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The e-commerce.

Is 2.3.1 Flexible Enough?


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OK, At risk of being taken out and shot at dawn for this.......


I have 3 stores all running 2.2Rc2a, they are modded the way I want them, they work great, have good google ranks and have been changed for PHP 5.3.


Now thinking ahead, I have been working on an OSC 2.3.1 version, with the aim of replacing my other stores when the time comes (Update to later versions of PHP).


However, I am struggling with the concept of 2.3.1 and the 960 Grid system, maybe its just me not understanding correctly but it seems very rigid in its design and functionality.


OK I agree that you can change the Colour / text etc with theme-roller, you can make several changes via the CSS, but how do you change the whole layout (was easy on 2.2 via templates).


Also modifications seem to be a nightmare - you cant easily add new boxes, you cant easily add images and links to the columns.


Maybe that is why some of the modifications that I view as essential for my store have not been attempted by anyone yet, such as for example:


Dynamic menu (such as dynamenu)

A proffesional Invoice (such as Fancier Invoice and Packing Slip)


I will continue to keep working on this version, but to be honest, the way I currently understand it, 2.2 Rc2a was far more flexible and user friendly, and once patched, is just as secure as 2.3.1


Comments or hate mail gratefully received :-)

Now running on a fully modded, Mobile Friendly 2.3.4 Store with the Excellent MTS installed - See my profile for the mods installed ..... So much thanks for all the help given along the way by forum members.

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The 960 grid system is a bit "rigid" but you can easily create a replacement 960 stylesheet at 960.gs , you can have full screen width or fixed screen width.


The Jquery UI design parts can as you mentioned be changed by making a new theme at themeroller or you can modify selected parts of the site not to use those styles but rather styles from your stylesheet.


Adding "custom" content in columns is easy. Just make a 2.3.1 compatible box for the content and then you can easily place the wanted content in your chosen column.


Close to any 2.2 mod can be made to work with 2.3.1. Something like Fancier Invoice and Packing Slip is very easy to modify to work with 2.3.1 while a mod like Dynamenu would be a little bit more work but still fully doable.

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All of that you need is much easier to do in version 2.3.1 than before


The grid system affect the layout just in it's basic shape (left/right column and content part) and is controlled basically in 2 files only (templte_top.php and template_bottom.php) and that much easier to handle than the older table structure that got repeated in each single file.


Also a common <head> section that make it much easier to intergrate scripts, no need to alter all files just because of a new script or css


The jQuery ui, makes it much easier to control the design, either by creating a new theme with themeroller or by manually overriding the exiting classes, they are the same all over, and that's the point of such a "framework".


Well ok, there are other ui systems coming up, like kendo ui or twitter bootstrap etc, but they are all more or less based on the same logic, so I guess that is the way to go, you'll need to get used to some sort of system anyway


Af for "dynamenu", I think it can RIP now, there are much more better ways to create any flyout/dropdown menus, all it needs is an unordered list and a jQuery script, there are many around. I "attempted" it and it work great


There are no many changes in admin, also not in the functionality part, so all addons can be easily convetred to work in 231


All in all, 231 is much better in my eyes, like a new car, so maybe you just need to get used how the new aircondition is working:)

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I used to hate 2.3.1 and just worked on 2.2. sites, then I tried a few and found it relatively easy, I now wonder how I ever lived with all the idiosyncrasies and componded tables of the earlier versions.


If anyone can tell me where the air conditioning controls are I'll have a go at getting it working.





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it is actually very flexibile, if you plug in a fluid grid, you get a fluid layout, but it takes time to get your head around if if you like me only used 2.2 up to now


I do not use the responsive bootstrap version since i coded my responsive version earlier, but i have bought every 28d of code package to support burts effort and keep this forum alive (albeit more like on life support).

So if you are still here ? What are you waiting for ?!


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grep "PHP" php_error_log.txt | sed "s/^.* PHP/PHP/g" |grep "line" |sort | uniq -c | sort -r > counterrors.txt

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At the risk of standing beside you in that firing line, I've said all along that 2.3 is a mistake due to how it was released. Even more so wihen you consider that, eventually, V3 will be released. There is supposed to be an upgrade option for 2.3 shops but I doubt very, very much if that will work with anything other than a basic shop. If that is true, then when V3 comes out, you'll need to start all over anyway. I just don't see a reason to do it twice. If you are starting a new shop with a new look and new installs of the contributions, then 2.3 is probably worth it since it will save you making some security changes, though it will cause extra work with the contributions. But I don't see the point otherwise.

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Personally, as a store owner, I think oscommerce should have been built using just CSS and not the 960 grid system. At the moment it is too much work to alter the basic page layout, when it could have been so much simpler. Saying that i have a 2.3.1 test store and i have altered the page width, and yes i suppose you only need to do it once. I do like the jquery system, that took some getting used to, but again you only really need to alter it once.


Looking at this from a developers point of view, i can imagine that having lots of clients that all have different ideas,the whole grid system can be nothing but trouble.


To get firmly shot, i think oscommerce should have more features installed on a basic setup. When you read these forums there are many people asking about the same contributions. Why not add them from the beginning, and give the store owner the option to either install or remove these items. If i was totally confident in what i did, i would offer a loaded version of oscommerce. If you read other forums relating to oscommerce people are advised to use other platforms as they are ready for use, with none or very little programming or code alterations. Again looking at this from a developers point of view, i suppose it is easy to set up addons within a basic install, and you have your own customised setup that can be used every time


Hopefully version 3 will be the best oscommerce to date. We will have to wait and see.


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231 is flexible enough to service the needs of any store who wants to do anything. That said, there are some aspects of 231 that are not right (take the 960 grid for example - I have no clue why this made it into the release). Having said that 960 (once you get used to it) is stunningly simplistic to use.


231 will be usable when 3 is released and for years after. Why not? I suggest that upgrading to 231 is a simple task, but can take anywhere between an hour and a month to finish up (depends upon how changed your 22 is). It takes 10 minutes or less to upgrade the database and install 231 -> the site is usable but ugly. It takes a day to create a new theme (even for a beginner) if you look in the right places. The rest of the time is spent porting addons or coding up better addons to replace the 22 addons.


Just because Ford eventually release a hover car, will we all be hovering? I think not. Same for ecomm. Just because osC eventually release 3.x will we all be using it - of course not. So long as you have a shop that works and is future proofed at least 5 years, then you should sit back and relax.

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