia Systems => http://www.linuxia.de/
Expert Interchange Consulting and System Administration
ICDEVGROUP => http://www.icdevgroup.org/
Interchange Development Team


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jeff at downtowndevelopmentplan

Sep 29, 2011, 8:59 AM

Post #16 of 27 (582 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> 2. rewrite in another framework such as Magento or Spree

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is the fairly lengthy lifespan of the
Interchange project compared to other similar software. Converting your store
to the framework du jour carries a significant risk. I remember when Mason
was all the rage and there were suggestions to convert IC's template system to
Mason. Now, Mason looks to be all but dead and IC is still chugging along.
IC development has always been very conservative. Racke's development
initiative is looking really good and I am sure more people will come on board
with it as it progresses. That will naturally yield increased compatibility
between 5.x and 6.0 .

Wait and see, is probably what I am getting at. We still have 4.8.6 running
for some catalogs here, it's not as if the old versions of IC quit working
just because newer versions are out.

Just my 4 cents,
Jeff


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jon at endpoint

Sep 29, 2011, 9:28 AM

Post #17 of 27 (583 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Thu, 29 Sep 2011, Jeff Dafoe wrote:

> Converting your store to the framework du jour carries a significant
> risk. I remember when Mason was all the rage and there were suggestions
> to convert IC's template system to Mason. Now, Mason looks to be all
> but dead and IC is still chugging along. IC development has always been
> very conservative.

Funny you mention that, since I haven't looked into Mason for years. So I
just did.

Actually, it seems to be fairly similar to Interchange as a project. It
was stable and changed little for years, but kept on working for the
people using it. It was more idle than Interchange, but its scope as a
templating system was a lot smaller than Interchange's as a complete
ecommerce system. It's fairer to compare the rate of change in Mason vs.
ITL alone.

Continuing the similarity to the Interchange project, in Feburary 2011
they released a new version that has been modernized with Moose, Plack,
etc.:

http://www.openswartz.com/2011/02/21/announcing-mason-2/

Jon


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jon at endpoint

Sep 29, 2011, 9:31 AM

Post #18 of 27 (582 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Wed, 28 Sep 2011, Paul Jordan wrote:

> could we fund a method to share sessions so one can continue to develop
> an app while recoding 5 parts into 6?

Yes, I think that would be fairly simple compared to trying to make
Interchange 5 code run in Interchange 6.

Jon

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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 29, 2011, 10:20 AM

Post #19 of 27 (580 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> > could we fund a method to share sessions so one can continue to develop
> > an app while recoding 5 parts into 6?
>
> Yes, I think that would be fairly simple compared to trying to make
> Interchange 5 code run in Interchange 6.
>
> Jon


If this is possible, then this is something I would like a dev group member to contemplate and come up with a cost because this would be paramount for all of us to be able to take large installs and migrate-while-developing. It sounds like a solution to all concerns.



If we are on the same page - my wish is that I can bounce back and forth from 5x to 6x and maintain the session (scratch, cgi, username, etc). If possible, an added bonus would be that it can run on the same Domain, just under a different catalog space (i.e., /b/)



When on IC6, sure, we access this session data in the IC6 way, or some workaround way, when on IC 5, we access it in the IC5 way. Whatever is done inside IC6 would have to maintain when bouncing back to IC5.



If we could fund this sooner than later, then that would mean we can start writing in IC6 sooner than later - which means less rewrites - less duplication of work.



Paul
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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 29, 2011, 11:02 AM

Post #20 of 27 (582 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> Wait and see, is probably what I am getting at. We still have 4.8.6
> running
> for some catalogs here, it's not as if the old versions of IC quit working
> just because newer versions are out.
>
> Just my 4 cents,
> Jeff

Jeff, our concern is not that something will stop working, or that it cannot
be converted. Our concern is two points:

#1 We're doing a ton of work right now, knowing it will have to be redone.
So the point in time we can do our current development in IC6, the better,
and this depends on the next point...

#2 How do you convert something large that is constantly being worked on?
You can't. You need a bridge so they can coexist during a migration period
otherwise you'll never have the chance to convert unless you pay a third
party a ton of money to convert everything for you on short order.

Windows 7 and Xp are a perfect analogy here. If you had apps that run on XP
and not Windows 7, and wanted to migrate to 7, you had to have apps run in a
XP mode window. If your app is large and constantly evolving, what do you
upgrade and when? Do you pause evolution while you rewrite everything?

Do you want you employees looking up clients in one window, then looking up
the clients projects in another? Going back to the XPmode to see if they
have proposals (because that part is not converted yet). Then we need a few
enhancements to the proposal system? We'll, guess we're spending money on
our XP app again only to at some point rebuild it. You create a vicious
circle.

There is absolutely zero chance I am taking that path. There has to be a
bridge that makes it appear and work as a single system, and gives people *a
chance* to migrate.

None of these are concerns if you maintain shops that evolve sparingly were
you can zap a convert over a long weekend. If I cut my phone line today, I
still have easily 5 years of slated IC enhancements. My clients are life
long and they have vast plans that they are unable to pay for all at once,
so we have a priority schedule. Pause for a year and rebuild is not in the
schedule, and neither is pour money into something that is no longer a long
term investment.

There has to be a bridge. The sooner we have a plan for a bridge, the more
valuable IC becomes again. The sooner we have access to a bridge, the less
money we'll have to waste.

Paul



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jeff at downtowndevelopmentplan

Sep 29, 2011, 11:59 AM

Post #21 of 27 (580 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Thu, 29 Sep 2011 11:02:21 -0700, Paul Jordan wrote

> #1 We're doing a ton of work right now, knowing it will have to be redone.
> So the point in time we can do our current development in IC6, the
> better, and this depends on the next point...
>
> #2 How do you convert something large that is constantly being worked on?
> You can't. You need a bridge so they can coexist during a migration
> period otherwise you'll never have the chance to convert unless you
> pay a third party a ton of money to convert everything for you on
> short order.

I think that I consider a particular IC version as a point-in-time collection
of routines that I'll use for development. When a client needs a feature
added, the IC version doesn't impact my ability to deliver that feature. The
only requirement is that you have to backport security fixes and any notable
bugfixes. I have 4.8 running for some customers and 5.7 for a couple of
others. At some point, we'll use 6.0 for new customers, after it's had a bit
of vetting. In your case, I think 6.0 needs that vetting before you'd be able
to make the decision that you're looking to make.

It's really an ages-old question of whether to go with something that is
available now or something else that will be soon available. A bird in the
hand...


-Jeff


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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 29, 2011, 12:49 PM

Post #22 of 27 (585 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> From: jeff [at] downtowndevelopmentplan
>> #1 We're doing a ton of work right now, knowing it will have to be
>> redone.
>> So the point in time we can do our current development in IC6, the
>> better, and this depends on the next point...
>>
>> #2 How do you convert something large that is constantly being worked on?
>> You can't. You need a bridge so they can coexist during a migration
>> period otherwise you'll never have the chance to convert unless you
>> pay a third party a ton of money to convert everything for you on
>> short order.
>
> I think that I consider a particular IC version as a point-in-time
> collection
> of routines that I'll use for development. When a client needs a feature
> added, the IC version doesn't impact my ability to deliver that feature.
> The
> only requirement is that you have to backport security fixes and any
> notable
> bugfixes. I have 4.8 running for some customers and 5.7 for a couple of
> others. At some point, we'll use 6.0 for new customers, after it's had a
> bit
> of vetting. In your case, I think 6.0 needs that vetting before you'd be
> able
> to make the decision that you're looking to make.

You are not understanding the concern - there is no "when a client needs a
feature". If a system is always being improved - in other words, there is
zero time in which development is not happening, then in order to deliver
the enhancements, you will always be coding for IC5.x. How do you change to
IC6.x in this scenario when you can't have parts in 5 and parts in 6? Are
you suggesting spending another decade of time and money painting myself
into a corner with IC5.x?

I'd rather close up shop than have separate systems that cannot seamlessly
interact for years at a time. That's disgusting. My clients that have third
party integrations have priority on those integrations to be duplicated in
IC - to remove ourselves from ghetto non-interactive integrations. We have
one right now that is a network marketing engine - not like IC affiliates,
but like Avon. It's huge and complex. The client can't drop half a million
and just have it done, so we have a migration schedule to bring it in IC.
However, as soon as the switch is done, I will know it should be in IC6.x -
that is depressing. Why? Because there is no end to the work we have in the
new system - so when do we switch to 6.x!

There needs to be a bridge. With a bridge, I can have seamless interaction
from 5.x to 6.x and 6.x to 5.x and take 10 years to migrate if I wish. It
seems to me there only needs to be session sharing.

I'll admit I am probably a little more sensitive to this than others,
because I just-so-happen-to-be in the midst of a complete rewrite of our
systems. Our client-specific admins are now completely in Jquery, and all of
the IC code is being revamped. I had saw this as a strengthening of
investment. But now, it's something that is going to have to be repeated.
Right now I can rewrite everything and Seebase 2.x and 3.x can coexist,
nobody has any awkwardness. I'll accept a rewrite into Seebase 4.x, but it
has to coexist, otherwise I don't see how I could do it and maintain high
integration.

Jon's given me hope. If they can come up with a plan and the community can
send him gold, or beer, or virgins, or whatever, this will be an exciting
time for everyone. If there cannot be a bridge, I'd have to seriously
consider our future.

Paul



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jon at endpoint

Sep 29, 2011, 1:25 PM

Post #23 of 27 (581 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Thu, 29 Sep 2011, Paul Jordan wrote:

> I'll admit I am probably a little more sensitive to this than others,
> because I just-so-happen-to-be in the midst of a complete rewrite of our
> systems.

I doubt that you're a special case here -- I understand exactly what
you're concerned about. All of us core developers are very sensitive to
it, which is why Interchange 5 has kept such a high level of backward
compatibility all these years, in spite of it being in need of an
overhaul.

> If there cannot be a bridge, I'd have to seriously consider our future.

I'm not sure what you mean by "seriously consider our future", because any
web framework you choose is going to have the exact same problems or
worse. It is simply the way the world is. Different frameworks and new
versions of frameworks have incomptabile changes, and progress requires
them to, or we'd all still be using straight CGI scripts in Perl 4 with no
modules, no nested data structures, no DBI, etc.

Anyway, there's no reason to fret. Many of us won't want to use
Interchange 6 without some kind of coexistence with Interchange 5. But
despite all that, Interchange 5 is no less usable today just because we're
talking about Interchange 6.

Jon

--
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End Point Corporation
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paul at gishnetwork

Sep 29, 2011, 1:39 PM

Post #24 of 27 (584 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

> I doubt that you're a special case here -- I understand exactly what
> you're concerned about. All of us core developers are very sensitive to
> it, which is why Interchange 5 has kept such a high level of backward
> compatibility all these years, in spite of it being in need of an
> overhaul.
>
> > If there cannot be a bridge, I'd have to seriously consider our future.
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by "seriously consider our future", because any
> web framework you choose is going to have the exact same problems or




I meant with programming. It's only a fraction of my business. I love it - it's fun, but I am not going to stay married to it if it is going to turn into an ex wife (or husband) on me. I'd rather let it be someone elses problem.



:-)





> Anyway, there's no reason to fret. Many of us won't want to use
> Interchange 6 without some kind of coexistence with Interchange 5. But
> despite all that, Interchange 5 is no less usable today just because we're
> talking about Interchange 6.




I understand and agree. Features and stability are implied. Backwards compatibility however is something I think we are all willing to pay for. So don't let cost delay that, just keep us informed of any plan and what it will take.





Paul
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jeff at downtowndevelopmentplan

Sep 29, 2011, 1:52 PM

Post #25 of 27 (581 views)
Permalink
Re: "Interchange 6"? Really? [In reply to]

On Thu, 29 Sep 2011 12:49:18 -0700, Paul Jordan wrote

> You are not understanding the concern - there is no "when a client
> needs a feature". If a system is always being improved - in other
> words, there is zero time in which development is not happening,
> then in order to deliver the enhancements, you will always be coding
> for IC5.x. How do you change to IC6.x in this scenario when you
> can't have parts in 5 and parts in 6? Are you suggesting spending
> another decade of time and money painting myself into a corner with IC5.x?

What I am really trying to say is that you seem almost panicked over the
announcement of IC6 but there isn't reason to be. I'm not sure how long
you've been using IC, I've been using it for about ten years. The reassurance
is that the 5.x series isn't going anywhere. Given your business
requirements, I wouldn't worry about IC6, you need to focus on your
deliverables and not what might be needed years down the road - because that
really isn't possible in this industry.

> I'd rather close up shop than have separate systems that cannot
> seamlessly interact for years at a time. That's disgusting.

A continual stream of software changes rarely results in stable interfaces.

> clients that have third party integrations have priority on those
> integrations to be duplicated in IC - to remove ourselves from
> ghetto non-interactive integrations. We have one right now that is a
> network marketing engine - not like IC affiliates, but like Avon.
> It's huge and complex. The client can't drop half a million and just
> have it done, so we have a migration schedule to bring it in IC.
> However, as soon as the switch is done, I will know it should be in
> IC6.x - that is depressing. Why? Because there is no end to the work
> we have in the new system - so when do we switch to 6.x!

You wouldn't worry about IC 6, in your situation. It's too far out to worry
about and IC5 has proven long-term availability.

> There needs to be a bridge. With a bridge, I can have seamless
> interaction from 5.x to 6.x and 6.x to 5.x and take 10 years to
> migrate if I wish. It seems to me there only needs to be session sharing.

I can't think of a specific use for session sharing, although I'm definitely
deferring to Jon's opinion here. I can't think of a clean point where I'd
want someone to move back and forth between a 5.x system and a 6.x system.

> Jon's given me hope. If they can come up with a plan and the
> community can send him gold, or beer, or virgins, or whatever, this
> will be an exciting time for everyone. If there cannot be a bridge,
> I'd have to seriously consider our future.

Again, I think you're just understandably overreacting to the announcement of
the availability of some code for IC6.

-Jeff

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