Post by Moggin » Wed May 25, 2011 2:22 am

Opencart is a winner in more ways than one

...thoughtful article, and the author is writing a cheat-sheet for end-users

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Post by farrow » Thu May 26, 2011 9:22 pm

Nice article. Several weeks ago I was in search of an open source shopping cart and based on this article alone tells me I made the right decision in choosing to side with OC.

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Post by merry » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:57 am

farrow wrote:Nice article. Several weeks ago I was in search of an open source shopping cart and based on this article alone tells me I made the right decision in choosing to side with OC.
Oh thanks Farrow, that's my article.

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Post by merry » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:58 am

Moggin wrote:Opencart is a winner in more ways than one

...thoughtful article, and the author is writing a cheat-sheet for end-users
Thanks Moggin, the free cheatsheet is now available, as well as the free install guide and the free quickstart guide.

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Post by Moggin » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:29 pm

merry wrote:
Moggin wrote:Opencart is a winner in more ways than one

...thoughtful article, and the author is writing a cheat-sheet for end-users
Thanks Moggin, the free cheatsheet is now available, as well as the free install guide and the free quickstart guide.

Kerry
Good news! And it's great to see you moderating here at OC. Welcome Aboard (a bit late).

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Post by merry » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:40 am

Moggin wrote:Opencart is a winner in more ways than one

Good news! And it's great to see you moderating here at OC. Welcome Aboard (a bit late).
<Blush> Hey Moggin. Thanks!

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Post by hellogoodbye » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:22 am

the pdfs are gone

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Post by merry » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 pm

All the free cheatsheets, an introduction to OpenCart, and the user manual are now included in a single download. If you just want to use the free stuff you can; you don't have to pay for anything. If you want to get into the detailed user manual you buy a key and get it immediately.

All five documents are updated frequently, so it's much easier for me to maintain one document instead of five. You can re-download it as often as you like to have the most recent information.

Here's a shortcut to the file: http://oscmanuals.com/p201/OpenCart-1.5 ... _info.html

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Post by SuperJuice » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:51 am

I note that your article skims over some of the current failings of OpenCart which surely should be included to provide balance in the article?

Such as;
Unpredictable release cycle.
New releases regularly released without an upgrade path (usually developed well after the fact).
Module configuration / API changes regularly (even in minor version updates) rendering all third party modules useless until third party developers provide updates.

If you've been in it as long as me you will know that the 'rip up and re-write' attitude, although beneficial for people doing fresh installs, regularly puts a lot of stores in limbo as the entire mod community has to constantly play catch up to the forever shifting goal posts, this should definitely be articulated to anyone thinking of just installing and running with it as they are essentially having their business depend on the product.

There should be no good reason that anyone is running 1.4.x now, the reason they are is that the upgrade is so involved/daunting especially for users who are roped in by the 'Next Next Next' initial install.

ie.
And any web host that offers cPanel - that's a majority of them - with the SOFTACULOUS PREMIUM plug-in (must be Premium), then you can automatically install OpenCart with just a few clicks.
My concern is that people get 'locked in' to the version they are running because they get drawn in by the 'ease of use' of getting OpenCart up and running and then are expected to go through convoluted processes to upgrade their carts (migrate store contents) to support new features / keep up with new versions.

Doesn't anyone else find it strange that 1.5.0 modules are incompatible with 1.5.1? it's a minor release.. but will be called 'a necessary change' no doubt. IMHO breaking the API should at least wait until major releases, with 1.5.1 being for bug fixes.

These are easy things to fix, but are regularly skimmed over and the community opinion ignored. Just look at the attitude towards concerned community members asking about their upgrade/migration path in this thread http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36216

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Post by merry » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:34 am

SuperJuice wrote:I note that your article skims over some of the current failings of OpenCart which surely should be included to provide balance in the article?

Such as;
Unpredictable release cycle.
New releases regularly released without an upgrade path (usually developed well after the fact).
Module configuration / API changes regularly (even in minor version updates) rendering all third party modules useless until third party developers provide updates.

If you've been in it as long as me you will know that the 'rip up and re-write' attitude, although beneficial for people doing fresh installs, regularly puts a lot of stores in limbo as the entire mod community has to constantly play catch up to the forever shifting goal posts, this should definitely be articulated to anyone thinking of just installing and running with it as they are essentially having their business depend on the product. There should be no good reason that anyone is running 1.4.x now, the reason they are is that the upgrade is so involved/daunting especially for users who are roped in by the 'Next Next Next' initial install. ie.
And any web host that offers cPanel - that's a majority of them - with the SOFTACULOUS PREMIUM plug-in (must be Premium), then you can automatically install OpenCart with just a few clicks.
My concern is that people get 'locked in' to the version they are running because they get drawn in by the 'ease of use' of getting OpenCart up and running and then are expected to go through convoluted processes to upgrade their carts (migrate store contents) to support new features / keep up with new versions.
Doesn't anyone else find it strange that 1.5.0 modules are incompatible with 1.5.1? it's a minor release.. but will be called 'a necessary change' no doubt. IMHO breaking the API should at least wait until major releases, with 1.5.1 being for bug fixes. These are easy things to fix, but are regularly skimmed over and the community opinion ignored. Just look at the attitude towards concerned community members asking about their upgrade/migration path in this thread http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36216
SuperJuice, how long have you been around the Open Source (not OpenCart) community? You sound like a person who is maybe a "super-user" with more advanced skills than the average guy. You are smart, so you assume that everything should be written so it is always within your personal capability. But you don't have quite enough skills to know what is actually within your abilities, what you may need help on, or what is normal for the open source community.

I've been working in the open source world since Netscape was first released as a beta, and I have struggled with the same things you have. I labor over and publish a book about a program, and the program is updated the next day. Or week. How do you think that feels? I have to re-write the damn book! Multiply OpenCart releases times all the other programs I have written about. If I took it personally the way you seem to, I would be constantly hurting. Ow! They released an update!

Here's a secret: Anyone who is successful enough to be making some money from their work with this program is successful enough to pay every now and then for technical help, or they have the social skills and enthusiasm to get a technical friend to help them out. Every successful technical person knows someone else who has just a little bit more knowledge than they do, and they can and do call on that person when they need help. That's how you learn and get better in this world, whether it's for pay or just social capital. In turn you help other people out when you can who know a little less than you.

Here's another secret, and I am not trying to be mean in any way: you are not paying the developers; they work for you for free. So why do you expect they would they answer to you?? The release schedule is not made for your convenience, it's for the good of the program, and sometimes for the security of the thousands of stores out there.

I totally "get" the release cycles of this product and they do not faze me at all. The early release of 1.5 was a heads-up for plug-in developers so they could start working on their updates, because it was a major change. An upgrader is NEVER included with the early releases because they don't want unskilled people upgrading over live stores. If you thought the early release was for you, you were just mistaken. Yes, it's a pain when a program is completely re-written, I agree, but the pain of dragging along old outdated legacy code and release cycles measured in years is far, far worse. And ALL products in their 1.x phase will have more frequent and drastic changes than a mature product. Despite what you seem to think, it's a hard decision for a developer, but I am glad Daniel has the courage to bite the bullet and just do it the better way. He has even dropped back and updated the 1.4.x with a final bug fix of v1.4.9.6 weeks after 1.5 was out.

So if you see these as OpenCart's failings, they are only the failings of an entire industry that labors for FREE for the good of their product and the good of their end users, rather than for your personal convenience so you never have to ask anybody for help or never have to re-write. Software written by committee turns into Frankensteinware that pleases nobody, so OpenCart is lucky, no damn lucky to have a leader like Daniel to make the hard decisions.

IMHO. :-)

Kerry

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FREE HELP! 60-page user guide with OpenCart Admin Menu Cheatsheet, Install Guide & 30 Minute QuickStart Guide: http://showmeguides.com/


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Post by Daniel » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:44 am

Superjuice,

if your store runs ok and is making money don;t upgrade.

have you actually ever seen a shopping cart script with a good upgrade system?

magnetos overwrites everything and you loose all the changes.

all the companies i have worked at do not upgrade their shopping cart systems when a new version is released. every company i have seen has made to many custom changes to even consider an upgrade.

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Post by Xsecrets » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:58 am

SuperJuice wrote: New releases regularly released without an upgrade path (usually developed well after the fact).
you are obviously showing that you haven't dealt with opencart for very long as that has happened exactly 1 time on the move from 1.4.x to 1.5.x because it was a gigantic change.

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Post by fido-x » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:08 am

Xsecrets wrote:you are obviously showing that you haven't dealt with opencart for very long as that has happened exactly 1 time on the move from 1.4.x to 1.5.x because it was a gigantic change.
You're showing your "youth" in this as well. There were major changes between versions 1.3.2 and 1.3.4 when the layout was removed. There were also changes from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 with the introduction of "multi-store". And, you're also forgetting the changes between 1.5.0 and 1.5.1.

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Post by Xsecrets » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:40 pm

fido-x wrote:
Xsecrets wrote:you are obviously showing that you haven't dealt with opencart for very long as that has happened exactly 1 time on the move from 1.4.x to 1.5.x because it was a gigantic change.
You're showing your "youth" in this as well. There were major changes between versions 1.3.2 and 1.3.4 when the layout was removed. There were also changes from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 with the introduction of "multi-store". And, you're also forgetting the changes between 1.5.0 and 1.5.1.
yes, but there was an upgrade script in all those cases. Yes it made things a huge pain in the but for the mod makers, but if you had a store without too many changes you could upgrade. 1.5 was the only time the the release came out before the upgrade script. I'll admit I don't know much of what happened before 1.3.2 as that's where I came in.

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Post by darrengould » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:54 am

Just read the article and have to agree with superjuice on Open Cart.

I migrated over to open Cart with high expectations after reading about it and visiting the forums but even in my short time it is quite apparent that all is not well with the 'community'. I inverted community because really Open Cart is like all other OS projects in that ideas are put on the forums and developers glean them and take ones that they want or wait for a module to be written that they take a cut of. Don't anyone get the idea that developers of OS carts do it for free.

Having paid for modules and hired coders to work on changes for me it is becoming apparent to me that OS is far from free and relies too heavily on one man's decisions to make it a viable long term cart.

Having been around for a number of years and used a lot of 'free' and paid carts, and also being someone with very limited coding skills I had high hopes for OC but, like others before it, I have found it wanting.

True there are many great features and pluses compared to other OS carts and I migrated from PS and it has better features than some paid for carts but it still has a long long way to go.

As for me...well I will continue on my journey to find a decent cart..either OS or paid for....heck I may even go back to my very first paid for cart software that I have a developers license for as it sure beats this set up and although very difficult to skin will not cost me an arm and a leg for modules or coding.

Glad to see you had the guts to post against OC superjuice as it needed saying.
Last edited by darrengould on Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by SuperJuice » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:02 am

I think you should re-read the thread and see that xsecrets isn't the one that raised the issues.

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Post by darrengould » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:16 am

Now edited superjuice.....thanks for pointing out my mistake.

Interesting though to see that you are sticking with OC.

Is that because you believe it will improve, or you are too far down the line to change, or because of the lack of alternatives?

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Post by SuperJuice » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:24 am

darrengould wrote:Now edited superjuice.....thanks for pointing out my mistake.

Interesting though to see that you are sticking with OC.

Is that because you believe it will improve, or you are too far down the line to change, or because of the lack of alternatives?
I only stick around because of my interest in providing Australia Post shipping to Australians (free/open). I don't run OpenCart in production for any commercial reason (or at all except for development). I originally wrote the shipping module as a favour to a friend who had setup OC but couldn't find a shipping module and was then quoted a ridiculous amount by someone to write one.

He gave up on keeping OC updated long ago and no longer runs it and I have just kept on providing updates for the shipping module for the rest of the community which has turned into more work than I expected due to all the ongoing OC changes.

I personally avoid most of the pain because when I write an update for the module I do a fresh install. I do unfortunately see a lot of people stuck on older versions, and broken upgrades though. I constantly receive requests to backport my module to older versions because people have attempted upgrades to OC and they have failed / become too difficult or costly. It's not that people don't want to upgrade.. it's that the path is never straightforward or simple.

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Post by darrengould » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:54 am

Then I owe you a big thank you superjuice because you upgraded it for me to use registered post as I moved from the UK to Australia 4 months ago.

Unfortunately I still can't get a good enough system using OC so I am going to investigate alternatives but they seem pretty thin on the ground.

I think my original cart won't be easy but it doesn't need to be upgraded often as it is a stable cart but it is difficult to work with but I have done three sites with it before and will learn it again.

Again thanks for your upgrade pity OC can't be as good.

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