Zend Optimizer (again)

apps

#1

I was just wondering if there’s any reason you don’t support Zend? Although it’s speed benefits are subject to debate, many, many scripts use Zend to protect their code, and prevent copywrite violations…
Zend is used in a very high percentage of commercial PHP scripts…
Globat and Rackhost both support Zend, as does WebAir. I’m sure many other hosts support it as well, those were the first three I could think of to check…
Dreamhost seems to be behind the times…

Thanks!
(or, if anybody knows a way to get a script requiring Zend to work, let me know! :))


#2

I also used the ‘suggestions’ tag… for this…
anybody else that wants it should do the same :slight_smile:
https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=home.sugg&


#3

I already vote for it

When is DreamHost going to install it?


#4

[quote]When is DreamHost going to install it?

[/quote]

This isn’t so much a question of when as ‘if’. Unlike some of the other things people have requested (ie. PHP 5, MySQL v4.1, etc) Zend Optimizer doesn’t have that much demand.

In our experience those who do ask for it are usually doing so because some piece of software is encumbered by code obfuscation, not because they really need the performance enhancements. In such cases, there are usually similar scripts that are not encumbered with this sort of code protection ‘technique’ and work just as well.

Don’t let this discourage you from voting for it, though. Like anything else we do keep our eye open for requests, and will consider supporting it if there is significant enough demand.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#5

Hi

I am not requesting it for better performance

I am requestin it because I need it
I got a dating script very good in www.azdg.com
that cost 300 USD

But I can’t use it in DreamHost because it needs ZEND Encoder

I am using other hosting that have ZEND Enconder, but I was wishing to leave that other hosting and move all to DreamHost, and I was wishing to use DreamHost for my new projects too…

But this little request (as you see it), just stop me in doing it

I see that I am not the only one that wish it, and I don’t think all users are using scripts that need this, but you are limiting they, to use those kind of scripts

They will think, is I want that script I like a lot, first I need to wait a lot of people vote for it, and after, to be available, so, they will say, no, I better won’t use that script, is a lot of trouble, or I will use it in other hosting

I just did not request this feature to be available in my old hosting, but when I found DreamHost did not have it, I found my other hosting did have it without having to request it, so I decided to keep some webs in that hosting

I think is not good your way to manage improvements

Just ask to users, what do you prefer,
1.- that we offer a lot of more features?
2.-or to ask you before install those feaatures, and do it only if many vote for it?

Of course it would be better if you offer more features so we were not so limited…

Regards…


#6

Is ioncube FREE?

http://www.ioncube.com/loaders.php

This is another alternative, to protected scripts
www.azdg.com script has two options, ZEND or ioncube

If ioncube is FREE, my question is, why DreamHost don’t have it installed?

Is it possible to request to be installed, in this forum?

That would solve my problem

Thanks


#7

[quote]I think is not good your way to manage improvements

Just ask to users, what do you prefer,
1.- that we offer a lot of more features?
2.-or to ask you before install those feaatures, and do it
only if many vote for it?

[/quote]

Adding features indiscriminately has a very real price, even for ‘free’ software. Every feature that we add - particularly those that are compiled into the web server (like Zend Optimizer) - has the potential to cause administrative problems, particularly with regards to stability. This means that it needs to be tested, which takes time - time that is taken away from other things.

Furthermore, even if a given piece of software is stable and doesn’t cause problems, it’s still another variable that we have to keep in mind and check should problems develop.

Also, we can’t just add stuff to our servers as it is requested. If we add a given feature, customers expect it to be supported to some degree. In other words, if it does cause problems there will be people who are unhappy if we just say, “oops!” and get rid of it. As such, while we can make some changes (ie. the installation of Perl modules) pretty routinely, for any major changes that could impact a lot of people we have to be a bit more cautious and consider whether it’s worth it.

Really, maintaining several hundred servers that tens of thousands of customers depend on is much different than maintaining software installed on a local PC. Changes of this magnitude are not something that is done lightly, as any repercussions are magnified across tens of thousands of web sites.

Finally, there is another factor - we are a business. It takes time to do the things that we do, and that equates to money spent paying administrators to do all of the above. That means that we have finite resources to do all of the things that customers want us to do. Spending that time working on features that a very small number of customers want (ie. Zend Optimizer) takes time away from our implementing things that a large number of customers want (ie. the afore-mentioned PHP 5/MySQL 4.1 upgrades) - which translates into lost sign-ups and unhappy customers. That’s not something you can afford to do as a business if you want to stay competitive.

So, we manage this by doing our best to gauge what our customers want and deliver to the extent that we can. We will occasionally take a chance and do something nobody else is doing or that is somewhat unproven, but only when we think the technology is cool and has potential (Jabber comes to mind here). Supporting a ‘feature’ that makes it so that software developers can charge for code intentionally obfuscated so that their customers can’t touch it doesn’t fall into that category, so really comes down to customer demand.

[quote]Is ioncube FREE?

[/quote]

Probably. I believe it is, actually. I’m pretty sure Zend Optimizer is free too. Price has never really been the limiting factor for our lack of support, though.

I will be honest with you - if your web site’s needs are not being met by DreamHost due to a lack of support for a given piece of software and you don’t want to wait for an upgrade that may never come, you should consider another host (at least for that specific site). We’re here to serve you, and if we are unable to do so we completely understand if you look elsewhere. However, we do have to support a lot of other people as well, and when each of them has different needs and priorities it can be a major juggling act. Rather than be everything to everyone we sometimes have to make decisions as to where we will allocate our resources/risk.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#8

I hate it when he’s all reasonable and stuff.


#9

Unless you can find a encoder/decoder that works with PHP CGI, you might as well look for another webhost.

PS: And yes, Zend Optimizer decoder is free, but it can’t be installed in PHP CGI (last I read).


#10

////////////Adding features indiscriminately has a very real price, even for ‘free’ software. Every feature that we add - particularly those that are compiled into the web server (like Zend Optimizer) - has the potential to cause administrative problems, particularly with regards to stability. This means that it needs to be tested, which takes time - time that is taken away from other things.////////////////////

Thanks for the explanation

So, one of the reasons is for better stability…

well, is a very good point

If in a future is possible to have this enconders (zend or ioncube), it would be great

Thanks…


#11

[quote]If in a future is possible to have this enconders (zend or ioncube), it
would be great

[/quote]

Well, if you haven’t already, be sure to submit your vote:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=home.sugg

This is probably the #1 way we gauge customer demand, as it’s much easier to quantify than (say) postings to this forum or requests sent via the support system.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#12

The thing I don’t understand, is almost every one of your competitors has it installed already… I can’t imagine there’d be too many compatibility problems with it…
(Webair, jupitorhosting, rackhost, globat)

More and more commercial scripts are requiring Zend… it’s a great way to protect your code from crackers…


#13

It won’t protect your code from crackers. It’ll just prolong the time it’ll take them to find the holes. And prevent any white hackers from assisting in patching possible holes in your code.

Besides, there’s already physical compile->code decoders out there that can convert “compiled” code to script code with 99% accuracy.


#14

[quote]The thing I don’t understand, is almost every one of your
competitors has it installed already… I can’t imagine
there’d be too many compatibility problems with it…
(Webair, jupitorhosting, rackhost, globat)

[/quote]

I’m not really sure what their reasons are, though I do know that the Zend guys actively contact hosts from time to time asking for them to support it (we’ve gotten such requests in the past). Maybe they’re just a bit more susceptible to Zend Mind Tricks. :>

[quote]More and more commercial scripts are requiring Zend… it’s
a great way to protect your code from crackers…

[/quote]

Security through code obscurity isn’t really much security at all.

If I were the creator of a moderately well distributed software package, I’d rather have the benefit of my customers being able to see my code (assuming it’s not too embarrassing! :>) and notice potential problems/security holes and letting me know. As they say, given enough eyes all bugs - even security bugs - are shallow.

I know that it’s not always possible to make open-source code a viable business model, but having your code ‘visible’ doesn’t necessitate the use of an open-source license. You can be a fully commercial, “do not redistribute under penalty of death” software developer and still provide your customers with access to source code.

Often, this promotes a healthy secondary add-on market, which you can often find ways to derive revenue and/or customer interest from (example: Movable Type, which isn’t open source but has a significant following).

When I think of code obfuscator software, I tend to think that it’s less an issue of protecting code from crackers as it is a (somewhat paranoid) feeling that one’s competitors are out to steal your trade secrets or something. There may be some truth to this, though given that PHP by default makes code available to users it seems a bit customer unfriendly to actively hide it from them.

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#15

Any thoughts on the performance aspect? For example, I use ADODB, which they say benefits greatly from the caching PHP optimisers do.

I don’t personally need it, but I wondered if it might make my site cooperate with the others on my shared server a bit better, should my traffic go up. (Of course, I also use other caching methods, where possible.)


#16

i’d also like to request either zend or ioncube. i am testing out an esupport product that’s pretty darn cool but i just paid for it and can’t use it until theres some type of support loaded.


#17

Zend Optimizer support on our servers is coming very soon.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder

#18

An odd question here, but although it was available within a week of this post, does anybody happen to know around what day/time period, specifically, Zend Optimizer got rolled out? I ask because I had a script using non-Zend source protection that inexplicably broke sometime between when this announcement was made and when I noticed that Zend Optimizer was installed, and I’m just wondering if I might’ve been that lone DH customer affected by some odd recursion as mentioned above.

Just curious.

That said, even if I was the one guy who has a problem, I can now run the Zend version of the script so the upgrade benefits me in the long run, anyway.


#19

We rolled out the Zend Optimizer setup over the course of a few days. I checked around and we believe it was June 27th when it was installed on all servers.

It has caused a few other problems so it wouldn’t be unheard of for it to have caused your problem.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder