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Dan Cole

Confusion over osC Versions.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2019 at 8:56 PM, MrPhil said:

Gary doesn't believe in making it simple for store owners to know (or report) what version they're running.

Phil...this is probably a little off topic....this comment, not yours, but I couldn't let it go -- IMHO, it's just not fair to Gary.  As you may recall from one of the Community Team threads Gary explained why this problem exists and it doesn't have much, if anything, to do with him.  I sent you a PM with a link to that particular post, for what it's worth.

Dan

Edited by MrPhil
fix title was confustion

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I can't agree with Gary's reasoning on this. Since it's obvious that Harald will never legitimize Frozen as the official osC 2.5 (and later, some form of Edge as 2.5.1), it's time to stop bending Frozen to try to fit with the news and updates stuff. Just comment out all the code that interacts with updates and "latest version" items, and put up a "check GitHub here for latest version(s)." Or something like that.

What developers keep losing track of is that most of the users of osC are business people, not computer nerds. It is unreasonable to expect them to dig through source files to find vague and confusing version stamps, and to have to remember the exact date on a zip file! They're just trying to run their business, and the more roadblocks we put in their way to making it relatively easy to manage their online store, the more of them will desert to easier-to-use platforms. What most want is a selling appliance, not a whole new career. The whole mess of ancient official versions (why in 2019 do we still have to tell newbies that they installed the wrong version?) and "Frozen with BSv4" fiascos couldn't be better designed by a competitor to sink osC.

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My point was I don't think it's Garys fault but I agree this never should have happened or have been left that way.  And I think we both know whose fault that is.

Dan  

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No need to remove any code just need to add one simple line into version checker. Sould be simple to do for anyone who is doing installs or providing support for osC.

I don't use github so not sure how simple it is to simply pull data from that? But pulling the date from the server on install is....... but as you say off topic.....

image.png.60b692faeaf0f86247036c0dd4fdaddd.png


 

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Posted (edited)

Hello Dear friends

I think history repeats itself and nobody learns the lessons from others mistakes. Whether it's an official or unofficial version every 3 or 6 months, you have to launch a stable version. Call it frozen 1, 2, 3 .....

But it's out of this topic LOL :)

 

 (thanks Dan for moving it to another topic)

Edited by valquiria23

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Posted (edited)

Just my opinion, I'm new to the different versions.  Whilst I'm in the process of developing an addon, I've been learning about Github and it's features.  It looks to me like Gary (I'm assuming that's gburton on github) could sort this out quite easily by creating one or two news repositories in github and then separating them.

From my understanding after the release of 2.3.4.1 as available on the products page of oscommerce.com there have been 3 forks (correct me if wrong) that most people are using as an unofficial next step from 2.3.4.1.

Put them each in their own repository and then start making better usage of the Release feature in Github for each of those versions after updates are made.  The release feature asks you to give it a tag which is essentially version numbering for example start with v1.0, next release is v1.0.1 and you'd list what sort of changes have been made.  They advise only changing the first number if the changes are no longer backwards compatible with prior versions.  Gary's only used the release feature twice but I can bet the amount of changes made over time constitute more than two releases.

The release feature is essentially the same as and does the job of the Release History dropdown at the bottom of this page https://www.oscommerce.com/Products

More can be read on versioning/tags here https://help.github.com/en/articles/creating-releases

And advice/best practice on Semantec Versioning here https://semver.org/

Sorry if the above is teaching to suck eggs, again it's just my opinion.

Edited by peterbuzzin

If it still don't work, hit it again!

Senior PHP Dev with 18+ years of commercial experience for hire, all requirements considered, see profile for more information.

Is your version of osC up to date? You'll find the latest osC version (the community-supported responsive version) here.

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I don't think github is the issue here, version_checker.php pulls data from the osc website to check if it's the latest version.

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://www.oscommerce.com/version/online_merchant/' . $major_version);

The main issue is that users simply don't know which version they have installed as the install has no install date stamp or version in the code other than stock 2.3.4.1 CE which I assume HPDL has control over 😊.

Now anyone with file access can simply look at the server date stamp on installed files, but an end user may not have this or may not know what they are looking for.

Most people will have admin access and will simply click version checker and get the stock responce

Installed Version: osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3.4.1 CE

Which is no use to anyone as it could be anything. As I said a simple addition to the version_checker.php file could fix this.

Even if this is not done on the github, it takes all of 5 minutes to edit the one file required, Some responsability needs to be taken by the person doing the shop install, be that a developer or end user. After all it's just good house keeping.

image.png.e8e57d79c7902fd35b91f6557fb2d106.png


 

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(as a bit of background)

As has been said before, the Community Edition does not have an accurate version numbering system.

When Burt started this project back in 2014, osC was at version 2.3.3.4. So, the Community Edition, all through its early development, was also v2.3.3.4. Every release of the Community Edition during these early times was called v2.3.3.4.

When osC upgraded to v2.3.4, Burt brought the Community Edition code base up to the v2.3.4 code base, and the Community Edition became (and stayed at) v2.3.4 while further development was happening. In January 2015, Burt released the 'Gold' fixed release. Development still continued, with every release still being called v2.3.4.

When osC had the v2.3.4.1 Hot Patch applied, Burt also applied the Hot Patch, and the Community Edition was bumped up to v2.3.4.1. Once again, development continued, with every new release still being called v2.3.4.1.

Burt released the 'Frozen' fixed release in August 2018. No additional development is being done on 'Frozen'. Some bugs have been identified in 'Frozen', and there is a thread here on the forum identifying them (and some fixes too). At lease one member here is maintaining a patch file of these fixes needed for 'Frozen'.

Development still continues (usually called 'Edge', although that is not a fixed release), and the version number is *still* v2.3.4.1. Some significant changes have been made since 'Frozen' (such as the 'upgrade' from BootStrap v3 to v4), causing some compatibility issues with prior versions, and many (most?) add-ons out there.

So, there is no one 'Edge' version. Releases prior to 'Frozen' could technically be called 'Edge', and every release since 'Frozen' is also technically 'Edge'. A release of 'Edge' from a month ago may not (and probably is not) the same as 'Edge' today.

Also, there is no 'Frozen' BS4. All changes to upgrade to BootStrap v4 came *after* the release of 'Frozen'.

I won't go into why this has happened, nor into what could/should be done to address this. And I encourage others to not feed into a woulda/coulda/shoulda rant that will add nothing to the discussion.

Malcolm


Get the latest Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here .

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Thanks for the feedback and support of the project.


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 Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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Zahid,  there is no such thing as "Frozen BS4". All Gary's BSv4 work is on Edge. Frozen is BSv3. Please stop confusing people. If you have your own version of Frozen updated to BSv4, please state that clearly. "Frozen" should refer only to the snapshot of Edge, frozen in time a little over a year ago. And yes, the whole point of this thread is to bemoan the lack of clear labeling, such that business people get very confused over just what store they're installing and running.

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As always things are being made more complicated than they need to be. I'm not perticularly intrested in the history of what and why, what's done is done. The main issue is people being able to tell what they have installed. That can be solved by simply adding a simple line of code into the version_ checker file.

As far as confusing people?

 


 

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad this post has been created.  I've been using and developing with osC for 16 years ish and normally I wouldn't look any further than the oscommerce.com/products to see if there are any updates.  After becoming more active in the forums recently I've discovered the existance of gburton repo and had names of 3 different versions thrown at me with no real clear answer of what is production ready, the difference between them etc and then debates amongst users of which version to use.  You can see the post where I'm trying to work it out here 

I've been a PHP developer commercially for 18+ years, experience of osC for 16 and for someone like me to be confused over this what chance does any normal consumer/Joe Public installer have?

Artcolnc's reply has helped but still unsure if CE is the Frozen download everyone talks about, it reads historically like it is but I've had to read between the lines to establish that.  I think interchanging references contribute to the confusion also, if 2.3.4.1 CE is 2.3.4.1 Frozen and vice versa, then one of those terms should be picked and stuck to.  I've seen both used separately in the forums.

Then I just clicked one of the links in MrPhil's signature and found that Gold isn't Frozen (or at least the topic I'm about to link to implies it isn't) but Artcolnc's breakdown implies it is (Gold was released, 2.3.4.1 hot patch applied, frozen was released).   From the link below I understand they may be the same codebase and so run parallel to eachother but are different and separate forks of 2.3.4.1.

Clearly states Gold and Frozen are two separate varieties (and not stated but are 2.3.4.1) - UPDATE: or not both 2.3.4.1 as the post above says it's 2.3.4.

Can anyone else see/understand why I'm still confused?  Everyone here is very familiar with the fantastic progress/work Gary's been doing (Gary none of my comments are in anyway intended to take away/detract from the credit you deserve) so this all may seem simple enough to the active members here, you've been following it this whole time and you know the history of development.  Any other member of the public interested in installing osC will see this and run a mile straight into the arms Magento, Presta/Open Cart or WooCommerce.

There's no possibility of changing what's displayed on oscommerce.com/products so most will install stock osC 2.3.4.1 then possibly come here once they realise many of the popular payment modules don't work anymore (the amount will grow as time passes and HPDL is absent).

Again just my opinion...but I would say frozen and gold need to be in their own separate new repo's within Gary's github (it's free to do, you can have multiple repos). 

Both clearly documented that they are Production ready but End of Life/no further development, possibly only bug/security fixes.

Then BS4/Edge can be clearly marked as experimental/development/experienced only.

If news users venture into the forums there needs to be a united/unanimous response from existing members as to what fork to install/update to if they want to.

Then maybe the most active members in here could agree to have a common signature (at least part of it) similar to the above logic, below as an example:

Quote

If you've recently downloaded a fresh install from oscommerce.com/products there are more up to date alternatives available which we recommend you take the time to look at before putting too much work into the old version you downloaded.

Production Ready Versions:
Gold: LinkToGold most similar to last official osC release but with Bootstrap 3
Frozen: LinkToFrozen similar to Gold with Bootstrap 3 but with added modularity to make page customisation much easier.
For either of the above items you'll need to incorporate MrPhil's collection of patches: LinkToMrPhilsPatches

Feeling Adventurous?  Try a version in development!
Edge: LinkToEdge - Not for the novice user.  Comes with Bootstrap 4 and any other changes Gary made since yesterday.

I'm not trying to be inflammatory or argumentative, I hope that's not how it's coming across.  I'm just trying to give you all some feedback of my experience so far of my introduction to these forks and the confusion around them.  If anything I've listed above is incorrect about which version is which etc then that just further illustrates the problem.

Edited by peterbuzzin

If it still don't work, hit it again!

Senior PHP Dev with 18+ years of commercial experience for hire, all requirements considered, see profile for more information.

Is your version of osC up to date? You'll find the latest osC version (the community-supported responsive version) here.

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with edge would it be possible to have a file with a date in it.

e.g. 31 may 2019

that way if i do not look at github for a while, i would know how far back i would need to look, to make the required changes. 

it could also help people who need help with edge, as they can say i downloaded it on X date.

 

also could the version checker look at github instead (they got an API), even if it just lists the last time a commit was done.

possibly even linking to the file with the date in it, so it could say if any updates are available

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, peterbuzzin said:

Artcolnc's reply has helped but still unsure if CE is the Frozen download everyone talks about, it reads historically like it is but I've had to read between the lines to establish that.  I think interchanging references contribute to the confusion also, if 2.3.4.1 CE is 2.3.4.1 Frozen and vice versa, then one of those terms should be picked and stuck to.  I've seen both used separately in the forums.

CE stands for Community Edition and refers (now) to the complete series of Burt's bootstrapped edition. From early 2.3.3. 2014 repo until actual 2.3.4.1 EDGE BS4, including the fixed GOLD and FROZEN versions.  The name "CE" appeared maybe a couple of years ago just to distinguish Burt's repos made with the help of other "Community" members from the "official" versions.

Edited by raiwa

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, peterbuzzin said:

illustrates the problem.

Confusion is guaranteed just take a look at the links in the signatures in the posts in this thread.

one takes you to,

https://githubdotcom/gburton/osCommerce-234-bootstrap/archive/master.zip

which downloads a file "Responsive-osCommerce-master.zip"

Another takes you to,

https://githubdotcom/gburton/Responsive-osCommerce/archive/2341-Frozen.zip

which downloads a file "Responsive-osCommerce-2341-Frozen.zip"

Both links claim to be the latest CE version to be used?

No wonder people get confused. Add to this the fact that no matter what you download and install, in version_cheacker all you get is

Installed Version: osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3.4.1 CE

NO Edge or Frozen or Gold!  So yes users will be confused.

And yes on the one or two sites I have installed I have taken the time to make sure what was installed is clear to the user, and I make no apologies for that.

image.png.c1b98bdfa65913c5d990be24c7d4fa08.png

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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7 hours ago, peterbuzzin said:

I've discovered the existance of gburton repo and had names of 3 different versions thrown at me with no real clear answer of what is production ready, the difference between them etc and then debates amongst users of which version to use. 

OK, Peter, let's draw a diagram:


             +--------------------------------------------------> osC 2.3.4.1 ------------------------------------> ???
             |                                                    (official) basically suppress PHP 7 warnings
osC 2.3.4 ---+
(official)   |   Gary Burton's                           now          2.3.4.1
             +---- CE stream -----> Gold (snapshot) ---> known -----> changes -----> Frozen (snapshot)----> Edge continues
                   on GitHub                            as Edge      incorporated                           development
                BSv3 store only                    modularity, PHP 7                                       BSv4 both sides
                                                                                                             PHP 7.2

That, as I understand it, is more or less the history of osC over the last 4 years or so.

Forget about "Gold". It's an obsolete snapshot. The "Frozen" snapshot is a quite stable, but needs a few patches. It is BSv3 (on the public store side only, not on admin). Gary has stated that he intends to make no further changes to Frozen -- that's what it literally is. He is working only on "Edge", with BSv4 responsive on both sides (store and admin), and some level of PHP 7.2 compatibility (eventually fully). It is a work in progress.

There is no such thing as "Frozen BS4". It's either Frozen (with BS3) or Edge (with BS4), unless someone has their own private fork. In that case, they should make it very clear when discussing on this forum what they're talking about.

Most people should use Frozen (plus patches), unless they want to be on the bleeding Edge of development. If what you want is a working store, I'd stick with Frozen. If you have the time and skills, and enjoy working with a constantly-changing code base, Edge could be for you.

Yes, Frozen should be officially released as osC 2.5, but I'm not holding my breath. Yes, naming and versioning could be much improved by Gary, to reduce confusion. Only one repository is needed, as Gold and Frozen are fixed in time and space.

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There's no way that any of the CEs can be released as official, they are not polished products.

I installed the latest edge the other day, and the BS3 -> BS4 conversion is sloppy to say the least. Also it cannot be appropriate to call this project CE anymore, because half the files are copyrighted to an individual, people should be alerted to this.

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Really? I would consider Frozen to be more polished than the official 2.3.4.1. BSv4 is still a work in progress, so it's likely to have some rough edges. I'm sure Gary would appreciate constructive feedback on what doesn't work well.

If someone is claiming copyright on osC files they've modified, that's probably not allowed. I don't have a current copy of Edge, so I can't look at it myself.

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The truth is anyone that wants to start an osC has 2 options:

1) The official osC. (update php and strip the grid system). Which i prefer.

2) CE - which savvy users will know require work.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, MrPhil said:

There is no such thing as "Frozen BS4". It's either Frozen (with BS3) or Edge (with BS4), unless someone has their own private fork. In that case, they should make it very clear when discussing on this forum what they're talking about.

😂 No forks or spoons just a snapshot in time.................ie Frozen.

8 hours ago, Hotclutch said:

2) CE - which savvy users will know require work.

:( so what will that make me?  😉

8 hours ago, Hotclutch said:

1) The official osC. (update php and strip the grid system). Which i prefer.

Unfortunately not an option for most ordinary users, most I'm sure would prefer to use an official version.

I'm sure grid 960 has a responsive version, not had time to try it.

Edited by JcMagpie

 

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Posted (edited)
  1. CE is the umbrella term for my "Responsive" fork on Github.  
    What I am working on is called Edge.
    Gold (release) is a fixed point along that Edge timeline.
    Frozen (release) is a fixed point along that Edge timline.
    I suspect there may be more fixed points in the future, but that depends on the Community at large helping...instead of throwing stones.
     
  2. Edge is (and always has been) a work in progress.
    It's easier to say the work is "bad" than to actually help shopowners get a good responsive and useable version of osCommerce, hence some of the posts we've all seen in the last 12 months.   And then I see those same moaning minnies using the CE for their clients :D or for their own shop :D 
     
  3. Copyright
    Any file that IS in CE and IS NOT in official is a new file.  New files are copyright their respective author.
    If anyone believes they wrote one of these new files and the copyright is incorrect on that file, raise an issue on Github and it will be sorted.
    Respecting copyright is very important and if I have failed in that, I want to know.
     
  4. Naming/Tagging (and other areas that could be changed)
    Agreed that things could be better, but you know what...get involved and it might get changed.  The last person who did get involved...wanted the version checker changed on release of Frozen, so it was changed to accommodate what he wanted.
    Moaning and groaning (about anything I do or don't do) whilst you have done nothing to help...is not an ideal situation.

When all that is said and done, I thank you all for your feedback, it's been taken on board.  Now, a couple of people who have posted in this thread have actually done positive things for the community since Frozen was released - I'm sure you have received thank you's from the thousands of users of the CE releases.  If not, that's not ideal - accept my thank you now - thank you.

As for the ones who are "loud" in their opinions yet have done nothing to help, I challenge you to actually step up to the plate and start swinging.  If you don't swing you won't get a home run...

As you guys have been so candid in your opinions, I hope that I'm allowed to give my opinion in the same candid manner.  So I ask each of you who have posted here and anyone else reading this a rhetorical (ie does not need answering here, just have a think on it) question..."have you done your part in making osCommerce a viable option for todays shopowner needs" ?   

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 Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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4 hours ago, JcMagpie said:

😂 No forks or spoons just a snapshot in time.................ie Frozen.

:( so what will that make me?  😉

Unfortunately not an option for most ordinary users, most I'm sure would prefer to use an official version.

I'm sure grid 960 has a responsive version, not had time to try it.

Bad choice of word maybe, sorry. i will think about a replacement ... :smile: 

 

1 hour ago, burt said:

  1.  
  2. Copyright
    Any file that IS in CE and IS NOT in official is a new file.  New files are copyright their respective author.
    If anyone believes they wrote one of these new files and the copyright is incorrect on that file, raise an issue on Github and it will be sorted.
    Respecting copyright is very important and if I have failed in that, I want to know.

I believe that you have. I installed your edge, and this is what i see when clicking the version checker.

Version Checker pixel_trans.gif
Installed Version: osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3.4.1

Also does anybody honestly expect to HPDL to "legitimise" a product like that or to relinquish his copyright ?

1 hour ago, burt said:
  1.  

As for the ones who are "loud" in their opinions yet have done nothing to help, I challenge you to actually step up to the plate and start swinging.  If you don't swing you won't get a home run...

As you guys have been so candid in your opinions, I hope that I'm allowed to give my opinion in the same candid manner.  So I ask each of you who have posted here and anyone else reading this a rhetorical (ie does not need answering here, just have a think on it) question..."have you done your part in making osCommerce a viable option for todays shopowner needs" ?   

 I don't think you understand how offensive your comments are at time - taking jabs at the community at large.

You're totally inflexible.

According to your posts you're the only one that deserves any credit. Why would anybody want to contribute to a project like that?

Contributions were the norm in the past. Please think about that, before accusing the community of not wanting to contribute to what is essentially your personal project.

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Like I say...it's easier to throw stones than to do something positive for the community.


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 Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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23 minutes ago, Hotclutch said:

 I installed your edge, and this is what i see when clicking the version checker.

Frozen (and onwards) *should* come up something like

"Installed Version: osCommerce Online Merchant v2.3.4.1 CE"

can anyone confirm if that is the case (or if "CE" does not show) ?  Thanks


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 Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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