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Issue #35: April 17, 2004

By Harald Ponce de Leon

April 17, 2004

Discussions regarding this progress report can be found here:


Success Of The New Support Site
Summary Report Of The Meeting In Amsterdam
Service Modules - All Of The Features, None Of The Bloat
Weight Classes
Decimal Points and Thousands Separator
Forum Category Changes
2.2 Milestone 3 Progress Report

Success Of The New Support Site

The completion of the first phase of the new support site has been a success! Thanks to all that provided feedback, criticism, and suggestions on further improving the site.

We're looking forward to presenting parts of the second phase in the coming weeks ahead!

Summary Report Of The Meeting In Amsterdam

A summary report of the meeting in Amsterdam has been posted on the forums, and can be read here:


Service Modules - All Of The Features, None Of The Bloat

Service modules have been introduced to the Catalog, which moves related logic found in application_top.php into modules, where each module represents a certain feature that can be enabled and disabled similar to how Payment and Shipping modules have been implemented.

Such modules include the following features:
  • GZip output compression

  • Search engine friendly urls

  • Breadcrumb navigation path

  • Debugging possibilities, and more..

The benefits of having a modular implementation include:
  • restoration of application_top.php to its true self

  • optimize performance and page execution times by
    • removing unused configuration parameters when a certain feature has been disabled (eg, debugging, banners, ..)

    • removing unnecessary database queries when a certain fearture has been disabled (eg, specials, whos online, ..)

  • possibility of integrating contributions without touching core source files

The first phase of the service module implementation has been complete, where each module contains a start() function that would normally be executed in application_top.php, and a stop() function that would normally be executed in application_bottom.php.

A simple "depends" and "preceeds" relationship between each module exists to help prioritize the execution of the module. For example, the Language and Currency service modules depends on the Session module, and the Search Engine Friendly URLs module preceeds the Session module.

The second phase of the implementation involves having certain service modules execute every X minutes instead of each page request to again improve overall performance.

Related workboard entry:


Weight Classes

A new weight class has been implemented into both Catalog and Administration Tool solutions to display a weight value using the selected languages locale, and to pass a total unit value to a shipping module gateway when different weight units are to be ordered. For example, products weighing 500 grams and 1.5 kilograms would send either 2000 grams or 2 kilograms to the shipping module gateway.

The relationship between each weight unit can be set via the Administration Tool as "rules", and is now possible to assign a weight class to a product.

Related workboard entry:


Decimal Points and Thousands Separator

The decimal point and thousands separator value has been moved from the currency level to the language level, to allow numeric values such as currency values and weight values to be shown correctly with the selected languages locale.

This adds the ability to show the Euro currency correctly for each language, where, for example, in Ireland the decimal point is '.' and the thousands separator is ',', whereas in Germany the opposite is used, with the decimal point being ',' and the thousands separator being '.'.

Forum Category Changes

The structure of the forum categories have been changed, with the "Features" and "Suggestions and Proposals" forum channels being merged to form "Features and Suggestions", and the addition of new forum channels to discuss Payment, Shipping, and Order Total modules under a new "osCommerce Modules" forum category.

2.2 Milestone 3 Progress Report

Big steps in finalizing the 2.2 Milestone 3 release have been taken with the new class implementations and further modular API changes - there is still some work to complete as can be seen on the Development Workboard, which will hopefully see the remaining entries to be closed in the coming weeks ahead.

A slight change in the Milestone path has been made, with the merging of the Catalog and Administration Tool to be realized for the Milestone 3 release instead of the Milestone 4 release. This is due to the new classes being implemented throughout the Catalog solution, and the pending standards updates to be made for the Administration Tool.

This leaves the Milestone 4 release for contributions that are to be integrated into the core codebase, before reaching a final 2.2 version.

The Development Workboard can be seen here: