Jump to content
  • Checkout
  • Login
  • Get in touch

osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Is Template Monster in violation of the osCommerce license?


Redeemer

Recommended Posts

We recently purchased a template from Template Monster, and have been trying, unsuccessfully, to integrate it to our existing store. The information available on the website does not indicate that they are incompatible with existing installations, yet the only answer I can get from them is that I have to remove my entire store, then install their version.

 

My problems with that are:

 

- I'm eliminating all of the data that I've entered thus far

- I have to change the URL of my store to what they have defined

- It appears that I have no upgrade or support path when osCommerce updates are released

 

I've tried asking them specific questions regarding installation and compatibility, and they keep coming back with the same answer: delete and reinstall. Even after explaining to them why I don't want to do that, they come back with the same answer.

 

It seems to me that they've taken what is supposed to be an open source product and created something that's proprietary. Now, I'm familiar with how things work in the Microsoft world, and am admittedly a newbie in the open source arena, but that seems contrary to the way open source is supposed to be. Furthermore, it seems to me that if they're going to create and sell a proprietary product that there ought to be some form of clarification or disclaimer available prior to purchase.

 

Am I way off base here? At this point I've given up on using the template - I just want to try and make some sense of this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We recently purchased a template from Template Monster, and have been trying, unsuccessfully, to integrate it to our existing store. The information available on the website does not indicate that they are incompatible with existing installations, yet the only answer I can get from them is that I have to remove my entire store, then install their version.

 

My problems with that are:

 

- I'm eliminating all of the data that I've entered thus far

- I have to change the URL of my store to what they have defined

- It appears that I have no upgrade or support path when osCommerce updates are released

 

I've tried asking them specific questions regarding installation and compatibility, and they keep coming back with the same answer: delete and reinstall. Even after explaining to them why I don't want to do that, they come back with the same answer.

 

It seems to me that they've taken what is supposed to be an open source product and created something that's proprietary. Now, I'm familiar with how things work in the Microsoft world, and am admittedly a newbie in the open source arena, but that seems contrary to the way open source is supposed to be. Furthermore, it seems to me that if they're going to create and sell a proprietary product that there ought to be some form of clarification or disclaimer available prior to purchase.

 

Am I way off base here? At this point I've given up on using the template - I just want to try and make some sense of this.

 

 

I am no expert, but in my point of view they have not violated any licenze or broken any open source rules.

 

Both me and my girlfriend have worked on modifying and adding functionality to osc templates purchased from templatemonster. They have keept the copyright notice in the admin section and in the source code.

 

Here is one way you can use your newly purchased template.

 

ATT: Make a full backup of all your files and db before doing anything!!!!

 

Most of the templates is nothing more than standard oscommerce with som minor functionality changes and design changes, so in most cases you can continue to use your existing db with the new shop.

 

Do not delete you existing db and make a copy of these 2 files:

 

includes/configure.php and in admin/includes/configure.php

 

Now just upload your new template files by ftp and overwrite the the files on your web server.

 

Then you upload the 2 old files:

 

Includes/configure.php and in admin/includes/configure.php overwriting the new ones.

 

Now you should have a new shop with the template look , but with all your old db info intact. products, customers, categories and so on.

 

After that you can then add the wanted contributions to your new shop.

 

Att: when adding a contribution after this do not use drop in files, they might differ from the new shops files... you will have to manually modifying the template files by following the contributions install instructions.

 

Hope this helps... :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your experience is an example of the challenge of using templates that are sold for osCommerce. Since there are over 3000 contributions for osc plus potential for any amount of custom code, they have to base their templates on a specific starting point. Hence the dependency on the store base they supply. You are right that they ought to make it more clear up front. You may be able to leverage that for a refund, I don't know.

 

Depending on changes you have made to your database structure vs. their version, you may be able to import your data as described by toyicebear.

 

Regarding the URL changes, I presume that is due to folder structures. If it's not too severe (i.e. location of admin folder, use or nonuse of "catalog", etc.), then you can probably rearrange and make the appropriate edits to the configure.php files (also check for configure.php in the /includes/local and /admin/includes/local folders)

 

Unfortunately, you are probably right about the future upgrade path being limited or at least difficult. Even with the template systems available in the contributions section, it can complicate upgrades or applying other contributions. But at least there is quite a bit of support here in the forums to find advice about them. That is not the case with other template systems.

 

This is not a GPL violation as long as they provide their solution as open source under the GPL license. Open source does not guarantee downstream compatibility between multiple derivative versions. In fact, quite the opposite, it guarantees anyone the availability of source code to modify it as they wish as long as the copyrights and licensing remain. An example of a violation would be if they modified the osCommerce code and then encrypted it before distributing it and refused to provide the source code of their version.

Rule #1: Without exception, backup your database and files before making any changes to your files or database.

Rule #2: Make sure there are no exceptions to Rule #1.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification - so as long as they allow modifications to their template/install, they are not in violation.

 

I've just recently gone through hell trying to upgrade the latest milestone and get the store back up and running. I'm not really inclined to start completely from scratch.

 

toyicebear, I will try what you've suggested. I tried something similar, but without saving those config files, and that may make all the difference in the world. I would hope if it were that simple, Template Monster would have been able to tell me that.

 

I totally understand that compatibility with contributions and custom code is unreasonable to expect, and I was willing to reinstall my two contributions after running their install, but I wasn't willing to change to the URL they want.

 

I received an IM and subsequent phone call from someone with http://www.becons.net/ (I will not post his name out of respect for his privacy) who offered to do the integration for me. In addition, he was able to shed some light on things.

 

According to him, Template Monster doesn't create their own templates - they outsource the entire design, then sell the templates, which is why they're unable to provide a reasonable level of support. In addition, he was able to tell me that they are using the same basic database structure. The final point that he clarified for me was that there is not a clear upgrade path for subsequent releases. Yes, the current milestone is very stable, but what happens when a bug is found, or mySQL is upgraded? Turns out I'd have to either know a lot about PHP and mySQL, or contract out the support.

 

In short, I was able to learn more from him in 10 minutes than I've been able to learn in my two weeks of correspondence with Template Monster.

 

It is looking more and more like I should use a more basic skin, rather than a fully integrated template.

 

I learn more and more about this all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the template you purchased is one designed for oscommerce, tehn it is easy to integrate into your existing shop without losing any data. TemplateMonster tells you to replace everything since they don't know how to do it otherwise. All you need to is replace the files in incldues that have to do with the template (header and footer). You will also need to replace the files in the root or just copy the relevant code changes (you would need a comparison program for this). The main problem you will have is that they replace some of the php code with html. This can cause problems when adding some contributions.

 

If you are not comfortable making the above changes, then you shouldn't use the template. Of course, if you don't use the template, you will need to make many of the same changes to change the shop yourself. With oscommerce, there is just no way around having to edit the code.

 

Jack

Support Links:

For Hire: Contact me for anything you need help with for your shop: upgrading, hosting, repairs, code written, etc.

All of My Addons

Get the latest versions of my addons

Recommended SEO Addons

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the template you purchased is one designed for oscommerce, tehn it is easy to integrate into your existing shop without losing any data. TemplateMonster tells you to replace everything since they don't know how to do it otherwise. All you need to is replace the files in incldues that have to do with the template (header and footer). You will also need to replace the files in the root or just copy the relevant code changes (you would need a comparison program for this). The main problem you will have is that they replace some of the php code with html. This can cause problems when adding some contributions.

 

If you are not comfortable making the above changes, then you shouldn't use the template. Of course, if you don't use the template, you will need to make many of the same changes to change the shop yourself. With oscommerce, there is just no way around having to edit the code.

 

Jack

 

I don't have a problem doing the replacements or code changes, but I wanted them to provide me with a change list so thaat I could see the extent of what they've done.

 

It's not about not wanting to edit the code - I was looking for some clarification from them as to what it would take to make the changes.

 

Like I said, if their stance is that they are not compatible with existing installations of osCommerce, that should have been stated up front.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...