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Fusion616

OSCommerce appears to be totally outdated

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@@14steve14 - Sure, I understand that people need more than what is presently provided in the core. But we really don't want to get into country (or zone) specific things as @@Tsimi points out, what maybe good for UK is no good for france, no good for Venezuela and so on and forth.

 

My -personal- (I repeat and stress -personal-) preference would be to remove lots more core, strip it right back to barebones, then have some sort of system of "certified" addons (by certified I mean; coded to professional standards, and supported by the coder). I'd go so far as ripping out the options/attributes system, ripping out the whole of the reviews, ripping out newsletters, mail manager, reports and so on - there are so many things that just don't apply to all shops that is presently core.

 

I have always been of the opinion that adding more to the core results in less choice for the end user.

Having a bare bones core means if I want Melons and you want Lemons, we can both be very happy.

 

Having said that, the whole ethos of osCommerce would need to change to accomodate such a radical approach and I am fairly certain that shopowners would not want to go down that route as it would cost them far more to run their shop, as mostly all these "certified" addons would cost money, most likely a monthly subscription.


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@@burt I think you are looking at this with your developer hat on.......


Now running on a fully modded, Mobile Friendly 2.3.4 Store with the Excellent MTS installed - See my profile for the mods installed ..... So much thanks for all the help given along the way by forum members.

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@@burt ripped the marketing from ecommerce. Selling is more sophisticated than ever and I see insuffiency of the bone. Email as a part of the Online marketing tools are very important. Reviews could help to others to decide something. eCommerce dosent work effectively without communications and interactions.

The enviroment as design grounds the feeeling but need more for shopping and the core should help for customers without human voices to buy something.


:blink:
osCommerce based shop owner with minimal design and focused on background works. When the less is more.
Email managment with tracking pixel, package managment for shipping, stock management, warehouse managment with bar code reader, parcel shops management on 3000 pickup points without local store.

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Surprised that neither of you"get" the idea of a barebones system into which one can hook extras. These extras would be the things ripped out of core and well coded extras.

 

So a skeleton into which a shopowner can press a button to add a limb, another button adds a hand, another another another etc. In other words a perfect bespoke site for individual shopkeepers. Utopia for the shop owner and for the person doing the support in my opinion.


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Edit to my post above: silly me, how could i think that Jim would have trouble with something like Github. Looked up "Git", looks complicated.... :wacko:

 

Taking time to learn git is worthwhile, you really don't have to be an expert to take advantage of the software. On Git you can "get" the latest code even before the official release is out. Catch bug fixes, etc, etc. Super tool to use with bare bones and/or modified versions of OSC.

 

Suggest using Atlassian Sourcetree. Great for monitoring other coders work in progress and great for your a work space for your own coding.

 

https://www.atlassian.com/software/sourcetree/overview


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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@@burt ripped the marketing from ecommerce. Selling is more sophisticated than ever and I see insuffiency of the bone. Email as a part of the Online marketing tools are very important. Reviews could help to others to decide something. eCommerce dosent work effectively without communications and interactions.

The enviroment as design grounds the feeeling but need more for shopping and the core should help for customers without human voices to buy something.

 

Not to mention under the hood there really needs to be a effective tool for handling url redirects appropriately. There are some good add ons (thanks Gergely and JackMCS) for this but proper redirects is so important of SEO I'd think it to be part of the basic package. Speaking from experience here, without redirects I pretty much torpedoed the SEO of one of my shops.


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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@@burt I understand the concept of the skeliton system, then do one click installs of modules to achieve the bespoke store.

 

But what would be the selling point of this? If the skeliton is free, but then an arm costs £100, some fingers £20 each, a digestive system £400 etc etc or you can have the whole body for £50 per month.

 

Isnt this something like what we have with 2.3.3.4 etc? where there are lots of payment modules, google analytics etc etc that can be added with one click?

 

I keep going back to the point that If I were a new customer for OSC that it would be great to have something that worked out of the box with what Im sure 99.9 % of people would class as essential capabilities (SEO / URLs / Create and edit orders etc etc) if these are not required they can be turned off in admin.

 

After all if you go and buy a car you dont then want to be told that wheels, engine, seats etc are all optional extras..........


Now running on a fully modded, Mobile Friendly 2.3.4 Store with the Excellent MTS installed - See my profile for the mods installed ..... So much thanks for all the help given along the way by forum members.

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@@altoid "for developers on Mac or Windows." And here I thought I'd made it clear that I develop on a Linux workstation. Thanks for the suggestion though. Looks like I'll just have to learn the command-line Git.

 

Regards

Jim


See my profile for a list of my addons and ways to get support.

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@@altoid "for developers on Mac or Windows." And here I thought I'd made it clear that I develop on a Linux workstation. Thanks for the suggestion though. Looks like I'll just have to learn the command-line Git.

 

Regards

Jim

 

OK, that's more painful. I messed with command line interface until I found the easier "windows" way. However if still interested: https://www.atlassian.com/git/


I am not a professional webmaster or PHP coder by background or training but I will try to help as best I can.

I remember what it was like when I first started with osC. It can be overwhelming.

However, I strongly recommend considering hiring a professional for extensive site modifications, site cleaning, etc.

There are several good pros here on osCommerce. Look around, you'll figure out who they are.

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@@Mort-lemur

After all if you go and buy a car you dont then want to be told that wheels, engine, seats etc are all optional extras..........

 

If you got the car for free, you might not mind having to pay for a few extras... B)

 

Ideally i would also prefer a bare boned core with "endless" extendibility.

 

It would make the task of maintain, optimizing and developing the software much more efficient for the oscommerce team.

 

Which in turn would probably lead more frequent updates and modern code advancements.

 

For the end user it would mean they via "add-ons" could get a cart perfectly "fitted" to their business and localization, while still being fast and lite on resources.

 

So crossing my fingers for 3+ . (or 4+)

 

But in regards to the current 2+ series, I would agree that a few more extras should be added.

 

Example of what I would consider needed in the near future.

 

- Responsive design. (is already set to come soon)

- Info page manager

- Meta title and description

 

 

Then there are a few things which is not needed but which could help in getting more users to choose oscommerce.

 

Examples.

 

SEO Urls, not strictly a needed function, a site ranks just as well without it, but most shop owners still want it.

 

Meta Keywords, absolutely useless (except for china), but still a lot of shop owners want it.

 

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This Topic should be re-opened inside this section of the forum.

 

Next Steps / Optimizations / Marketing

 

 

This current Topic shows how different each POV (point of view) is and we need to discuss this further and decide one direction to go with.

Without doing that now osC can not grow/evolve further into a "better" platform.

 

Currently from what I understood is, we got following;

 

Bare bone version: (devs and coders favorite, i guess)

 

This is what @@burt suggested, to strip everything away from osC and then add this functions later as paid, well coded and supported modules.

So the basis osC BB (bare bone) would be free and the additional modules would cost money or evtl. charge monthly fees and make these modules available for

subscribers. Did i get that right so far?

The thing is, IF you want to ask the people if they prefer this kinda version of osC then you have to show them some sort of price table.

So that shop owners can already pre-calculate how much they might have to invest to get what they need to run their business.

It is rather difficult for me to say YES to this idea IF i don't know how much it is gonna cost me at the end.

Nevertheless the thought behind it is very interesting.

One more thing that goes through my mind is other platforms like presta or magento offer a similar system, you can get the main software which includes already lot more in the core then current osC does

and they sell small add-ons/packages to add later on. I don't know how well supported these packages are but it seems to work since they have currently more users then osC has.

If the amount of current users make a platform better is another thing..... :rolleyes: Some might say, because a lot users use Windows, it doesn't make it the better OS.

 

Loaded osC version: (monthly fee basis)

 

Some mentioned to have a "clean, good coded" loaded version of osC. With functions like edit/create orders, x-sell, better invoice system, SEO and so on....on a monthly fee basis. Still giving the shop owner later on

the possibility to make changes to the core code as they do now.

I would like to know, how do you support the basic version of it? Who supports it? If the shop owner let's say adds custom code in it does he still have rights to get free support from the people that created/supported that loaded version of osC?

Or does the support warranty expire. ("similar to electric devices, once opened the warranty expires...")

If this should be the future way for osC then we need to talk about WHAT should be loaded in it? And i think that is gonna take some time to decide and then again who decides what goes in it at the end.

 

"Loaded" osC version: (freeware basis)

 

As Steve mentioned already this should/could be osC with more functionality from the start. No brainers should be added. There is a point where shop owners will have to edit or add orders manually and

such a function is a must have. The thing is there is no, well-coded module for this. Better pricing system. (show incl., excl. VAT, show price in other currencies under the product price.....)

Responsive design is on its way i guess, @@burt and other coders did a big step forward regarding this matter.

I would like to see the same commitment in creating these no brainer modules the same way osC 2.3.3.4 BS was created. Few together (community) clean these add-ons up and make them ready to be added to the core. Here also we need a listing that shows what people want to be added to the core.

 

Regarding this country specific thing, it would be great to have them as some kind of package. UK Law Pack, German Law Pack, US Law Pack and so on...which contains all necessary modification that need to be applied by Law. The problem will probably be, are these packages free? Who will keep updating them, since Laws change form time to time.

There are some terrible examples out there, like the German, pre-loaded osC 2.2 MS2 that is available somewhere out there. Since Germany has a very complicated Law regarding online stores people like to use that crappy coded, outdated, not supported pre-loaded version. Then they run in all sort of troubles and complain how crappy osC is and nothing works bla, bla, bla.....

There is also a Germany Law ready pack in the add-ons section, same there, not up to date regarding Laws, not updated to run with osC 2.3.3.4

 

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

 

The thing is WHO decides finally which direction it should go? The devs? The shop owners? The coders? All together?

And when will this decision be made?

 

For me right now it is very, very difficult to make a decision since i don't know "more details".

 

If anything i wrote above is misinterpreted please forgive me and explain how it was meant to be understood.

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Bare bone version: (devs and coders favorite, i guess)

 

This is what @@burt suggested, to strip everything away from osC and then add this functions later as paid, well coded and supported modules.

So the basis osC BB (bare bone) would be free and the additional modules would cost money or evtl. charge monthly fees and make these modules available for

subscribers. Did i get that right so far?

 

There will be free plugins/add-ons too just like today, but due to that they will require a bit more code skill to make there will probably not be as many as there is today.

 

Its basically up to the community to make, support and add as many free add-ons as possible.

 

The closest software to just that which springs to my mind would be Wordpress, so to get a feel on how such a system would work and the economics of it browse around the wordpress plugin section and possibly some of the larger wordpress plugin/template marked places.

 

Quite a few free ones, some free lite ones with optional fully featured commercial pro versions, many commercial ones both "once off" payment and subscription based ones.

 

A trip by the Magento, Opencart and Prestashop add-ons markeds are also very educational...

 

Loaded osC version: (monthly fee basis)

 

Commercial loaded osc versions already exist. Examples creloaded/loaded commerce pro, x-cart ++

 

"Loaded" osC version: (freeware basis)

 

Many loaded versions already exist Examples zencart, tomatocart, oscmax, creloaded/loaded commerce community ++

 

 

My guess is that there will be no official loaded oscommerce release, but some more functionality and modularity will be added into newer versions.

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@@toyicebear

 

There will be free plugins/add-ons too just like today, but due to that they will require a bit more code skill to make there will probably not be as many as there is today.

 

If it works out this way it would be ideal however Burt seems to be of the opinion that only commercial add-ons will be available. I don't know if he is proposing that it be restricted to just commercial add-ons or if he just feels that is how it will evolve. To me if we ensure that the approval process is not to onerous, we should still end up with an ample supply of free add-ons along with a larger selection of commercial ones as well. If it turns out this way and osC is returned to it's former glory, who knows we could even end up with many more of both. I could even see us getting to the point of removing things from the core, as has been suggested, if there is an easy way to add modules and of course, assuming they exist.

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@@Dan Cole

 

It seems that the plugins selections for "new" software are gravitates more and more in favor of commercial plugins.

 

For newer software this is understandable, since they do not have an old root following.

 

Older software still have a good selection of free plugins, i would guess this would apply to oscommerce too and that some of the veterans of this community would add in some free ones.

 

There are ofcourse also new/fresh members who will/would contribute free plugins, just like there is today.

 

But its also important to be aware that a large portion will be commercial in nature, but then again those will also usually just work as advertised and should any issues arise will usually give access to one on one support from the plugin provider.

 

 

 

 

 

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@@toyicebear

 

Thanks for explaining further.

 

Regarding the so called "Loaded" osC i put the word Loaded inside " " because it is not meant as loaded osC per se. As Steve said and you mentioned adding more functionality to the core code is the goal/wish.

I would like to hear/read more details regarding the "bare bone" version and the "not really loaded" version from others.

 

Of course from a dev or coders point of view having a "very" clean slate osC (bare bone) that they can build their plugins for it is sure nice but as a non-dev or non-coder i don't see any advantage there.

What modules will be inside it from the start, if there will be any at all? How much for an additional module? (price range, monthly?)

As you mentioned are there gonna be "light" versions of plugins?

 

There will be free plugins/add-ons too just like today, but due to that they will require a bit more code skill to make there will probably not be as many as there is today.

 

Who is gonna code the free plugins? Since it would get more difficult to code things only skilled people will be able to create plugins and i doubt that they give for free IF it takes a lot of work to create them.

 

Burts idea/suggestion of stripping stuff away and add later in a commercial way sounds IMO radical and a bit like one step ahead and 2 steps behind. But he is a very experienced coder and i guess

he has his good reasons to say something like that.

 

AGAIN other platforms have a "similar" approach and still their core code or basic version offers more functionality then current osC does.

 

EDIT:

 

...but then again those will also usually just work as advertised and should any issues arise will usually give access to one on one support from the plugin provider.

 

what if the plugin provider is suddenly not around anymore? I know you are often here so is Jim, Matt or burt but what if others start to advertise their stuff and after cashing in decide to disappear?

We see this kind of situation often from template sellers/creators. Their support is in most cases non existent.

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@@Tsimi

 

Who is gonna code the free plugins? Since it would get more difficult to code things only skilled people will be able to create plugins and i doubt that they give for free IF it takes a lot of work to create them.

 

There are several advanced and well coded add-ons available for todays oscommerce, and I guess their authors might also be willing to make some free ones for a potential new version too.

 

As you mentioned are there gonna be "light" versions of plugins?

Just a guess on my part, but there are quite a few of those for other software so its a good bet there would be some for oscommerce too.

 

Its basically a fully functioning plugin with all the basics covered.

 

Then if you want more control/functionality/vip support you can "upgrade" the plugin by paying a fee.

 

 

AGAIN other platforms have a "similar" approach and still their core code or basic version offers more functionality then current osC does.

 

They also have a bigger full time team behind them... Which is made possible by further commercializing their offerings.

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They also have a bigger full time team behind them... Which is made possible by further commercializing their offerings.

 

Reminds me of the chicken and the egg story. Which was first?

To sell enough commercial products so that the core team can grow you need to have more users that use the platform and purchase plugins.

But how do you get more users to use the platform?? Both sides need to be attractive i guess, the platform itself and the commercial plugins.

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I think whats happening here is that developers want one thing and shop owners want another. A shop owner wants something that works out of the box with good functionality, and a developer wants to make money out of selling those functions to their clients. The lite and full addons would work with a percentage of any costs going to oscommerce. This could be easily be set up as a market place (using oscommerce of course) for addons where oscommerce takes a selling fee, listing fee or what ever. Those proceeds if nothing else can be put back into oscommerce for its benefit or at least to pay someone to run the market place.

 

If the basic package was good enough it would encourage users to expand the functionality of their stores, thus creating a further income for oscommerce.

 

What goes into the core code will eventually be decided by someone, and if they get it right people will once again want to use oscommerce because its once again good. if they get it wrong, no one will use it, and its reputation will remain as bad as it is today. Currently if you look at many webdesign or business forums, everyone is recommending prestashop, opencart or magneto. I do belive that they all have a type of market place for addons as well as many free versions. Once the oscommerce package is equal or better than those, then it will be good agaiin.

 

( Some speillings corrected, but possibly not all )


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It is funny that Burt mentioned to start with a core , as i was thinking of that yesterday as well.

But then i asked myself , what is a core?

If exclude the installer, it would result once installed into a blank page.

But this is if you take 'Core' very literal.

 

So if not take it that literal , what it will go do?

Would it be supplied with a function to upload an image (build in), or would that part require a plug-in or even better a, separated class.

What at the end can be replaced to the shop owners needs, maybe to one that uploads images by product_id?

Same for the products price, does the shop owner must eat it as it comes, or will he be able to let the whole shop's products prices be in control of a plug-in?

When let depend the products "elements" , so in this case the price, on specific classes/structures/plug-ins , you name it as you want, you could offer the specific requirements for each country rules.

 

And i can keep going on and on for this.

 

It is a pretty big thing to architect an e-commerce system, often underestimated.

If understand what i speak of, you could fall back on some of the comments and suggestions from above.

It is easier to think of something then to actually bring it to action.

I think "we" should keep that in mind when asking ourself so often why it takes so long before there is a new release of osCommerce.

I somehow can understand it, even i caught myself at the moment oscommerce 3 Alpha 5 was released , and suddenly been abandoned.

I could not believe it.

Not shortly after abandoning alpha 5, a new e-commerce script came.It is called Tomato cart.

And what you think?

They took oscommerce3 Alpha 5 as a base.

If keep developing this way, the only thing that oscommerce does is provide others to shine with it's feathers.

I think the team learned from that by now.

 

But as we discussing here and now the future of an oscommerce cart, others are already in that future.

And i think it is better to learn from them, even if some of them took oscommerce as a base.

Somehow they made a big influence in the market, and from a commercial point of view they are far ahead of 'Us'.

 

It is realistic to conclude something went wrong, but i believe it is not meant to be, like it is now.

This is not what osCommerce team had in mind for them self and 'Us'.

 

So how will the road to another osCommerce version be plaid?

Will there come some sort of 2.5 version holding all the options we discussing right now?

Or will this feedback taken in into the version 3.X

 

Why i ask this ....?

Well simple...how long it go take to build something, as discussed at the moment?

That is something you should ask yourself as well.

Will there again be an abandoned osCommerce version, so all the idea's in here can take place for a new osCommerce?

 

So.. as a final.....What is Wisdom?

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Do please bear in mind that I am viewing this not as a developer (in terms of wanting to charge clients for XYZ, all of my clients know that they pay a fair price and receive good support), but as a Team Member who is one of the ones who will be bringing the software (in whatever form it eventually ends up at) to you, and having to support it (for which I get nothing). It's amusing to me that some people who run shops charge for their products, yet don't like developers to charge for their products.

 

Getting off that particular debate (if anyone wishes to continue that debate do so in a new thread).

 

@@toyicebear pretty much has it nailed.

 

A barebones osCommerce, supported by the core team, freely available to all.

A bunch of certified addons (mostly the stuff pulled out of the core along with the better coded addons that presently exist, all free).

 

Now the shopowner can mix and match a good site, with lean mean code.

 

And then;

 

A bunch of commercial (and free) addons coded to a very high standard to be made available - supported by the addons creator. Commercial could be a one off fee, could be a monthly subscription, could be yearly fee, could be a per site fee, could be a pay when you need support fee - that's up to the addon creator.

 

So, how can anyone tell what the eventual cost of your shop would be? if you find a vendor selling an addon that does the washing up and it's 100 euros per month, some businesses will find that cost worth paying. If you don't there is an easy answer; don't buy the addon. Go to a different coder and say "love this, need this, dont want to pay so much, can you make me a different version". The coder does so. That code is now owned by the person who paid for it. What's next - they can upload it as one of those free addons.

 

It's all Business 101. One hand feeds the other.


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A barebones osCommerce, supported by the core team, freely available to all.

A bunch of certified addons (mostly the stuff pulled out of the core along with the better coded addons that presently exist, all free).

 

Now the customer can mix and match a good site, with lean mean code.

 

And then;

 

A bunch of commercial (and free) addons coded to a very high standard to be made available - supported by the addons creator. Commercial could be a one off fee, could be a monthly subscription, could be yearly fee, could be a per site fee, could be a pay when you need support fee - that's up to the addon creator.

 

 

 

As a shop owner with no coding expierence and no time to learn it, I like where this is going. At the end of the day I want well coded supported addons be it free or paid for. As long as I can see a ROI I'll pay for it and if not then I wont.

 

Having a bare bones osCommerce core which gives a shop owner the flexiblity to build a site specific to their needs with free, lite and commercial addons is ideal and the only way forward in my eyes.

 

An idea and for a way to generate revenue to keep the core updated along with the osC official addons could be to have the following price structure

 

osCommerce skeleton + any 5 official addons Free!

osCommerce skeleton + any 10 official addons €20 (one off payment)

osCommerce skeleton + any 15 officail addons €40 (one off Payment)

 

 

This still gives the shop owner flexibility to choose what certified addons they want specific to their needs.

 

 

It would also be ideal to have a handfull of free fully supported osC templates.

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Triggered by the pricing examples in previous post - I just received an invitation for the opendays organised by openerp (a belgian commercially opensource ERP solution)

https://www.openerp.com/oe_pricing

 

I wouldn't expect osCommerce to be that expensive, but the €20/40 mentioned above to me seem totally unrealistic.

Anyhow, I don't think it is the time to now to discuss detailed pricing / promo propositions, without anything being agreed upon.

I also find there is one notable absentee in this discussion.


KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

I do not use the responsive bootstrap version since i coded my responsive version earlier, but i have bought every 28d of code package to support burts effort and keep this forum alive (albeit more like on life support).

So if you are still here ? What are you waiting for ?!

 

Find the most frequent unique errors to fix:

grep "PHP" php_error_log.txt | sed "s/^.* PHP/PHP/g" |grep "line" |sort | uniq -c | sort -r > counterrors.txt

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@@burt

 

A bunch of certified addons (mostly the stuff pulled out of the core along with the better coded addons that presently exist, all free).

 

That comment puts your idea in a completely different light (for me at least).

Reading your previous posts it sounded like you want to rip out stuff like attributes, newsletter, basic functions and offer them as commercial plugins later. BUT that comment of yours changes everything!

You also said "along with the better coded addons that presently exist" what did you had in mind?

And what is HPDL view of all this?

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Triggered by the pricing examples in previous post - I just received an invitation for the opendays organised by openerp (a belgian commercially opensource ERP solution)

https://www.openerp.com/oe_pricing

 

I wouldn't expect osCommerce to be that expensive, but the €20/40 mentioned above to me seem totally unrealistic.

 

 

It was only an example of a price structure don't take these figure as being calculated.

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Keep in mind that the great majority of osC users are business people who just want a tool to let them sell online. They're not coders or software engineers, and would prefer to let someone else get dirty under the hood/bonnet. Most are running for-profit businesses, and would be willing to pay something for code/system that delivers profitable customers to them. How much they would be willing to pay depends upon the size of their business -- some are hobbyists on free hosts and need everything for free, as they have very small turnover and can't afford to pay anything except some of their time. Others run fairly good-sized and profitable businesses, and can afford to pay for software and/or someone's services to keep it up and current, provided it doesn't eat up too much of the profit.

 

From the customer viewpoint, "first impressions last". If you come to a site that's obviously very primitive, poorly organized and hard to navigate, and keeps breaking down -- are you going to keep shopping there? Of course not! There are plenty of alternatives which function well.

 

Flexibility and turnkey systems are at opposite poles. The more flexible a system is, the more coding skills are likely to be needed to add new features or make changes. Even "one-click" plug-ins are going to need pre-installed hooks, which can bloat the code and slow it down. The more features that are built into the vanilla code, the harder it becomes to maintain it or add new features. Even a true CMS has its limitations -- someone still has to write all the code modules; and you pay a performance price by having so much take place in the database and at runtime. If someone can figure out how to get the best of all worlds in this, I'll look forward to their ACM Turing Award lecture!

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