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Issue #36: November 3, 2004

By Harald Ponce de Leon

November 3, 2004

Discussions regarding this progress report can be found here:


Progress Summary Reports
2.2 Milestone 3 Progress Update
Database Class Updates
Strip Slashes
Customer Accounts
Newsletter Manager Updates
Product Specials Service Module
Product Reviews Service Module
Contribution File Size Limit
Community Statistics
Sponsorship Programs

Progress Summary Reports

We'd like to apologize upfront for not having kept the community up to date with the development progress of 2.2 Milestone 3 during the past few months. We have been working on several things simultaneously during this time that will soon be announced to the community, and will serve to improve the services provided to maintain the growth expected when 2.2 is finalized and released to the public.

To prevent such a pause from happening again, the progress summary reports will also focus on other areas and report additionally on important issues occurring inside the community.

More information about this and who will be involved will be described in the next progress summary report.

2.2 Milestone 3 Progress Update

After having posted screenshots of the new Administration Tool interface to the community forums, the response from the community has been extremely positive.

Not only have there been improvements in the code of optimizations, performance increases, and cleaner structure, we are now proud to be able to show the same amount of backend changes to the frontend, improving the way a store owner administrates their store with groovy javascript and stylesheets magic to get things done quicker and saner.

A lot of focus has been put into the changes made to make the Administration Tool more user friendly. Although the current changes are more of a proof of concept, further changes to the interface are expected as we reach the Milestone 3 release.

No dates for the 2.2 Milestone 3 release will be made until all tasks on the workboard list have been complete. Unfortunately it does not look like Milestone 3 will be finalized this year due to the pending amount of changes that need to be made on the Catalog side, and due to the community sites becoming available throughout this time (eg, new community based contributions and live shops sites).

Screenshots of how the Administration Tool looks like in current CVS can be seen here:


Database Class Updates

The database class has been updated to allow queries to return result sets in batches. This feature replaces the split_page_results class, and can be called by a class method with one line of PHP code.

Database transactions are also now supported, with the introduction of a MySQL InnoDB database class. Store owners are now given the choice of which database class to use during the installation of osCommerce.

Strip Slashes

The manner of adding slashes to GET, POST, and COOKIE variables has been changed to stripping slashes automatically if the PHP configuration parameter magic_quotes_gpc is enabled.

This allows the content of GET, POST, and COOKIE variables to be handled in a cleaner manner, and improves performance when magic_quotes_gpc is disabled in the PHP configuration.

Customer Accounts

Customers are no longer required to enter their home address when creating an account, and are only asked to do so when entering the checkout procedure for the first time. The new customers class has a new hasDefaultAddress() method to determine such circumstances.

When no default address exists, the address entered at the checkout procedure for the shipping address is stored as their default address and can be used or changed for the billing address.

Newsletter Manager Updates

The method the newsletter manager sends out emails has been updated to log which email addresses the newsletter has been sent to. This allows the newsletter manager to resume sending if the process has been interrupted.

A proof of concept feature has also been implemented when emails are being sent, to automatically refresh the page when 80% of the maximum script execution time has been reached, to prevent a server timeout error from occurring.

Product Specials Service Module

The product specials feature has been moved to a service module, to only check for products on special when the service is enabled to save on database queries.

It is also now possible to schedule when a product should go on special.

Product Reviews Service Module

The product reviews feature has been moved to a service module, and new features have been implemented to control how product reviews are stored.

Product reviews can now be moderated to allow store owners to approve or decline reviews made, and can be set to that only customers who have purchased the product are allowed to submit a review, or to freely allow everyone to submit a review with or without having a user account on the store.

Contribution File Size Limit

The 300k file size limit has been removed from the Contributions section, and is now possible to upload larger contribution files.

Larger contribution files are however disabled until verified by a team member, and will be activated as soon as possible.

Community Statistics

We are proud to announce a few milestones the project and community has reached during the past few months.
  • Contributions - over 2,000 contribution packages have been made available to the community by the community! This results in over 6,000 files having been uploaded to the Contributions section!
  • Members - the 45,000 community member mark is nearing, with an average of 70 members registering in the community forums every day!
  • Forum Postings - over 400,000 postings have been made in the community forums! John Oligario (Mibble) has also just freshly topped the all time top posters on the community forums, having now made 6,337 posts!

Congratulations to the community for the achievements made!

Sponsorship Programs

The response to the sponsorship programs have been received well by the community, with suggestions having been made on how to further benefit those that participate.

New payment methods for the sponsorship programs have been introduced after several requests for alternative methods were made. In addition to wire transfer, Community Sponsorship payments can now also be made through PayPal, and Corporate Sponsorships payments can now also be made with a cheque.

In addition to the new payment methods, the suggestion of increasing the Personal Message storage has been taken, with Community Sponsors now having double the capacity of being able to store 100 personal messages in their PM inbox.

More information regarding the sponsorship programs can be found here: