Is this project abandoned? I don’t see the developer around for a long time. I hope @clavaque is ok.
Is s2Member Abandoned?
Active development ceased to all intents and purposes in 2017, since then its been maintained by @clavaque with bugs patched in fairly quick order. So it’s not abandoned just not activity developed.
The only substantial additional functionality to have been added to s2member since 2017 is the payments log addon which is charged for separately at $20 per year. Considering what little work has been done on s2member since 2017 I think it’s very bad decision to charge for that and that it should be included in s2member-pro.
It’s not per year. You buy a license for both, not recurring.
I bought both also having in mind I was doing my part to support the project. I believed development would continue and that bugs would be fixed.
But since a few months ago I am not seeing @clavaque around and I was wondering if he decided to not spend time on this anymore.
I am receiving messages from PayPal that our integration is outdated and I will not be surprised if it stops working at some point in the future.
We still can’t accept anything but credit cards via Stripe because of the way it’s integrated. User demotion / re-promotion is lacking, anti duplicity routines sometimes kill “good subscriptions” without warning, I keep doing many things manually like demoting users when they have a payment declined (not going to give them access to the content while they don’t pay but not cancelling the subscription either when many can be recovered a few days later by trying to collect once a week or so).
I am grateful for having this plugin for a while but it’s sad if things start breaking from now on due to it being abandoned. I get not wanting to support the community that didn’t purchase it, but perhaps we should then have a support forum only for the ones amongst us who bought the paid version and maybe also only make improvements like fixing the things I mentioned for premium users that paid for it. Even if some features (like a new Stripe integration that accepts more payment methods) require buying another 10 dollar add on. Those add ons should also be developed focusing on what’s profitable to us (more payment methods, better collection systems) instead of things that might just be “fun”.
I don’t want the hassle of moving on to another plugin, but I might eventually be forced to, when what we have stops working.
When you ask if a plugin has been abandoned and the one remaining person who was working on it (doing mostly bug fixes) doesn’t respond, there’s your answer.
This plugin has been on life support for years. Active development stopped when the original developers left.
If I was more proactive, I would have switched my site to MemberPress ages ago. But I probably won’t until s2Member stops working, and it will be my own fault for not taking action sooner.
I wish I could do something to help but I didn’t even learn Dutch (after living 5+ years in the Netherlands) because of burn out, let alone PHP (I have previous experience with other languages, mostly Basic / VB related).
I am only able to test things out and try to help with questions now and then, but that’s not enough.
Isn’t that plugin you mention paid on a recurring basis (or, even worse, percentage)? I remember back in the day not wanting most of the alternatives because of their high cost and the way they were invasive grabbing subscribers’ information and my community privacy is more important to me than anything else, so I’d even do everything manually with “dumb” PayPal and Stripe integrations if necessary.
Same thing with email / lists, I don’t use those mailing services for the same reason and I even stopped using Google Analytics on my site a while ago (specially since they kept pushing Analytics 4.0, terrible).
Sorry, I went a bit out of topic. I hope we have hope. Not meaning for @clavaque to work for free, of course, but if his idea on add ons worked out it would be nice. I am sure that I’d not be the only one purchasing add ons even when not necessary (like the last one) just to support the development of the plugin. Maybe an affordable yearly subscription to a separate area of this forum where we can expect reported issues to be worked on (when possible) might work too and be better than changing s2Member’s revenue model. I wonder how many of us would be willing to pay for it (so it’s not too expensive for each of us, individually) and how much we’d add to @clavaque’s workload.
Just ideas, of course.
Oof. I have been trying to set up membership upgrade options to really make the best use of s2member, and seeing that it might start to fail soon is depressing, to put it lightly. I’m going to follow this thread to see what everyone thinks. I don’t really want to switch to another add-on, so I’m hoping @clavaque will pop in and tell us there might be a solution to get help for those of us using the paid option, at least. S2member is still listed on many sites as one of the best, which is why we chose it to begin with.
Exactly! And @clavaque has always been very nice, but I feel perhaps there’s not enough new people buying the paid version of the plugin because they see it’s a bit abandoned, that sends the entire project in a downwards spiral and it would be a shame if there’s a way to make this work.
Not an easy task. Might take a while to bring it back to life. It might work or not. People surely need to open their pockets to keep this going, the larger the number the smaller the amount per person necessary to fund it.
Add ons are a great business model but only if the add ons bring functionality people want to pay for. If you have 10 ~ 30 dollar add ons being released once a month or every two months after a year the add ons become more valuable than the plugin itself. Having a “VIP” forum would also mean a nice recurring revenue even if to just keep what we have working properly and some essential functionality added / fixed. I have no idea on the user base, though. Maybe there’s only a handful of us around? Sorry if my ideas are bad.
Since @clavaque took over, have there been any big features added to s2Member that led you to believe this plugin was still in development? Seems like it has been mostly bug fixes and a lot of “I’m adding your request to the list”.
There’s no question that s2Member is a great plugin. It does everything I need and I’ve been using it for years. I hope it keeps working for years to come.
But let’s face reality. We’re still here because crossing our fingers is easier than moving on.
This may sound funny, but something I’ve been wondering lately is if ChatGPT could be used to analyze the code in s2Member and assist with any needed updates. Apparently code assist is one of its best features, I’ve seen people use ChatGPT to create entire WordPress plugins. Maybe it could help @clavaque with feature requests.
From what I can tell no code assist technology currently available is sophisticated enought to replace a coder to the level you’re talking about. To aid, certainly. To replace, no.
I thought about it too.
Out of curiosity, I used a ChatGPT prompt to set it up as an expert programmer who specializes in WordPress plugins. Then I asked it if it could analyze a plugin and explain it how it works. It said yes.
So I asked it to explain how s2Member works, in simple terms. It instantly gave me an overview of user registration and management, membership levels and roles, content protection, payment integration, and even s2Member’s shortcodes.
Next I’m going to see if it can analyze the actual code and explain how it works. Might as well give it a try.
Okay, so I copied and pasted code from one of s2Member’s PHP files into ChatGPT and it instantly explained what each line of code is doing.
Really? GPT 4? I didn’t try it yet.
There’s things I surely wanted to do and CLavaque (I didn’t pin him again so he’s not spammed) even tried to help me giving me some ideas but I am clueless on PHP, sadly, so I keep demoting people manually etc.
Yes, GPT 4 (I have a Pro subscription to ChatGPT). I asked it if it could analyze a plugin’s code and explain how it works. It said yes. So I copied and pasted some code from s2Member and it explained what it’s doing. Easy as that.
I also just asked it for help with an issue I’m having with my custom theme. It instantly gave me the code I need. It didn’t “assist” me with writing the code. I said “Here’s what I want to do” and it said “Here’s your code and here’s where you add it”.
I just told ChatGPT that I know nothing about PHP but would like to learn and asked if it could help me. Yes it can. I think I just found my new best friend.
Before this, I was using ChatGPT to help me research new topics to cover on my site, and to help me edit my content for better readability and SEO. So now I have another reason to use it.
As much as I find the ChatGPT chat interesting, and I really do btw, could I respectfully nudge us back to the future of s2member?
At the moment I’m not aware of any imminent failures with the current codebase but if there was going to be one I would imagine it would be in the payment processing with either PayPal or Stripe. Both companies keep modernising their APIs as time goes by and so unless wordpress performs a major architectural overall then the other areas should stay functional for the foreseeable and we should concentrate on making sure the payments processing is as well maintained as possible.
Does anyone know of any upcoming payment processor changes that need to be taken note of?
None with PayPal that I’m aware of. It’s really just the idea of no one being around the implement a change if one becomes necessary that is worrisome.
Now what’s really interesting about ChatGPT is… kidding.
No, it’s not abandoned. I’m sorry you got that impression.
I haven’t frequented the community forum, but have been answering emails in the helpdesk almost daily. I do prefer the forum, but emails can only be answered by me, while the forum questions can be answered by the community. So when time has been limited, I had to prioritize the helpdesk.
I do like like the idea of features as separate add-ons for many reasons, e.g. being able to install only what’s needed in a setup, simpler and safer updates. It may be possible to get them individually, but my idea has been to make them available as a bundle.
Top features I want to add are new integrations (e.g. payment gateways, email services), but also many smaller things. Integrations, though, can be quite complex, and require frequent updates, so I have to be smart about it, considering the future workload each will add.
When I rewrote the Stripe integration to their new API, it was intense, and probably harder because I had to work with the existing codebase, and walk on eggshells to not break stuff. It’s known by developers how hard it can be to deal with an inherited, large, complex, legacy codebase.
That’s one strong reason why I prefer the idea of new features/code as their own separate add-ons, to start untangling this, for easier maintenance and improvement.
Because support takes so much of my time, and development needs so much of it, too, I tried several developers the past years, but I haven’t found one that I can afford, and also fits the bill. So I’m in the process of re-organizing my time, so I can actually do both myself, and move the project forward faster.
I haven’t given up on this, I’m very much thinking about its future and making it greater for you guys.