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  1. #1
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    Ion cube or source guardian?

    Seems these encoders cost same price,but i am not sure which one to pick.Anyone have experience with both encoders?

  2. #2
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    I've had good luck with both, but prefer Ioncube.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by roguehosting View Post
    Seems these encoders cost same price,but i am not sure which one to pick.Anyone have experience with both encoders?
    I have licenses to the 3 major ones (ionCube, Zend Encoder, Sourceguardian).

    I prefer ionCube, however, SourceGuardian's latest releases are pretty good.

    I would use the trials of both and decide what you prefer. The only thing I would say, it's probably more likely your customers will have ionCube installed on the servers already (or their web host more familiar with it) - although with run-time loading that's not normally an issue.
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  4. #4
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    I will go with ioncube since source guarding is problematic,for some reason it didnt worked on my two whm servers no matter what i did.(loader)
    Last edited by linuxfan; 07-17-2009 at 09:14 AM.

  5. #5
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    My vote is for ioncube.
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  6. #6
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    Another vote for ioncube. I have used zend but when I searched I saw some offers from guys ... telling they can decode the encoded file for some $$.

    Also ioncube works just fine and the load seems to be less.

  7. #7
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    Funny,i ordered ioncube and give program to my programmer so he requested license using his mail,but license has arrived to my mail with question in what kind of relationship i have with programmer,but i didn't bother to reply,so they called me today on my cellphone with same question so i had to clarify situation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HivelocityDD View Post
    Another vote for ioncube. I have used zend but when I searched I saw some offers from guys ... telling they can decode the encoded file for some $$.

    Also ioncube works just fine and the load seems to be less.
    Yeah zend sucks,you can very easily decode any zend program without paying anything.There are some people who claim how they can decode ioncube as well,but considering they charge a lot and average php script have 100 files which would cost almost 1000$,and i don't think any pirate is crazy to give so much money just to decode one script.So far i didn't seen any ioncube script nulled,so that means it works.

  9. #9
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    Another vote for IonCube.

    Most providers either support Zend or IonCube, some both if they can get it working as it should without problems along the way. That said, IonCube has always been my preferred choice since reading about it and 99% of the scripts I do purchase a license for are IonCube ready, so it's the best option .
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  10. #10
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    There are bonuses, and not so good things about ioncube.

    Bonus: It's not so easily reversed , it doesn't require installation on your server, and it's pretty lightweight

    Not so good: They're slow in development, and stall everyone else like crazy. A perfect example:

    php 5.3 has been on the table for a month, as stable and close to (if not over) a year as a beta/alpha. Ioncube? Oh, they're just taking their time getting a release out.

    It's not an issue of running the "latest and greatest", it's an issue of being updated and secure. Ioncube seems to do this every time there's a major release, stall for months on end, do nothing about getting ready for the product itself.

    As far as ioncube or source guardian? I'd say neither. Most stuff doesn't NEED to be encoded. if it's just a few scripts, don't even bother.
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  11. #11
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    * You`re wasting your money with zend guard & ioncube

    According to my knowledge, you donīt do nothing with Zend Guard nor with ioncube. Qinvent guy will reverse all of your zendguard & ioncube protected scripts in no time regardless of version used. I know this because i have talked with him on MSN and tested it before i did my own decision about purchasing encoding software.

    Why waste nearly 1000$ for ZendGuard when somebody can reverse your whole project in no time for a 100$ right? I have even emailed ZendGuard staff that they should do new version, they are not interested about that because i never received a reply. Visit: http://www.qinvent.com/cyrj/deZender/index-en.php

    Send him a test script ..you will notice that he can do nearly any other expect SG7...

    No protection is 100% sure but according to my current knowledge, SG7.x is way much safer than both of the above together.

    I am using SG7 in PHP part of my software , rest protection is done by C. I haven`t had any issues with SG7 so far, i have purchased it 3 months ago.

    Buy SG7 if you want more decent protection. It has pretty reasonable features. Since i am Linux guys, i did not purchased GUI version which is in Windows version. I like command line utils instead
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  12. #12
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    15 mins edit limit is killing me...

    PS. If you have ever wondered why your ioncube/zend protected softwares are still listed with a security whole on security related sites or maybe you find your software "NULLED" (Protection removed and availabe for no charge to everyone). Is not it pretty obvious that many other including qinvent guy are reversing as a hobby your hard work. Hopefully i did not ruin anyone day who purchased two days ago costly encoding software and today he can hear his work can be reversed with a $5.

    I would not have replied to this thread with his information at all but after i noticed few companies are only after money ..i believe everyone should know the facts

    Here are the rest i wanted to say about encoding softwares.
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  13. #13
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    what's the price of ion cube? i went to their website and to see the price you have to register an account or something. why do company do that? is the price some kind of secret?

  14. #14
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    Zend really sucks.
    Ioncube is something better than zend, but history shows that ioncube protection was removed by hackers. WHMCS is an example, uses ioncube, but every version of whmcs is being nulled.

    Vote for Sourceguardian

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt2377 View Post
    what's the price of ion cube? i went to their website and to see the price you have to register an account or something. why do company do that? is the price some kind of secret?
    There's a link on the product page side menu to pricing and product comparison, and the product page also says elsewhere and fairly clearly that the price is from $199; sorry that you missed it though, and it's certainly not intentionally made obscure

    With regards to code security, as people have pointed out, total security can never be obtained because any system can always be reverse engineered. We also design embedded systems, and even with code protection features in the processors that we use and the code embedded on chip, the microcontroller manufacturers say that they cannot guarantee security of the code. And IIRC, the hardware code protections of some microcontrollers has indeed been worked around.

    In terms of complexity, Chinese hackers not withstanding, ionCube and Zend are the most advanced of the compiled code systems because standard bytecode isn't used. Zend introduce custom instructions that are not part of the standard engine, and ionCube bytecode is completely non-standard; this is possible because the Zend and ionCube systems use their own execution engines. Other major systems use standard bytecode and pass it off to the default execution engine in PHP, which is less secure as the bytecode is easily intercepted, and if you have a tool that understands native PHP bytecode, there's not much else left to know or work out. Essentially, the form that the restored and executed bytecode is in is critical, and is the potential weak point.

    Another thing to consider is why does one want to encode in the first place? What's the benefit? Well some would say none, and that actually might be right for some cases, but those aside, it's not necessarily from stopping people stealing the code. That might be the initial intention, but it's not necessarily where the benefit lies. One thing is that people who are intent on stealing code tend not to purchase if they aren't successful, so either way, the people who go to warez sites may not necessarily be a big issue because they may not represent a lost sale. Conversely, the people who are quite happy to purchase a product tend not to go looking for illegal, hacked, "nulled" etc. copies to avoid paying, and as long as they're required to purchase they generally will; this is no doubt one reason why warez sites and the gamut of hacked software that's available doesn't kill the companies who are trying to sell it. There are other reasons why people encode, but we see a big benefit of encoding PHP and using licensing methods as a way to offer an alternative to giving out source code for evaluations, and in particular as helping to enforce licensing models. Providing that pricing is reasonable, genuine end users will generally accept that they need to pay, for example, for each domain where they use something that adds value to what they're doing, but if they have a license and they find that it works on any domain they try, securing revenue is likely to be much harder than where domain licensing is actually enforced; they may intend to pay, or maybe not even realise that they need to pay, but if nothing requires them to pay then it's much less certain that they will in what would otherwise essentially be a voluntary act.
    Last edited by phpa; 07-22-2009 at 07:47 PM.
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  16. #16
    ZendGuard is not recommended at all.
    I am not familiar with SG, but more hosts support ionCube loader. If you use ionCube Encoder, more people can use your product.

  17. #17
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    yes, ionCube

  18. #18
    I think ioncube is the strongest and the best but in the same all of them can be decoded.
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  19. #19

    Exclamation IonCube stalls a lot longer than said before

    ioncube promised a 5.3 encoder over a year ago. they gave dates over and over. end of 2009. end of q1 2010. soon. september. end of september. sometime after october 1 2010.

    beware any company that breaks this many promises.

  20. #20
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    They're no worse than Zend who STILL haven't got a php 5.3 optimizer out.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by develstar View Post
    ioncube promised a 5.3 encoder over a year ago. they gave dates over and over. end of 2009. end of q1 2010. soon. september. end of september. sometime after october 1 2010.

    beware any company that breaks this many promises.
    Maybe they are preparing for version six

  22. #22
    I havent used Source Guardian. IonCube is good.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by develstar View Post
    ioncube promised a 5.3 encoder over a year ago. they gave dates over and over. end of 2009. end of q1 2010. soon. september. end of september. sometime after october 1 2010.

    beware any company that breaks this many promises.
    Just for the benefit of accuracy, we have never promised or committed to any actual release dates precisely because we know that dates can change, and our work on our Version 7 is a perfect example. Our initial focus of course was to release Loaders for PHP 5.3 so that existing code could run, and we had those ready last year. It is fair to say that we certainly expected to have released our Encoder for PHP 5.3 before now, and actually we did meet our Q1 approximation in terms of the development of it, but rather than simply drop the Encoder into our existing 6.5 release (which in fact wouldn't have been simple as one extra Encoder has a large impact on the product as a whole), it was decided to release this as part of the upcoming version 7. This made sense at the time and still does, but as the release date for version 7 moved forwards, by association so did the date for the Encoder as it was now tied to being part of version 7. In our experience it's possible to predict with good accuracy a release date when there's a single development path, but in this case version 7 itself, development of version 4 Loaders that are also required, ongoing internal reorganisation to our development infrastructure, changes to backend architecture and many other areas required to support the release of version 7, plus the construction of a new 2000 sq/ft office building, have all played their part to impact the timeline for version 7 in one way or another. We're almost there, and we will be positively and ecstatic when we've finally got version 7 out of the door. I'd also like to say how grateful we are for our customer base who have been very patient and loyal while we've been in an extended coming soon mode for a while.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    ... but if they have a license and they find that it works on any domain they try, securing revenue is likely to be much harder than where domain licensing is actually enforced; they may intend to pay, or maybe not even realise that they need to pay, but if nothing requires them to pay then it's much less certain that they will in what would otherwise essentially be a voluntary act. ...
    Thanks for those comments.

    I used to work for IBM, which introduced a radical change that IBM software would be free for internal use, but you still had to order it.

    It amazed me the number of programmers who simply could not be bothered to fill in the order forms ... a single A4 sheet giving their details, and the product numbers and quantities of what they wanted.

    I explained to them it was essential: the IBM product they were using might well contain licensed intellectual property of other companies entitled to payment. And if it did, using it without a licence could be a criminal offence in the UK; if they were caught, the directors might find it hard to avoid firing them, because otherwise the directors could be seen to be condoning unlicensed software use.

    So I can see that some organisations might *prefer* to have software that their staff cannot use illegitimate copies of.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim2718281 View Post
    So I can see that some organisations might *prefer* to have software that their staff cannot use illegitimate copies of.
    Exactly. I believe that we also have some customers who want to lock down code so that their own developers cannot change it once it reaches UAT and production. This can help avoid the possibility of an over keen rogue developer pushing out quick fixes that are not tracked and recorded by the change control team, leading to possible disaster if there is need to recover what is believed to be the current live system from change control and then finding that things don't work the same as they have been doing because code changes have been lost. Banking environments are one example where release procedures and change control are taken very seriously as there is potentially so much at risk.
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  26. #26
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    Wait (and yeah I know I'm a bit slow on catching up with this)!
    Ioncube hasn't even released encoders for 5.3 yet??? Good LORD people, this is what you call unprofessional!

    php 5.3 (stable) was released over a year ago, closer to a year and a half now. There is no excuse for a product which relies on something like php to ignore such a critical update. This should have been started back in beta.

    Yet another reason I'll never purchase an ion (or Zend) product. Completely shoddy support and pathetic timelines. You can't even keep up with the technology required to do your job!
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux-tech View Post
    There is no excuse for a product which relies on something like php to ignore such a critical update.
    In fact it's the Loader components and not the Encoding products that need to keep up with PHP updates, and we've had Loaders for PHP 5.3 since last year.

    It's a confusion that some people have, but unlike the definite requirement to support use of files on PHP 5.3, there's no need to use PHP 5.3 language features now or ever, and it's purely a management decision rather than a requirement. Experience tells us that PHP developers of mass market products will tend to wait at least a year or so before releasing any software that is dependent on a new PHP language (PHP 5.3 in this case) unless it is known that target servers will be running PHP 5.3 by the time of deployment because it mandates a minimum PHP version. Caution is prudent because hosting companies are necessarily late adopters, and even a year on, many servers would still be on older versions of PHP and therefore developers may wait even longer. This largely accounts for the lack of demand for PHP 5.3 Encoder support thus far. Releasing our PHP 5.3 Encoder earlier in the year would definitely have had some advantages, such as allowing us to put more of the planned new features into version 7.0 rather than holding them back (we've had a code freeze for a month or so now), but there are more considerations and wider issues and releasing as part of 7.0 is the best decision on balance.

    What is essential though is having existing encoded files working on PHP 5.3, and this is where we focussed our initial efforts last year. Without this, a host switching to PHP 5.3 would stop any encoded application from working, and is the problem that users with Zend encoded files appear to have now because existing Zend encoded files cannot (and never will it seems) run on PHP 5.3. It was clear to us that this would be unacceptable because even if source was available to be re-encoded, which in some cases it definitely wouldn't be, having to roll out new files to work on PHP 5.3 is a business risk that for many would be unacceptable. Furthermore, they could not be rolled out ahead of time as they could not work on PHP before 5.3, so an update of files would have to be synchronised with the update of PHP itself. Hence our early focus last year on producing Loaders for PHP 5.3 to support legacy code, which is always a challenge because the Loader has to patch and rewrite parts of the compiled code produced for earlier languages, but we managed it.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    In fact it's the Loader components and not the Encoding products that need to keep up with PHP updates, and we've had Loaders for PHP 5.3 since last year.
    Yeah, think again.
    Your paying customers (you know, the ones that keep the food on your table) want to take advantage of the php 5.3 functionality. Can they? Well, not while using YOUR product.

    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    What is essential though is having existing encoded files working on PHP 5.3
    Correct, it was essential that this was done. When, however were these released in a stable format? Well, let's see:

    October 3rd (3 months after 5.3 came out), a beta was released. Once again, immensely slow on the draw.

    May 3rd 2010 (close to a year now), your program STILL had known issues with 5.3 and it was not recommended by multiple developers to update because of problems, not with their code, but with your decoders.

    The fact is that you're entirely too slow on the draw here. Once again, these loaders should have been ready to go , out the gate. As soon as php said "5.3 is ready", your loaders should have been equally as ready. Making people wait months, or a year+ for your product to be compatible with the latest php versions, when you PROFIT off of those versions is pure laziness, nothing more.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux-tech View Post
    Yeah, think again.
    Your paying customers (you know, the ones that keep the food on your table) want to take advantage of the php 5.3 functionality. Can they? Well, not while using YOUR product.


    Correct, it was essential that this was done. When, however were these released in a stable format? Well, let's see:

    October 3rd (3 months after 5.3 came out), a beta was released. Once again, immensely slow on the draw.

    May 3rd 2010 (close to a year now), your program STILL had known issues with 5.3 and it was not recommended by multiple developers to update because of problems, not with their code, but with your decoders.

    The fact is that you're entirely too slow on the draw here. Once again, these loaders should have been ready to go , out the gate. As soon as php said "5.3 is ready", your loaders should have been equally as ready. Making people wait months, or a year+ for your product to be compatible with the latest php versions, when you PROFIT off of those versions is pure laziness, nothing more.
    If you don't use the product then why does it even matter to you ?

    I mean the trolling is silly

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interix View Post
    If you don't use the product then why does it even matter to you ?
    Not using ioncube loaders means you're stuck without using some of the best software out there. Unfortunately, ion has every php user in their grasp here, and choosing to not update even loaders to stable for months after a release (close to a year, at least) is unacceptable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Interix View Post
    I mean the trolling is silly
    Nobody's "trolling" here. Last I checked, the OP asked a specific question, and they deserve to have the unbiased facts. Of course, ioncube is going to come in here and give their distorted version of the truth, which is why people like myself get so irate about things.

    The facts are that ioncube is responsible to it's customers, and to their customers for providing stable encoders and loaders in a timely fashion, after a major update. Have they done so? Absolutely not. They'll try and weasel their way out of things, but they have not.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interix View Post
    If you don't use the product then why does it even matter to you ?

    I mean the trolling is silly
    Thanks Lisa. I'm not sure if LT is actually trolling, and LT simply has a predisposition to and long history of bashing our company and others so we're used to this, we expect it, it's fine, I'm fairly sure LT means well, and I understand the point that they're trying to make. Unfortunately LT also tends to get facts wrong to a greater or lesser extent which isn't ideal, for example we very rarely release betas and didn't for the Loaders in favour of more thorough upfront testing and higher quality initial releases, and as noted on our news pages, our first Loaders for PHP 5.3 were released on September 2nd 2009 and not October 3rd as claimed. Of course that was still after PHP 5.3 was released so LT wouldn't be happy, but that's a consequence of the complexity of the task and the amount of testing that we do inhouse. In general we're the first company to have support for new PHP versions and I believe that we were for PHP 5.3 too. As for Loader issues, PHP 5.3 had major changes under the hood, and having code compiled from previous versions of the language work on PHP 5.3 at all is somewhat of a triumph, particularly PHP 4 compiled code. Even with substantial testing, first support for old code on a new language will inevitably show up issues for some codebases, though in reality it turned out that the 5.3 Loaders were mostly a great success from the first release with relatively few issues, and those that did emerge where typically addressed within a day or two of having a reproducible test case.

    As with everyone, LT's points are always listened to with interest and noted, and LT is quite right to say that releasing our PHP 5.3 Encoder earlier would have been better as there are always some early adopters of a new language and users who could benefit, and we always strive to support our customers as best as we can. Had the timing of other projects been different and there not been a confluence many sub-projects for Version 7, it's safe to say that we would have released the Encoder long before now, and that's why earlier release dates had in good faith been mentioned by us in the past. Once Version 7 is out we'll be resuming our initial R&D on Version 8, and various updates to version 7 that we have planned can follow much more easily again.
    Last edited by phpa; 10-07-2010 at 07:56 AM.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    Unfortunately LT also tends to get facts wrong
    Your opinion is not fact, it is merely opinion, and no, of course I'm not going to simply bow to your opinion, because your opinion is wildly biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    for example we very rarely release betas and didn't for the Loaders in favour of more thorough upfront testing and higher quality initial releases, and as noted on our news pages, our first Loaders for PHP 5.3 were released on September 2nd 2009 and not October 3rd as claimed.
    Try to get the facts straight before coming at me and accusing me of being incorrect, or lying, ok? You're dead wrong, and your own forums prove it.

    Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:13 pm Post subject: PHP 5.3 support released for Linux x86

    We're pleased to announce that we have now included a beta version of our Loader for PHP 5.3 in our latest Loader release for Linux x86.

    This first release is for providing compatibility support, and while some providers have stated that they will be unable to support existing encoded files, and that scripts will need to be re-encoded to work with a PHP 5.3 optimiser when it becomes available, we have concentrated our efforts and worked hard to provide back compatibility for all the existing end users of ionCube encoded files when their servers move to PHP 5.3.

    The ionCube Loader for PHP 5.3 aims to offer full support for executing already encoded PHP 5 files on PHP 5.3, and should also run most PHP 4 compiled code too! The Loader is currently at beta, but passes our own test suite and also tests with major applications such as phpMyAdmin and Drupal (one of the few fully PHP 5.3 compatible applications at this time). We'll be rolling out builds for other platforms in due course, and any suspected problems with support on PHP 5.3 should be directed to the helpdesk with a ticket so that we can investigate.
    Quote Originally Posted by phpa View Post
    Of course that was still after PHP 5.3 was released so LT wouldn't be happy, but that's a consequence of the complexity of the task and the amount of testing that we do inhouse.
    More supposition and attempts to cover your own tails. The fact is that if you ran things properly, you would have been ALL OVER this in beta/RC phase, and it wouldn't have taken close to a year to get out a stable product.


    This has nothing to do with 'attacking' or 'trolling', merely correcting the misinformation from your own company. Professionalism demands that you handle things in a timely fashion, and you certainly have yet to do so.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by linux-tech View Post
    merely correcting the misinformation from your own company.
    Thanks Tom for pointing out an apparent discrepancy in the forum. We never intentionally or wittingly produce inaccurate information nor wish to confuse, but despite best intentions it can happen. As mentioned in the forum, the Loader passed our testing suite and tests with larger applications, though it was difficult to find large applications that were compliant and that actually worked properly on PHP 5.3 at the time, and it was not actually at beta internally but at first release. Saying "beta" was a device to help manage end user expectations as there could have been a higher than usual probability of potential issues.

    Thanks again for the valuable input.
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