Post by hypemedia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:58 pm

We have developed shops on opencart since 2011. We know the platform and all the advantages and problems that it has.
During many years of development we have created many custom shops from shops with a few products to shops with complex integration and over 4 million products.

Opencart is an easy to customise system with many out of the box functions the extension marketplace is big and you can find many good extensions and themes.

The you will ask where the frustration part comes in?

1. If you have a minimal customised store (done the right way, VQMOD, OCMOD etc) is very hard to upgrade to a new version. If it is an advanced customised shop is almost impossible. The upgrade for the vanilla opencart is very difficult out of the box specially if you are a few versions back. This is also ok because if you have a shop you don't need to always update. But on the other side if you have shops build on OC 1.5 and want to upgrade to OC 3 is like building the whole shop from zero. The same issues apply to other shops systems but on opencart is bad compared to magento, drupal commerce or even woocomerce.

2. Developing extensions is also hard, because of the problem above with the upgrade there are out there many versions of opencart, some of them even if they are minor update version still are changing directory structure and removing core libraries. This means that an developer must maintain an extension to for at least 3-4 major versions of opencart. The second problem with the extensions is that the core system is not separated from the extensions and instead of having a folder where all extensions/modules go, keeping the MVC structure, you ave core controllers and views together with your extensions. Is seams a small thing but it has lots of implications in the development flow and maintenance of the websites. One simple example is that if you have an extension because it is in so many places and not an extension folder you can't use git for automatic deployment of an extension. You need to have all the project on GIT.

3. The documentation is very bad. And the developer documentation is inexistent.

4. Extending core function is a pain. You have the alternative to use:
a) VQMOD -- this is ok for small modifications but it becomes very hard to debug if you have many .xml files. You can organised it and use many comments in the code so you will know which xml is crating the modifications but is not ideal. Also because the code is an XML file and is strange to read.
b) OCMOD -- this is the native VQMOD version of Opencart but developing an extension using ocmod is hard during the testing and development time. The .xml content of the ocmod goes into the database, then you need to setup a difficult environment to modify the xml and see modifications instantly.
c) Event system-- this is also OC native but for the moment is not complete. If you want to add an simple tab to an existing view then you will need an whole DOM library to handle de modification or rewrite the whole view which is much worse. Also here if you want to add an new function to an existing core controller is also almost impossible. What you can do with the events is modifying the output of the $data in order to add your data.
d) Engine Override -- we never used this system. It looks nice on paper but is not so used as VQMOD or OCMOD so for an extension developer is a limitation to depend on something that most users don't install. I think for a custom project is very nice.

5. The OpenCart community. This is also a sensible area. There are many good developers out there, but only a few are participating in the community discussions. Most of the posts in the forums are from customers trying to find ways of having functional shops. If you have problems most of the time you need to find yourself the solution there are not many resources out there.

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Post by thekrotek » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:13 pm

Well, as you may noticed, there're plenty similar posts here. You're right in everything, but unfortunately this changes nothing. I'd love this to be untrue, but I also started to work with OpenCart in 2011 and have zero illusions for now.

Anyway, it's always good too see similar posts. Most say nothing or simply comply.

Professional OpenCart extensions, support and custom work.
Contact me via email or Skype by support@thekrotek.com


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Post by margarettestine » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:14 am

You don't seem frustrated though.
I still find that old stuff relevant though.


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Post by IP_CAM » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:18 pm

Well, whenever Microsoft decides, to release a new Platform, it must be
a frustrating moment for all those poor Dev's, to find out, that their former
Moneymaker need to be upgraded too, to fully match a NEW Version of
Software.

On the other Side, what would be the point, to release something new, if
the most important parts of it would still look and work the same way ?!

So, better get down to Coders Earth, and don't expect the OC-World for
free, doing everything automatically, to allow all those Client-OC Installers,
to sit on their back and count the Bucks, after a 5 Minute Ungrade Job.

But nobody has to, and nobody was ever invited to participate in anything.
And if somebody does not like it, it's nobody else's problem either. OC is
no 'democratic' Project, and it never was, and nobody was ever forced, to
upgrade anything ever. And nobody has to like the Chief in Command either,
so, what, who, or where is the problem ?!

I don't have one, exept for a few minor one's, like most everybody else here too.
But most did not come here to make Friends, they came in the hope, to generate
some income with this free piece of Software.

So, better accept the Situation, as it exists. Some around here invest a lot of time,
to create free Extensions for others, and some could invest some time, to write
other important Information, to also share something with the Community. It would
be much better, than complaining about 'missing' things. OC is no Welfare Home
for poor Hobby-Dev's, trying to get rich on others knowledge, and without adding
anything to it.

Nothing personal, just a few thoughts ;)
Ernie

For Sale: Top URL's, including an OpenCart V-Pro Shop!
A wide range of matching Designs can be seen here: http://www.opencart.li
For Information on URL's offered, please contact me at: jti@jacob.ch
Hundreds of Mods in 380+ Repositories for OC v.1.5.x - v.2.3.x
to be found on my Github Site: https://github.com/IP-CAM
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Post by hypemedia » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:47 pm

@IP_CAM I think your comment is the exact non constructive attitude that can be found around the opencart community. I don't understand your point ? Opencart is made difficult in order to make clients use an developer for upgrades and simple modules install?

The fact that the code needs improvements and the community needs to get involved is the most healthy way of having a great software. An opensource project without an healthy community and developers is nothing. The idea of "if you don't like it, fuck off" is a total stupid attitude for an community project.
A big part of the money, that Opencart and Daniel are making, are based on all this developers that make extensions and pay 50% of the earnings to opencart. No developer, no money is an simple concept that anybody can understand. At least this is an simple reason for the opencart development team to listen more to the extensions developers.

You missed completely my point. If Daniel is an ass I don't care, but if this attitude is affecting my business model, then I find it normal to complain about it and of course if nobody gives a shit, to move to an other platform. If more developers get more and more frustrated, the community is going to be affected. The same happened to lots of other opensource software solutions that forgot that without an developer community behind the software is just a hobby.
9
I only agree with you on the fact that we are here to do business, if opencart is not anymore the platform that can be build on (because of the reasons that I stated initially in this post) the we will move our customers to an other platform.

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Post by Burt65 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:12 pm

I really wish we had an area for developer where discuss these matters... (PLEASE, PLEASE)

Still, just by reading through your post...
Opencart is an easy to customise system with many out of the box functions the extension marketplace is big and you can find many good extensions and themes
then followed by
Opencart is made difficult in order to make clients use an developer for upgrades and simple modules install?
There are many good developers out there, but only a few are participating in the community discussions. Most of the posts in the forums are from customers trying to find ways of having functional shops. If you have problems most of the time you need to find yourself the solution there are not many resources out there.
Now you claim to be a developer and yet you have 92 post since August 2012... That's an average of 1.7 post per month... Ok, English is not your first language but you can't really point fingers at the other developers for doing the same as you...
Out of these 92 posts, quite a few are for asking help on how to syntax the code correctly, so we can't really count them as helping other members...

Don't get me wrong, I can see your frustration and the reasons behind and I can also agree with the general concept of the conversation...

What I can't agree however, is the constant need for the few to having to insult other people to get a point across...
You were doing well, but losted when starting calling people names...

Ernie did sum it up pretty well in the end with:
So, better accept the Situation, as it exists. Some around here invest a lot of time, to create free Extensions for others, and some could invest some time, to write other important Information, to also share something with the Community. It would be much better, than complaining about 'missing' things. OC is no Welfare Home for poor Hobby-Dev's, trying to get rich on others knowledge, and without adding anything to it.
I coudn't have describe the spirit of the community in a better way myself...

Over 95% of all computer problems can be traced back to the interface between the keyboard and the chair...


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Post by hypemedia » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:20 pm

Not sure exactly whom I have insulted. Do you refer to my opinion about Daniel? Can you sincerely tell me that he is a polite person. Do you not read the same comments he is posting on github. Not sure why this is so tabu to talk about it in this forum, he is the creator of this software, but also the one responsible for some of the problems from my first post and the only one that can do something about it.

And yes you are right I am one of the bad developers on this forum as I am not posting enough here. But this is not making invalid the problems I have raised in my first post.

I also think that de discussion instead of being a technical one and trying to find solutions, degenerated in a piss competition.

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Post by Burt65 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:55 pm

hypemedia wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:20 pm
Not sure exactly whom I have insulted. Do you refer to my opinion about Daniel? Can you sincerely tell me that he is a polite person. Do you not read the same comments he is posting on github. Not sure why this is so tabu to talk about it in this forum, he is the creator of this software, but also the one responsible for some of the problems from my first post and the only one that can do something about it.

And yes you are right I am one of the bad developers on this forum as I am not posting enough here. But this is not making invalid the problems I have raised in my first post.

I also think that de discussion instead of being a technical one and trying to find solutions, degenerated in a piss competition.

You are not sure... I see... So if I called you an ASS, would you take that as a compliment?
You can talk about Daniel as much as you wish on this forum (if it pleases you), but I personally found the topic extremely boring, if you ask me...

Lets talk about some of the problems mentioned in your first post instead...
You mentioned that you have worked with OC since 2011, and as a developer, you must know by now the inside outs of the entire system...

So I'm just taking your third point...
3. The documentation is very bad. And the developer documentation is inexistent.
Well, you are a developer, you know OC, so why don't you help the community by starting to write this documentation for all the other users?

I'm sure Daniel won't complain or insult you if you decide to help...

Wouldn't be this the correct way to start to fix "those problems"?

Your call...

Over 95% of all computer problems can be traced back to the interface between the keyboard and the chair...


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Post by hypemedia » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:54 am

We as a company evaluated several times the idea of helping with bug-fixing and new features on opencart but there is no clear path for upcoming features.
Suggestions for features and bug fixing are usually turned down in a harsh way. So how can I allocate even one person (and spend money) to the OpenCart project without having a clear future path.

There are many questions that are not clear for me and I need answers before doing such a commitment:

Is the cloud system going to kill the OpenCart project as was the case with the Big Commerce platform when Interspire dropped the opensource version?
Is there a list of official upcoming modifications to the next OpenCart versions so I can plan the development of my modules and make them work with upcoming versions?

Regarding the documentation I think is something that the Opencart team should do it. Opencart is not a non profit project. They make money from the commission they charge on the sale of extensions, money that can cover without problems the documentation development. We should not forget the fact that even if Opencart is free to download it is still a commercial project for the core team. It goes both ways, Daniel provides a functional e-commerce solutions and companies as us make money on developing e-commerce solutions based on it and the developers provide extensions for the platform and Opencart team makes 50% on each sale. So I don't feel bad that I am not contributing to the documentation as I already provided the 50% of my extension sales and provided many customers that acquired extensions from the market.

I agree with you this discussion is boring because instead of discussing what can be done as developers to solve some of the problems, we blame each other on who is the best developer and answers more questions on the forum.

The moderator can close this thread as it is a waste of time for everybody involved. Until we decide if we drop Opencart for an other solution, I will post only technical answers and questions and will stop asking stupid questions about stuff affecting my business.

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