News

Issue #37: January 24, 2005
24th January 2005 by Harald Ponce de Leon

By Harald Ponce de Leon

January 24, 2005

Discussions regarding this progress report can be found here:

http://forums.oscommerce.com/index.php?showtopic=132320

Project And Community Issues

Enjoy The New Year!
Increasing Awareness Of Community Related Issues
New Documentation Section
New Server For The German Site
Community Forum E-Mail Address Changes
New Blogging Feature For Community Sponsors!
New osCommerce Contributions RSS Feed
Pairs Customer Site Of The Week
Knowledge Base Addition (Java Roasters)

Development Issues

Development Discussions
Configuration Files Merged
Manually Removing Global Variables
Languages Class Update
New PayPal IPN Payment Module
New Banner Class

Project And Community Issues

Enjoy The New Year!

We hope everyone has recovered well from celebrating the new year and wish everyone a great new year for 2005! A big thank you goes to those supporting the project and welcome those that are being introduced to it!

A lot of feedback has recently been provided in the community on how to improve the projects direction, goals, and activities, and would like to also thank those providing the feedback.

We look forward to presenting the project features talked about in 2004 and the changes the community has provided feedback on, to making this year the best year yet for the project!

Here is to a great year 2005!

Increasing Awareness Of Community Related Issues

As mentioned in the last progress summary report, the content of summary reports will span into new directions in the upcoming issues to maintain a regular publishing term.

The first new direction that is introduced with this progress summary report are community related issues that are of importance to the public.

Community sponsors now have the possibility to report on issues being discussed in the community forums, to be included in the pending progress summary report.

New forum channels that are visible to community sponsors have been created to help maintain reported issues, and welcome the participation of community sponsors to further increase their presence in the community.

New Documentation Section

A new Documentation section has been added to the support site, with the content of the Knowledge Base site now being available online in HTML format and also available for download for offline viewing.

The HTML based documentation is automatically generated on a daily basis from the content of the Knowledge Base site, and serves to provide documentation for project releases from osCommerce 2.2 Milestone 3 onwards.

The new Documentation section can be reached at:

http://www.oscommerce.com/documentation

And can be downloaded in HTML format from the Downloads page at:

http://www.oscommerce.com/solutions/downloads

New Server For The German Site

A new dedicated server has been added to our family of servers now powering the osCommerce support site, this time for the German community support forums previously hosted at SunSite.dk.

The new server is located in Köln, Germany, and has already brought in noticeable performance increases to the support forum.

The new server will also be used as a download mirror site, where project releases and contributions can be downloaded from.

The German community support forums can be reached at:

http://forums.oscommerce.de

Community Forum E-Mail Address Changes

Due to the amount of spam and auto-responses received, e-mails that are sent from the forum now come from noreply@.

Please do not manually send e-mails to this address, as they will not be received by the osCommerce team members.

New Blogging Feature For Community Sponsors!

We are proud to announce a new blogging service to community sponsors to further highlight ones profile in the community!

Community sponsors are free to start their hosted blogging accounts in the community, and are also provided the opportunity to link to an already existing blogging service hosted on an external server.

The content of community sponsors blogging accounts are open to the imagination of the community sponsor, but must not be abused as a means to advertise commercial services. Community sponsors are given full control over their blogging account and are able to moderate comments posted by the community.

We look forward to reading what community sponsors have to blog about, and welcome community members to participate in the sponsorship program to take advantage of existing and upcoming benefits provided to community sponsors.

The community blogging service can be reached at:

http://blogs.oscommerce.com

Information about participating in the sponsorship program can be found at:

http://www.oscommerce.com/about/sponsors,community

New osCommerce Contributions RSS Feed

An RSS feed is now available for the Contributions section and can be downloaded at:

http://www.oscommerce.com/oscommerce_contributions.rdf

The Project News, Progress Summary Reports, and Contribution pages now include a link to the RSS feed in the HTML header, which allows supported browsers to display an RSS capable icon for bookmarking.

Pairs Customer Site Of The Week

We'd like to thank Pair Networks for choosing osCommerce as their customer site of the week for January 21 - January 28.

More information about Pairs customer site of the week can be found here:

http://www.pair.com/csotw/

Knowledge Base Addition (by Java Roasters)

I think the forum topic of n's appearing on the pages should be included in the knowledge base.

241 seems to be the only one answering these sorts of questions for people and it is impossible for people to search the forum section for the answer, so every time it happens there is a new thread posted for it.

Thread and 241's response:

http://forums.oscommerce.com/index.php?showtopic=119913

Knowledge Base entry:

http://www.oscommerce.info/kb/212

Development Issues

Development Discussions

Several topics have been started in the Features and Suggestions forum channel to discuss certain areas of the project that are redefined from the 2.2 Milestone 2 release to the finalized 2.2 release by means of Milestone 3 and Milestone 4.

Most, if not all, changes will be evident in the Milestone 3 release, with last minute improvements being implemented during the Milestone 4 development phase, which primarily concentrates on integrating contributions to the core codebase.

The topics that have so far been started include:

Reviews System
Attributes System
Templates / Layout
Supporting PHP From 4.1 Onwards
Checkout Procedure

We welcome your feedback on these issues to securing a rock solid implementation of the features involved.

Configuration Files Merged

The configuration files of the Catalog and Administration Tool modules have been merged, with the Administration Tool now including the catalog configuration file to parse server specific parameters such as the web server and database server configuration values.

This tightens the integration of the Administration Tool to the Catalog module, with a change of the configuration file now affecting both modules.

Further updates to the configuration file are planned to have it store only the database connection parameters, with web server parameters being moved to a new Configuration Group to be edited online via the Administration Tool.

This might pose a problem for stores installed at multiple locations (ie, on a development server and on a live server), however the server specific configuration parameters can be safely defined in the includes/local/configure.php file.

Manually Removing Global Variables

Now that the development CVS version is register_globals compatible, variables set on servers that have register_globals enabled are now manually removed from the global scope.

This secures the core codebase, and forces contributors to follow the same coding guidelines and standards set on the project for contributions made.

This standard will improve the quality of contributions made by securing the programming logic used, and by making sure the contribution is able to work on any server environment the project is able to run on.

Languages Class Update

The languages class has been updated to be instantiated on every page request instead of only when the language is being changed.

This allows the tep_get_languages() function to be replaced with a osC_Language::getAll() class method, with the database query being cached to improve on server performance.

The language is also now stored in a cookie for 90 days, which allows customers to navigate the catalog frontend with the selected language made during their previous session.

A new language administration class has also been created in the Administration Tool, which extends the catalog language class verison with administrative functionality such as inserting new languages, updating current languages, and removing languages.

This moves the logic away from the main request file (ie, admin/languages.php) to a class level.

Other administrative classes will soon follow, which strengthens the Object-Oriented-Programming (OOP) structure being implemented for the 2.2 Milestone 3 release.

New PayPal IPN Payment Module

The osCommerce PayPal IPN payment module is a contribution for 2.2 Milestone 2 stores, and saves the customers order in the database before the customer is sent to PayPal to proceed with the transaction.

The primary goal we had with creating a new PayPal IPN module was to avoid having to edit core codebase files or make database changes for installation and usage. The module is simply copied to the modules directory and can be activated via the Administration Tool.

The osCommerce PayPal IPN payment module also utilizes the Encryption Website Payments feature PayPal provides, to send encrypted parameters on the Checkout Confirmation page to the PayPal server.

The payment module can be found here:

http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,2679

New Banner Class

The banner functions have been moved to a new osC_Banner class, and a new banner service module parameter has been added to control if banners in the same banner group should be shown at multiple places on the same page.

This prevents the same banner being shown more than once on the same page.

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