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Could you provide some links for context? I searched for similar topics but was unable to find anything relevant. I also noticed you removed my workaround I added to my original post? Why is the ability to manually update files now all of a sudden top secret?

For the record, I didn't have any apps break as a result of 4.5. The only thing that broke was my ability to update any files before 4.5 lol.

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13 minutes ago, Deathicated said:

Could you provide some links for context? I searched for similar topics but was unable to find anything relevant. I also noticed you removed my workaround I added to my original post? Why is the ability to manually update files now all of a sudden top secret?

For the record, I didn't have any apps break as a result of 4.5. The only thing that broke was my ability to update any files before 4.5 lol.

Certainly, I'm going to link to all of the recent topics that are related (although the titles may not initially indicate that).

 

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/457951-localhost-downloading-of-marketplace-appsplugins-manually/

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/458681-marketplace/

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/458402-when-pluginapplication-upgrades-fail-in-45/

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/458417-marketplace/ (this was your topic, but I believe our response in here still applies and gives an overview of why things are like they are)

I appreciate that's a bunch of links, but they do collectively give a good idea of where we stand in regards to the Marketplace.

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

I did remove your workaround and we will continue to do so. As noted in the topics above, how the Marketplace works can also greatly impact on how we provide support and the speed of that support. We're not going to allow any workarounds to how this works to be advertised.

 

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2 minutes ago, Dean_ said:

@Stuart Silvester Could you look into apps that have been temporally removed from IPS and then reinstated? As the app within ACP indicated that you don't own it any more and asks to be bought instead of update button showing.

We've pushed out a change to the Marketplace today for this, it was related to how we were avoiding sending renewal invoices to those who's licenses have expired. Expired license holders still won't get an invoice, but the renewals will no longer be removed from the purchase.

We've also made a change for those that have purchased a resource then had their license expire, from today the customer will be able to continue to install/update the resource they have paid for until it expires. Renewing it will still require an active Invision Community license.

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@Stuart Silvester While we're on the topic, why is it we have to pay a renewal to download a file we have a license to already? I was always under the impression the renewal only applies to future updates. With this new system, any app over 4.5, we'd be unable to retain a local copy or download it again without an active license. It doesn't make much sense to pay a bulk fee to access then continue to pay a subscription afterwards. It should either be a bulk fee, or a subscription, not both. I find that a faecesty imo.

Thanks for the links btw. Seems that's been a hot topic as of lately and sorry that I rehashed it.

Edited by Deathicated
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15 minutes ago, Deathicated said:

@Stuart Silvester While we're on the topic, why is it we have to pay a renewal to download a file we have a license to already? I was always under the impression the renewal only applies to future updates. With this new system, any app over 4.5, we'd be unable to retain a local copy or download it again without an active license. It doesn't make much sense to pay a bulk fee to access then continue to pay a subscription afterwards. It should either be a bulk fee, or a subscription, not both. I find that a faecesty imo.

Thanks for the links btw. Seems that's been a hot topic as of lately and sorry that I rehashed it.

Its the same way that IPS works. If you want updates to an app you pay for the renewal. That is up to the mod author.

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@Morrigan Correct, if you want updates, but if you need to do a reinstall you wouldn't be able to because your access to download the version you already have a license to is revoked until you pay the renewal. This is confusing and implies that we really have no rights to said file unless we renew it. Yet, we're given the impression we can continue to use the version we purchased a license to up until we need to update.

See how very confusing and misleading that can be?

ScreenShot_20210114210815.png

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4 hours ago, Deathicated said:

@Stuart Silvester While we're on the topic, why is it we have to pay a renewal to download a file we have a license to already? I was always under the impression the renewal only applies to future updates. With this new system, any app over 4.5, we'd be unable to retain a local copy or download it again without an active license. It doesn't make much sense to pay a bulk fee to access then continue to pay a subscription afterwards. It should either be a bulk fee, or a subscription, not both. I find that a faecesty imo.

Thanks for the links btw. Seems that's been a hot topic as of lately and sorry that I rehashed it.

1. Do you really need a local copy? I mean, do you really really need a local copy?

Most clients who say yes are illegally pirating the plugin across multiple installations.  (No judgement from me, by the way. Just pointing out the obvious). The license terms of plugins are usually restricted to one site. 

The only valid response I've heard is from an enterprise client asking to conduct his own security review of the plug-in before installation on corporate forums. That enterprise client, because he pays enterprise money and has special enterprise access, can probably enterprise his way towards getting an off-Marketplace version anyways. Nobody actually feels bad for him.  

2  We all know it's renewal blackmail.  You know it's renewal blackmail. I know it's renewal blackmail.  IPS definitely knows it's renewal blackmail because they designed it. I figured out a secret though, that if you pay the blackmail hush money, all of these problems will magically go away ... Until six months later, when the blackmail starts all over again! It's how blackmail is supposed to work, by the way.  

I suppose if you're going to be blackmailed, though, getting spam filtering, company support, a mobile app for free, and company forums where we can poke fun at the company is not the worst kind of blackmail there is in the world.

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2 hours ago, Joel R said:

The license terms of plugins are usually restricted to one site. 

How do you make the determination whether or not an author only allows 1 license per installation?

2 hours ago, Joel R said:

Most clients who say yes are illegally pirating the plugin across multiple installations.

That's a bit of stretch. It's more so to avoid paying renewal fees on plugins that haven't updated in months if not years just so you can use the same version you have now which you own a license to. If the license is revoked once the renewal expires, why am I still able to use it? This makes no sense. So either I have a license or I don't. This is information that should be available before purchasing a file.

I'm not advocating to get rid of renewals or change how they work, all I'm saying is this information should be easy to find before making a purchase. I've seen this topic come up a lot over the years. The lack of transparency seems to be getting worse over time imo.

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9 hours ago, Deathicated said:

@Stuart Silvester While we're on the topic, why is it we have to pay a renewal to download a file we have a license to already? I was always under the impression the renewal only applies to future updates. With this new system, any app over 4.5, we'd be unable to retain a local copy or download it again without an active license. It doesn't make much sense to pay a bulk fee to access then continue to pay a subscription afterwards.

It's up to the author whether they want you to buy a license for each community you install it on. They have the capability to define this (and they should) in their terms and conditions that appear prior to purchase and prior to install/update. Generally without renewing you can still use the resource, but you won't get any technical support or updates for it. As mentioned though, authors can set their own terms and conditions so you should read them carefully if they are provided.

9 hours ago, Deathicated said:

@Morrigan Correct, if you want updates, but if you need to do a reinstall you wouldn't be able to because your access to download the version you already have a license to is revoked until you pay the renewal.

I have never known someone to reinstall a resource to fix an issue. What you would do there is contact the author for help. If they find an issue, they'll fix it and publish a new update. Of course, you would typically need an active purchase of the resource for that.

Additionally, if you maintain backups of your community you shouldn't have an issue either.

2 hours ago, Deathicated said:

'm not advocating to get rid of renewals or change how they work, all I'm saying is this information should be easy to find before making a purchase. I've seen this topic come up a lot over the years. The lack of transparency seems to be getting worse over time imo.

As noted, it's up to the author to define these terms as they can differ between resources. They have the ability to display their own terms & conditions prior to you purchasing or installing the resource. This was also a new capability we added with 4.5, I expect these T&Cs will be populated as files are updated.

 

p.s. here's what that looks like:

image.png

Edited by Stuart Silvester
added screenshot
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The only thing I would ask is to be able to reinstall an app without having to delete it first and thereby losing all of the data associated with the app.  This ability to reinstall could be for a multitude of reasons, but mostly if something untoward happens and the app files are corrupted.  At present this is not possible, so the ability to 'reinstall' over the top of the existing installation to correct any mishaps, errors or corruption would be a boon.  This is what we were able to do when we had a hard copy of the app files.  So, I would put this forward as a suggestion to @Charles @Lindy @Matt @bfarber as a future update to the marketplace.

I'm bringing this to the attention of staff, because recently one of my themes was throwing a wobbler and would not allow me to save block positions or to access a database in Pages.  My only resolution to this was to uninstall the theme and reinstall it, losing all of my customisations.  It wasn't something fatal to me, but it was a damned inconvenience to have to go in and redo all those changes.  A simple reinstall would have solved the issue.

So, under Installed have a link to reinstall.  This would save a lot of heartache 🙂

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Davyc said:

The only thing I would ask is to be able to reinstall an app without having to delete it first and thereby losing all of the data associated with the app.  This ability to reinstall could be for a multitude of reasons, but mostly if something untoward happens and the app files are corrupted. 🙂

 

It is best, imo, to always backup any app, especially the ones that add to the database, before you uninstall them. If you do that, you will not loose any data at all. 

Edited by Miss_B
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2 hours ago, Miss_B said:

It is best, imo, to always backup any app, especially the ones that add to the database, before you uninstall them. If you do that, you will not loose any data at all. 

This would be like taking a jack hammer to crack a nut as opposed to a simple 'reinstall' link.  I wouldn't want to take my site offline, download my database, uninstall the app, reinstall the app and then overwrite the database, make sure all was OK and then put my site back online.  Hitting reinstall to overwrite potentially corrupted files (not necessarily the database) would be so much simpler 🙂

 

3 hours ago, Stuart Silvester said:

I have never known someone to reinstall a resource to fix an issue.

You do now, that's exactly what I had to do with my theme.  I contacted the author, he didn't know what the issue could be - puzzled he was.  I did the only other thing I could think of, uninstall, and reinstall - that fixed it.

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5 minutes ago, Davyc said:

This would be like taking a jack hammer to crack a nut as opposed to a simple 'reinstall' link.  I wouldn't want to take my site offline, download my database, uninstall the app, reinstall the app and then overwrite the database, make sure all was OK and then put my site back online.  Hitting reinstall to overwrite potentially corrupted files (not necessarily the database) would be so much simpler 🙂

I do not know what you understand by 'reinstall', but if you re-install something, be that a forum software, a third party app or a blog etc, it implies that you start with a clean state. Especially with those that add their stuff to the database. All data will be gone. Hence why the advice for a backup. 

I have a question for you. Say, for the sake of the subject at hand, that you want to 'reinstall' your forum, how will you go about it?

Are you first going to make a backup of your forum 's database and folders/files or will you go straight for the reinstall link? (by running the install in this case)

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1 minute ago, Miss_B said:

I have a question for you. Say, for the sake of the subject at hand, that you want to 'reinstall' your forum, how will you go about it?

We're not talking about forums or any of the IPS apps, it's about third-party apps and you don't always have to start with a clean slate.  I'm not talking about reinstalling database tables, etc, I'm on about the actual files that get installed on the server - this is generally where corruption or other issues can take place.  If the issue is with the database, then you may be stuck unless you know how to analyse and manipulate databases.  There are some situations where a reinstall will not work, but in general I have always found that reuploading the files of an app works.  I run a movies site and if I uninstall the app, I lose everything, if I can reinstall the files without uninstalling, I may have a lucky escape - this is what I am on about and why it was useful to have a hard copy of third-party apps.  

Not everyone knows about backups and where to find files, etc.  I'm lucky in that I can do these things (having done this and learned over the last 20 years), but not everyone can and not everyone will.  Now, if third-party apps had a backup option when they use database tables, which would change the landscape, it would be a bonus, but I can't see them doing that.  The idea I'm pressing for is to make it as simple as possible for users to fix things themselves without raising tickets or contacting authors who may take days or even weeks to respond.

It's like a lot of things in life, you fix an issue and potentially create more issues - which is why there are a lot of topics related to this subject.  The system, in principle, is good but as it stands it lacks a lot in terms of self-support.  Running the support tool will find issues with any IPS system files that may be out of order, but not third-party apps 🙂

 

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The reality is it's pretty rare that a "corrupted" file occurs with software like ours, outside of when someone is manually uploading files and they have connection issues (i.e. the connection drops mid-upload).

That said, if this is something that actually comes up we could look at a "reapply files" button for applications in the marketplace. We wouldn't likely do that unless we see material instances of this happening outside of hypothetical situations mind you, but it's not something that's a blanket "no". It is, however, something completely separate from what was originally requested and discussed.

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5 minutes ago, bfarber said:

The reality is it's pretty rare that a "corrupted" file occurs with software like ours, outside of when someone is manually uploading files and they have connection issues (i.e. the connection drops mid-upload).

That said, if this is something that actually comes up we could look at a "reapply files" button for applications in the marketplace. We wouldn't likely do that unless we see material instances of this happening outside of hypothetical situations mind you, but it's not something that's a blanket "no". It is, however, something completely separate from what was originally requested and discussed.

That sounds reasonable - but if you want an actual instance then my own issue is one to view.  Uploaded a theme, works great, then for some reason it starts acting funny and there is no apparent reason for it doing so.  Uninstalling the theme and reinstalling it resolved the issue, however I lost all my customisations in the process and had to redo them, not a major incident but one which could have been resolved with a simple reinstall of the files. I'm not sure if you're aware of this issue, but it basically meant I could not see a database in the pages app and when trying to add, remove or reposition blocks on the front page I got this error:

image.png.bae6602cb40e8d20c57fc2abf2948da8.png

I understand that these irregularities may not be something that occurs frequently, but just having that little button that says 'Reapply Files' would be a boon and it would potentially cut down tickets and having to contact app authors, many of whom take a long time to respond and many are often in different time zones making any useful dialogue difficult. But thanks for offering an olive branch of hope 🙂

 

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10 hours ago, Joel R said:

1. Do you really need a local copy? I mean, do you really really need a local copy?

Most clients who say yes are illegally pirating the plugin across multiple installations.  (No judgement from me, by the way. Just pointing out the obvious). The license terms of plugins are usually restricted to one site. 

The only valid response I've heard is from an enterprise client asking to conduct his own security review of the plug-in before installation on corporate forums. That enterprise client, because he pays enterprise money and has special enterprise access, can probably enterprise his way towards getting an off-Marketplace version anyways. Nobody actually feels bad for him.  

Some of us certainly do, though I'd extend that to be a copy upon which we can continue to maintain and develop, so typically with the /dev folder unless we're headed down a path of reverse engineering. And we're not interested in pirating anything. In fact, we'd pay more to have the ability to do so, because of our organization's priorities and technical maturity. We've been doing this longer than IPS has existed, and we intend to continue to do so long into the future. Marketplace is simply an easy button that works for communities that don't have the same concerns and practices that we do.

For us, if we add something to our ecosystem, we need to be able to continue to guarantee that it will work beyond the abilities or intentions of whomever created and sold us the thing. We need to own the technical debt. In one instance, a developer unexpectedly passed away, and we depend on the solution that he built. Who provides updates as IPS iterates on the core software? Who prepares to transition the data within that solution to something else if we need to iterate upon what we started with? We need to take that responsibility on now of either finding another resource that can do it for us, or develop it ourselves.

We need to make sure that the thing, while probably working just peachy keen on a small install, will scale to the size of our environment. This was the primary issue we found in testing modifications from 4.4 Marketplace. We still have dependencies from 4.4 that continued working where the developers have yet to provide a fix to take things out of core_members, for example. Altering core_members to append a column with a million members is not happy fun times. In 4.4 days, we'd look at the install and upgrade segments of the code, and plan for these changes and run them directly on our SQL environment, as trying to do it via the web installer was an exercise in futility.

We need to make sure that there aren't decisions the developer made that introduce vulnerabilities or public information disclosures to the extent that we're able to double check that (one plugin we've used had an upgrade that introduced a front-facing URL that allows unauthenticated users to view proprietary, confidential data by simply visiting a specially crafted furl--we found it in a code review). We have a responsibility that we take seriously to our stakeholders who entrust us with their data to do our due diligence in our efforts to protect that data.

Marketplace is great for what it is, but it should not be confused for what it is not. It's comforting that IPS is looking at third-party resources with a careful eye now. But it's disingenuous to suggest that "ability to pirate plugins" is anywhere on the top 10 list of reasons why access to source and development files is important.

Edit: And we're just fine with having to maintain an active license to use Marketplace. You should not be running IPS in a self-hosted environment without an active license to ensure you continue getting security updates.

Edited by Paul E.
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On 1/14/2021 at 3:04 AM, Deathicated said:

Is there not a way to manually set an app to custom?

There is no way within the interface to do so, yet we've needed to do this as we transition a Marketplace install to something we'll develop in perpetuity going forward. In one example, a developer created something that was about 95% of what we needed, but did not want to make some modifications that we needed for our community. We worked with the developer to obtain the files needed to continue that development ourselves, and then transitioned the application to a custom application from Marketplace application to retain the existing data.

This is so dangerous an activity that providing instructions on how to do so is probably not a wise thing to do. Yet, if you are in a position where are developing for your install, and have access to IPS source, you can take a look at how this determination is made (Marketplace vs. custom app) and determine if that's a path you'd like to go down, fully understanding that you are destroying the warranty sticker right off the box and that there's likely no going back.

A better approach may be to develop your thing and build a process that migrates the data from your Marketplace install as a part of the installation routine.

 

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