This is the support thread for the Ultimate SEO URLs v2.1 release.
I wanted to create a separate thread for this release as the contribution has been recoded from the ground up and is completely different from <=2.0b releases.
...some don't appreciate this fact. This release is over 1,700 lines of custom coded, golden sweet, search engine optimization goodness. I have spent an incredible amount of time not only creating the code but also testing, debugging, adding features, and of course making the best damn documentation of any contribution.
So, as a forward before you install or upgrade and ask for support remember this: ask nicely and say thank you. The increased search engine position and resulting traffic from this contribution may translate into thousands in revenue for your store...but for me it's a losing proposition as it is released for free, supported for free, and the only return I get is from positive feedback and the occassional donation. Thus, I have a pretty short fuse with those that feel I owe them anything.
The advantage to the abstraction is that the code can be used beyond the catalog side. The most immediate use will probably be for admin side data feeds like Froogle, Yahoo, etc. This adds the benefit of keyword relevant URLs for every link going out of your store to the world.
Integration of Addon Scripts
The Advanced Cache and Automatic Redirect classes are now native to the base class. This completes the development of those tools and makes the overall package easier to maintain, upgrade, and develop in the future.
Performance Optimization of the Code / Queries
There were a few store owners that had extremely large catalogs (greater than 50K products or categories) that were having issues with the 2.0b release. The code was not performance driven other than creating the SEO URLs. This release has been coded from the ground up to be a Porsche...fast, lean, and mean...no matter how large or small the catalog size. The code has been load tested on stores with over 100K products / categories and also some with less than 100. There is no difference in performance between the two extremes.
The heart of the performance is the use of efficient queries and code...but also the effective use of the cache functions. The available options allow a store owner to turn off cache completely (for large stores) or turn off cache for certain parts. This allows complete control of the performance of the code and the use of resources can be throttled at leisure.
As everyone knows, I am a performance obsessed coder. Naturally, I have performance analysis code native to the core that will help you fine tune the installation. What's the use of having options if you can't see what effect they are having on the overall page performance?
Better Support for Special Characters
I have added better regex code to strip characters but know the issue of international translations are pretty tricky. As a result, I have added the option of having the store owners define their own translations. These can be added through the admin control panel.
Simplied Installation / Upgrade Procedure
The contribution has been transformed into a more modular package which means fewer code edits. This means that initial installation is very much improved and easier. Also, in the future all upgrades will simply be overwriting 1 file. How much easier can it be? :)
As for the database settings: the contribution has an installer class that will automatically detect whether it needs to upgrade or install itself. Thus, there is no need to execute SQL files in phpMyAdmin or even call installer scripts through the browser. The only step needed to install / upgrade database settings is to call your store one time...neat, right? I hope the installer class proves to be as useful as I coded it to be...especially for future upgrades.
More Pages are SEO'd
The past releases focused squarely on the meat and bones of any store: the product and category pages. Since that is very mature it has come time to expand the family of natively supported parts of the store. As of this release the following pages have SEO URLs:
1) Product Pages
2) Category Pages
3) Article Topics
4) Article Info
5) Information Pages
6) Product Reviews
7) Product Review Info
8) Popup Images
The power of the contribution code is that the list can easily be expanded to include most anything.
This release is a complete recode of the contribution and represents a step forward with development. It is the backbone of the eventual v3.X series and is transitional...meaning that when v3.0 is released upgrading will be as simple as overwriting 1 file.
There are many new features introduced but the enhanced peformance is enough to warrant upgrade / installation.
This first post is a placeholder for the actual download link. I wanted to create the documentation with a link directly to this thread...so, had to create this thread before posting the contribution to the download area. It's a backward way of doing things but until the osCommerce team fixes their contribution system that's how it is.
Please do not post a reply to this thread until I get the download link posted.