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Posted (edited)

Are you a shopowner? Help make the core osCommerce software better!

This is the place where you can let the osCommerce team know about an idea (or ideas!) to improve the core software.

First a definition: "core" osCommerce software is the package that is downloaded and installed by default. This isn't the place to write a wishlist of addons you'd like to see in the base osCommerce. Don't forget that lots of functionality is able to be added with addons that can easily be uploaded and turned on due to the modularity of osCommerce. The last thing we need is a bloated package full of "features" that will never be used by a large majority of shopowners. If you have an idea for an app, post it here.

What is welcome here is ideas that can, for instance, make it even easier for addons to be installed. Perhaps you (or your developer) have found developing and adding a particular addon is too difficult because you need to dive into core code. In that case, let the developers know!

Perhaps you can't find ways to turn things on or off. Or something you want to do is way too difficult because of the way the core code is structured.

We as shopowners who deal with the day to day running of stores and have the knowledge as to how osCommerce can be improved for both us and our customers. This is our opportunity to have some input into the direction of the software. Anything to do with the core code that would make your life easier as a shopowner, let the team know by posting it here.

Edited by frankl

Let's make things easier for new osCommerce users http://forums.oscommerce.com/topic/402638-discussion-about-hard-coded-database-tables/?p=1718900  Getting there with osCommerce 2.4! :thumbsup:

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Many of you may be thinking..."whut?" 

but ... I promise you ... Core Code Changes are possible.   Every single change I (and others) have made to the Community Edition, is a Core Code Change.

Typical examples;

  • @Tsimi and I found a bottleneck in /includes/application_top.php.  Fixed!
  • @BrockleyJohn wanted some extra getContent calls.  Done!
  • @raiwa wanted auto included hooks.  Done!
  • more examples if you want them

So long as what is asked for, makes sense... :thumbsup: 

 

 

 


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IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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Posted (edited)

Core code changes I feel really needed:

  • Write the language id each order is placed in orders table. Reason: You can autote answers in the customers' language. Currently you can't.
  • Write shipping and payment module codes would be good, too.
  • Write attributes id instead of only localized names in orders_products table.
  • At least basic support of bootstrap/font icons in admin.
  • Header tags in admin.
  • A decent attribute management page. Current one is a mess.
  • HTML emails. Built-in support for phpmailer or other 3rd party mailing libraries.
  • A system to upload/unpack addons that does not require core code changes (most of the lately written); An admin dialog box that uploads the file, uncompresses it on the server and shows basic instructions.

Suggestions (less important I think, but also good):

  • Removal or completion of the functionality of some options like ie. banners and testimonials: Reason: it may be very frustrating for a new customer to have an admin page that does nothing because does not trigger anything on shop side.
  • More classes (products, attributes, customers...) to replace a lot of current functions and code.
  • Some kind of "content modules" for admin: Ability to add functions on specific pages like, for example adding a button for pdf invoices on product listing by just uploading a file and setting sort order.
  • Replace most of the page reloads by AJAX calls on simple tasks.
  • Cleanup of old compatibility code (php < 5.3)
  • More cleanup....
Edited by piernas

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@burt I forgot - can you consider changing the translation of "header tags" to something else like for example "header scripts" or anything else you consider good? that name squeaks...

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Just some thoughts: 

- The attributes are very complicated atm. It is difficult to do an efficient customisation of an "raw" product. 

- a discount and voucher system to core? 

- some kind of easy poplulate: It is very complicated to do an efficient "mass-manipulation" of data atm. 

- add "tracking_ids" to ordered products: one would only assign these values and give the customer the possibility to track the shipment(s)

- a base price system: some products are a multiple of some kind of base quantity (e.g. 100ml)...to compare prices it makes sense (and is mandatory in some countries) to give the base price per product...

 

 

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This is a question that has been discussed many times before. As it stands osC stock install ( and I do mean stock) is only viable for a basic e store.

If you have a small number of products its fine. As soon as you get to real life ie a few thousand products the only way you can use osC is with several essential addons.

Now what these essential addons are will differ depending on who you ask but I’m sure from all the feedback we will be able to narrow it down to a short list of common core requirements. These we should add to the stock store.

Having a bloated stock install? Is that really an issue these days. What we need is a stock install that give a usable store experience giving all the tools needed to run a store.

For me this is this what I find essential and always have to add in order make running the store manageable. They all exist in one form or another as an addon but should part of the stock install.

 

1) Batch order update :- The ability to update status of more than a single order. Currently an add-on.

 

2) Product sort order :- The ability to set the order in which products are presented to the customer. We need the popular products to appear first on a page. The function already exists for category. However for products you need a better management method, you do not want to be opening each product page in order to change the order! Currently an add-on

 

3) Easy and Quick product update:- Managing products is just not practical in stock. Yes there are spread sheet options, but it needs to be easy in admin. We all ready have an add-on which make this job so much simpler should just be part of stock.

 

4) Setting up basic things like links should not require the editing of files. All information needed on the store should be managed from admin. Should be a simple add link enter text and press go. It a basic requirement for any store.

 

5) Check out :- I know there are 2 views on this but we must offer single page check out as a stock option. Like it or hate it is not relevant, give the customer the option, those who prefer it are then free to use it.

 

Not much is it? I have deliberately not included any store front issues as I feel store owners should be willing to pay to have the look and feel of the front end as they prefer.

As to issues of core code changes, from a store owners perspective as few as possible would be the answer. This would ensure that more people keep stores up to date. Just look at how many people are still using 2.2a!

Now if we can get a few others to lists of key features required in stock we can collate them into an agreed short list and include them in the official Edge release.

 

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Keep 'em coming.  All great ideas have been presented so far.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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Posted (edited)

I understood the Original Question of @frankl Frank was more about the architecture of the code and not so much about wanted features. But then again the wanted features might need changes of the codes architecture.

So .. Above suggestions I endorse ... I would like to add:

- Different product types (Single product - Grouped prouduct - Configurable product)

- Prepare for Templates

Edited by azpro

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Posted (edited)

I suggest some type of better image system

I envisage admin side uploading 1 large image, which is then auto saved in 5 different sizes.  Then have the shop side tep_image function updated to use srcset. 

More Reading;

Reasoning;

At this moment, the large image [abc123.jpg] is shown for all Resolutions (XS, MD etc).  With srcset, can choose to join image size to resolution, eg;

  • At XS show abc123_XS.jpg
  • At MD show abc123_MD.jpg
  • and so on
Edited by burt

This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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Like! But if I ready quickly at the bottom it says:

Quote

When?

This is tricky too.

If you want it right now and want great browser support, you need to polyfill it. But that has some potential downsides. So for now you'll have to make that call for yourself, I'm not sure there is a best practice for all scenarios yet.

We allready have a system for different image sizes in place .. It is a mix off   https://apps.oscommerce.com/oTI8V&kissit-image-thumbnailer-bs&c=images  and own code ... works fine and helps te reduce page load-time.

But a clean newly coded solution would be great!

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@burt  Back to @frankl  original question .... I was working with an app tonight ... and still it needs core-code changes. I believe we can only avoid core-code changes if we introduce some sort of MVC model. Basic reading :   http://requiremind.com/a-most-simple-php-mvc-beginners-tutorial/ 

The actions should / could be separeted from the basic files .. Eg create_account.php could use some sort of Controller for actions if one would implement Mailchimp.

Thoughts?

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Regarding the images: it would be also nice to have a new display method on the shop-side, which would be more mobile friendly (allow swiping instead of the little arrows). And the thumbnails are quite small in the mobile view...

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Hmmm ... another question for you guyst ...

which features will help you sell more or more profitably and will allow you to sponsor some development to get your wishlist implemented ?


KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
FYI Upgrade to the highest PHP version you can( PHP 5.5/5.6 or 7.1  and get big performance improvements for free)

But be aware php 5.5 is more strict about things.
UTF8-without BOM, no extra spaces allowed at the beginning or end of your php file, or your redirects wont work.
No double declarations of functions allowed - used to slip through the cracks ...

 

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 am not a shop owner anymore but if I may I would like to share my opinion in here.

I think as long additional functions or features can be added via modules or hooks there is not much I would like to have pre-installed. IMO, the lighter the shop is the better. Too many setups and and settings in the admin area for things that you won't use is not ideal. There are however a few things that I would like to see improved.

- Better Image Management
As burt mentioned the image upload stuff for example, a folder creation or select feature for images would be very helpful to get them better organized and not all thrown inside on images folder.

- Better Attributes
Another weak part in osC I think is its attributes/options system. A real pain to setup especially if you need to add many attributes. And the lack of attributes types like checkboxes, radio buttons, input fields, large input fields. The Ajax attributes manager is not bad but it would be really nice to have an Ajax solution on the products attributes page (products_attributes.php) .

- Order Editor
Something I think is a must have is a order editor. There is one but that is buggy and is IMO not clean enough too much shitty old code in it.

- HTML E-Mails with default osC template
There was an attempt in the past by Gergely and it was working nicely once all was setup. The setup however was not easy and straight forward. Something more lighter with one osC default template build in would be nice. For order confirmation mails, invoice and packing slips.

 


 

 


When you ask for help/support:

  • Always state your osCommerce version
  • If possible, list up installed add-ons
  • 3rd party templates are not supported in the forum

Latest osC: osCommerce CE (Community Edition aka. Edge)

 

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Personally a better attributes system would be good, it can become complexed very easily. Maybe some way of adding the attributes on the product page itself might help.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, azpro said:

@burt  Back to @frankl  original question .... I was working with an app tonight ... and still it needs core-code changes. I believe we can only avoid core-code changes if we introduce some sort of MVC model. Basic reading :   http://requiremind.com/a-most-simple-php-mvc-beginners-tutorial/ 

The actions should / could be separeted from the basic files .. Eg create_account.php could use some sort of Controller for actions if one would implement Mailchimp.

Thoughts?

When I made my Mailchimp App, I just used a couple of Hooks (if I remember rightly).

v3 introduces a different architecture.  v2.4 also, but anyone working on 2.4 is pretty much on their own right now.

Edited by burt
Edit: delusion

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IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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2 hours ago, Tsimi said:

I think as long additional functions or features can be added via modules or hooks there is not much I would like to have pre-installed. IMO, the lighter the shop is the better.

This!  As someone very wise once said, why have a Cathedral when just need a small church.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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One thing that stands out: admin needs a major overhaul. Something to think about.


Let's make things easier for new osCommerce users http://forums.oscommerce.com/topic/402638-discussion-about-hard-coded-database-tables/?p=1718900  Getting there with osCommerce 2.4! :thumbsup:

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Posted (edited)

Without getting too complicated:

1) html emails - @tgely has this done ready to go... just drop it in. I’ve been using it for years. It works, it’s modular. 

2) fix the (at minimum) the admin attribute page... if not look into a wholesale new attribute manager (prob too much for the wish list... I know) 

3) image handler

4) basic readable urls (notice I didn’t call this seo) - (would be great if this would include a redirect for the popular seo url addons.... so people upgrading can “not” worry about losing their link mojo)

im sure there’s more....

Edited by greasemonkey

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Breadcrumb HT module.

I worked very hard a couple of years back to introduce extra features for SEO; most of these went un-noticed by most shopowners, but an important one [probably the most important] is the Breadcrumb Content Module. 

This Content Module includes code which allows Google to show the breadcrumb in its search result listings for a properly set up site.  EG:

g-list.jpg.4585ec46a29f61c97b43f50e921ac846.jpg

However, this only works if the shopowner has the breadcrumb content module turned on. 
I have, ready for primetime, a json-ld version so that Google can display properly whether breadcrumb module is turned on or not. 

Core?


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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@burt

I was initially confused when you said "breadcrumb content module" ... At first, I wasn't sure if there were two separate modules other than what I just called the "breadcrumb module". So, I just looked, and I now see that there is only one module <phew!>. Terminology ... :rolleyes:

That said, while I'm sure that most (?) stores will enable the breadcrumb, I can imagine that there may be some that don't. So, in that case, YES, you should include the json-ld version into core.

(imho)

Malcolm


If you are running the "official" osC 2.3.4 or 2.3.4.1 download, your installation is obsolete! Get the latest community-supported responsive "Edge" release here

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Yes, it came up long ago (and I forgot about it until today).  A good shopowner client of mine does not have a Breadcrumb for his site design, so none of the cool links showed in Google, I coded up a schema breadcrumb for him to solve it.  Now I remembered it, it can go into Core.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest current code (community-supported responsive 2.3.4.1BS Edge) here

 

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I think products should have a height, weight, and length field as physical products have this. I also like the checkbox for something that ships on it's own.  Further, dimensional weight is a problem mainly in the US, I think.  But, if you sell light bulky items, it's a big factor.   Since 2007, I've had product dimensions I adopted from UPS XML and later modified my fedex to work with. 

Batch Print is something I use every day, but it could be improved.

Quick Updates is useful for me and I have that to change product dimensions.

I still have my site pretty Frankensteined, especially on the Admin side.  Soon, i will look at moving it along again. 


I'm not really a dog.

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