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burt

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@@burt I would suggest starting a new thread for this now (and locking it to stop people posting on it) - and giving people a couple of weeks to respond - as not all users are on the forum on a regular basis - so three days to respond is rather short.

 

That way it wont be hard to find on page 3 of this thread


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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Yeah, I think I was evaluating Interchange and Oscommerce back in 2003, I really had wanted to use Interchange because my ERP was written in perl and so was Interchange, but I ended up using OSC because of its interface and functionality and ease of installation...I was in the jam to get the store going and I knew like when I was in grad school there was a good thesis and there was a finished thesis.

 

 

@@clustersolutions Like you I have been using OSC for many years - I installed a shed load of functionality to my 2.2RC2a stores.

 

Then I upgraded to 2.3.4 and went through the same "pain" of re-installing the same functionality

 

Now Im playing with a 2.3.4BS set up - and once again am looking at installing the same functionality

 

Many 100's of hours installing the same things to a basic OSC set up - But necessary for me, as the things I install are essential for ME and the way I Operate my stores - they will not be essential for everyone - so I can see the arguement for a clean-core install.

 

But reading a post by @@14steve14 I had a quick look at opencart and my first impressions of their demo storefront and admin pages was wow!

 

Now I dont know anything at all about the opencart setup or software or ease of use - but there again neither will most store owners - but If I was a statrup business today and looked at both demo sites Im almost certain I would not today choose OSC, due to 1) the more modern look of opencart and 2) the fact its bristling with features.

 

Personally, I will stay with OSC, as it has worked well for me, and I will re-install functionality in whatever version Im using, but it really does need a massive makeover to keep up with the competition to attract new users especially those who want to "hit the ground running"

 

Just my thoughts on the matter.......

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I actually don't have other ideas, this click and install is exactly what I am talking about. It can be like Wordpress (I believe it has its own framework) or like Magento, which uses an open souce framework...

 

@@burt, who in the core team are still actively involved in the coding and the decision process of the cause and the future of OSC? I read the cause of the core team and what they would do and won't, and I also read a mixed message that "I" don't bother pleasing everyone. I totally agree that you cannot please everyone, nor was I asking OSC or you to please everyone. I think I just lay out two things that may be important to OSC--getting more shop owners taking a look at it again, and attracting more developers to get involved. The first is really necessary before the second would happen.

 

 

ers get on the bWhat @@14steve14 proposes is exactly how I envisage things to be;  core code that allows developers to create addons with minimal (or better, no) core code changes.  This allows the shopowner to go;  download, unzip, ftp, into admin, click click, installed, cooooollllllllllllll.  At some point, when developall, it will be exactly as the paypal app works...no need to download, unzip, ftp - just grab straight from the osCommerce server).  

 

Then when core team releases an update eg 2.3.956; simple matter of downloading, overwriting (or pressing the update button in your admin area ;)) - as none of your addons would have touched the core files...

 

What will not happen is "loading" osc with a bunch of addons, well at least not from the core team - that I can absolutely guarantee.  Typical example in this very thread where piernas is advocating some type of order editor whereas whitehat and clustersolutions have other ideas.  It is not possible to please all shopowners so I dont bother. 

 

My point is;  

- if we leave the core as clean as possible and introduce more content modules, hooks and so on) it makes it very very easy for shopowners to do exactly as they please with regards to adding extra features.

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Gotta build OSC for "enterprise" users...is a chicken and egg problem, isn't it? Something gotta change as it is not working and open source developers need a good cause before hopping on the wagon...I just hate to see the cart that I used for ten years stuck in a spot...is there a owner for it still?

 

It does not matter which they choose.  osCommerce is not right for everyone.

 

If a shopowner is scared of hard work in setting up their site then osCommerce is not correct for them => they pop off to Magento or any other cart they like the look of and soon come to realise that instead of hard work, they have to start spending.  The hosting cost alone on Magento, well, you get the idea...

 

 

To re-iterate; it is not possible to please everyone, we are not trying to, we are not going to.  

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How about something like this: osC comes with a clean core, a usable but minimal store. Included with the package are a large number of recommended add-ons, prechecked by the developers that they're good and work as they should. Make it easy in admin to browse the selection list and pick those you want to install. Make it clear that you can remove an add-on if you don't like it, and can defer installing any of these until later. Even better, download a similar catalog from oscommerce.com and offer many more add-ons that will first require an automated download (if selected). See the CPAN Perl module catalog and installation process (but add a GUI). The first step is making it easy to find the new function you are considering -- the current add-on catalog is a mess and makes it very hard to find an add-on.

 

 

 

It does not matter which they choose.  osCommerce is not right for everyone.

 

If a shopowner is scared of hard work in setting up their site then osCommerce is not correct for them => they pop off to Magento or any other cart they like the look of and soon come to realise that instead of hard work, they have to start spending.

 

That kind of attitude drives away potential osC customers. Being bloody, bruised, and battered might be a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood, but it shouldn't be required of someone trying to use your software.

 

Keep in mind that the vast majority of potential osC users are not computer scientists or even skilled hobbyists. They are small business owners who want to get online at low cost. They're not looking for a new hobby; they're looking for a useful tool.  Why can't we make it as easy as possible for them? Yes, there will always be some tension or conflict between great flexibility/clean core design and ease of adding new functionality. Other ecommerce makers have often addressed this by taking away the choice and bundling lots of commonly used features. That's not necessarily a bad thing, unless it severely bloats the installation or slows the system to a crawl. I think it's perfectly possible to eat your cake and have it too (see first paragraph).

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@@MrPhil, you right, before i mentioned community users could build a personal/shared list of pre-packs , new shop owners click that list and install either the full list or "cherry pick".

If we end up make an installer for 1 add-on, we could also do that for multiple add-ons in 1-go , no?

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How about something like this: osC comes with a clean core, a usable but minimal store. 

 

 

The shopowners who have commented (some of which are good comments, well made) dont want this...

 

"click click" and it's installed does not appear to be the way to go ;)


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Other ecommerce makers have often addressed this by taking away the choice and bundling lots of commonly used features. That's not necessarily a bad thing

 

Yes, this is always a bad thing.  If I put in (say) X, then the user (osCommerce does not have customers) of the software cannot uninstall it from core, meaning that if they prefer to use Y or Z, they are stuffed.   

 

Whereas, if there is a modular system of "click click installed"...then the core system is clean, and users are able to pick and choose how to setup their shop.  It's really not rocket science, but people cannot seem to grasp the concept.


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Gary I understand the concept and think it could make oscommerce stand out from the rest, but what oscommerce currently has is outdated software with parts of that software that are not fit for purpose.

 

My usual example is the email newsletter system. Its hard to use, and severely restricted by hosting accounts email sending limits. It would be far better to have an exporter of say first name, last name and email address so that information can be used in something like mailchimp, or any other external software. Doing that would reduce the core code. Developers could then take this core function and add to it so that any unsubscribers can be noted in oscommerce. They could also make it so that new subscribers are automatically sent to say mailchimp to save updating the mailing lists.

 

The specials system, whilst it works, it takes an age to set up say 50 specials as they all have to done individually. There are several addons which make it so much easier to add specials. If this was in the core code it would not need to be updated and would make it better and easier to use. A store owner would then have to spend 10x minutes doing it rather than all day with many interruptions. If a store owner was to have a new years sale and reduce all prices by 15% there is currently no way to do it.

 

Some of the reports are not really what is expected today. There is no way in oscommerce to get a total stock cost. Most accountants want this at the years end. Its also good for the shop owner to see what money they have tied up in stock. Its little things like that that will make the difference. Then reports can be added to and improved as modules by other coders.

 

As @@MrPhil mentions these additional modules or components and features could be made to work the same as the current module system. Its a very simple way to install extras as you yourself demonstrated to me with the small module you made for me. It really is a no brainer that system. Once you start getting a good product and current and other developers getting interested in oscommerce, then things would really improve. Whilst you have to get the developers on board, you have to have an end user for the product, so give the end user what they want. If an end user does not want oscommerce then it makes no difference to how clean the code is, or how easy it is to add functionality.

 

Keep any functioality as standard to a minimum, but get oscommerce fit for purpose in this century, not the last one. Once that happens developers can see what they have to work with, and what they can do to improve the product, or parts of that product with the help of store owners.


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Indeed it is @@14steve14, I know that you, now you've seen a small example, understand the way forward and see a future...

 

I also agree with you that certain parts of osCommerce are not fit for purpose, and this is where the next lot of work is to be done.

 

To answer these points as best I can;

 

Mailchimp: there are at least 5 commercial scripts that enable this.  It's not wrong to say to users of osCommerce; there you go, it's worth it's weight in gold.

Specials:  it's a very basic system, needs to be updated

Reports:  laughable.  They are ALL crap and useless. 

 

End Users have to understand that the osC software they use is not made by a multi-global team with millions of euro's behind them.  It's a spare time effort (that I personally put far too much of my time into).


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@@burt

 

Gary I hope you're not getting to discourage by the comments made in this thread.   I read many of these posts with a puzzled look on my face and maybe a slight grin too.  It seems to me that everyone wants the same thing but is simply expressing it differently because of their history with osC and perhaps understanding of the direction we're heading in.  I can say this because I was one of the skeptics too but the more I thought about the direction, the more sensible it seemed.   As someone already said, we can have our cake and eat it too!  

 

In the end I think everyone will be happy and pleasantly surprised.  

 

Dan      

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Yes @@burt please do not be discouraged by the comments - they are meant as constructive comments - OSC has come a long long way in the last 12 months, who knows what the next 12 will bring.


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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Yes @@burt please do not be discouraged by the comments - they are meant as constructive comments - OSC has come a long long way in the last 12 months, who knows what the next 12 will bring.

I'm just looking forward to the next 14 days :D

 


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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I'm sorry because I've started this discussion; I didn't want to offended people who works hard for oscommerce. I was just stating a weak point I consider very important to be added out of the box, as a preinstalled addon when the install system is ready and that may be also added in the meanwhile 'as is', being a function that just adds some files, should not need other updates than cosmetics if the aspect changes over versions and does not need core changes at all (or at least it can be done that way). Not on my personal interest; as I said I have an addon working already that does the job, and it works fine for me.

 

I understand perfectly nobody has to do the order editor for free; No doubt at all. And I'll try to do it with my limited knowledge and stealing some ideas from existing plugins :- and upload to the addons site. It may take weeks or months but I'll do :thumbsup:

 

I think the direction oscomerce is taking is the right direction; Having a strong, flexible heart all the body should work well. But as you can't sell a car with just wheels and engine even for tuning it, some "modules", "addons", "basic functions" or whatever you call them must be served out of the box. To choose which ones will depend on the preferences of the main developers of course, but some preinstalled modules should be done (I suppose all of you agree).

 

Is this the way it is planned? Did I understand well how it will be?

 

But in my opinion if a skeleton with minimal functions is served you have to sell the product really well to be competitive, even if oscommerce is planned to be for semi-developers, hard workers or programming hobbyists; I don't know if there's a clear idea on how to sell the product, but I think it will need a complete system (maybe as complex as oscommerce itself) that shows you and lets you choose among a good number of free or paid addons (of course preferably bug-free) shown in the last step of install process. Because if a newbie choses one or two free but buggy addons at first impression he will probably forget about oscommerce forever. And I see that much more difficult than programming oscommerce itself - and I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying the amount of work needed terrifies me (w00t)

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To give an idea of the modular approach, here's a video I made some weeks back then promptly forgot aabout. This shows a content module being moved from the index page to the navigation and then back to the index page. You could just as easily drop it into the footer, the product_info, or whereever.

 

It's all about where you (the end user) drops the properly coded module, you can then just click click install.

 

 

I hope this makes sense, this is on localhost, but I am sure you can imagine yourself doing similar with FTP.


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@@burt, hope I did not say anything that is discouraging to you and it seems like you have a lot of responsibilities with OSC being its defender and developer. I hear/read that a lot about Magento for having been backed by Ebay and etc. but I always want to say they didn't in the beginning and it was the software itself that had attracted users, then developers, then Ebay...

 

...and don't get burnout for helping people for free...just charge them...

 

 

 

End Users have to understand that the osC software they use is not made by a multi-global team with millions of euro's behind them.  It's a spare time effort (that I personally put far too much of my time into).

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@@burt it seems really easy to manage. Maybe I'd rethink if all the language subdirectories structure is necessary; At a first look it seems more difficult to update or translate than sharing a common directory for all module language files.

 

I also found that the admin title of a module is placed on those files, while the description and options are hardcoded into the module so no translation of the options is possible. Will this be the definitive structure?

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OK, let's do just that.  NOT HERE, so that people don't jump on the same tired old bandwagon as each other.

 

List your 10 things...

If it exists:  link to the addon.

If it does not exist:  state if you are willing to take action to get it coded to required standard if it is not already of required standard.

 

Send that list to my PM inbox by Friday.

I will collate them all, remove the senders name and make a new thread, and then it can be discussed in more depth.

 

 

I hope everyone has inundated Gary with lists and he is busy collating what everyone sent him. I think not. Apparently after everyone kicking up a fuss, the majority sent Gary nothing, zip, nada, sod all. How is that going to help oscommerce. Aparantly only one person did. I am sure he would still welcome a bit of help and guidence to what should be included in the core code. If you send him something put an explanation as to why you think it should be included in the core. I can see why he gets so frustrated with shop owners on this forum.


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i think easy install mods help businesses of many types, we dont all want the same mods running. But they would be there if required, and time trying to work things out is all very well for some of you guys, and things you would set up easy enough would take time for newbies like me to set up what they want. Problem it is kinda of putting on the length of time it can take on just one mod. Easy installs surely will attract more installs above other similar E-commerce packages? 

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Does anybody know when osC 2.4 is expected?

 

My website is all responsive except for osCommerce, so I'm looking forward to the responsive release.

 

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