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eCommerce and shopping or catalog

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eCommerce and shopping or catalog
I revisited the minivend site. It's now "Interchange" and is a merger of minivend and tallyman.

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Akopia's Interchange platform is the most widely distributed open source e-business application available today. The software has over 1 million copies in distribution and is supported by a worldwide development community of thousands. The efforts of the developer community have made Interchange (and its predecessors Minivend and Tallyman) what it is today, and what we have now is only the beginning. With the recent merger of Minivend and Akopia, we can now support the developer community with more resources than ever before.

Interchange 4.6 is the first general release of Interchange. It is built on the foundation of Minivend version 4, with substantial UI and content management functionality from its Tallyman heritage. Interchange 4.6 also brings many completely new features, including:
I was unable to get minivend to run on my site at all, and while I have non-standard locations for my servers, they are "NOT" non-standard! Anyway, the Interchange installation went smooth as silk. It even loaded cpan and updated the modules it needed.

I was then able to go to the directory area, and make the test catalog (pretty advanced) and get it running without much of a problem. Granted, it's still not perfect, and there are things I don't understand... but it's running! and it has two development teams, and loads of support behind it.

I'd rather hack away at a program that has teams of support, built in support for all sorts of transaction processing, and a world-wide support group that keeps it updated.

Don't take this as an endorsement of minivend/interchange, _but_ I think that if I can get it running, and figure out the process behind it, it might be a better way to add a fully functional shopping center with the same high-end features as Links SQL to a site.

I'm still working on my "catalog" program, that is made for items of a quantity of 1, mainly, and with an eye on selling books (via amazon and b&n, etc). But, if I can get minivend working, it's always been my goal to use that.

Has anyone else tried this?

It's a hybrid flat-file/sql program (sort of like the 1.0 version of links) and hopefully that will improve over the next releases, as more effort is put into the UI and feature sets. But, what that means, is the more SQLish it gets, the easier it will be to link it to other SQL based programs. It might also be possible to pass LinkSQL data into minivend/interchange, using Links as the front end, and interchange as the back end... but, that will take much more exploring. As an open source GPL program, it's free to modify, so it's a good place to start, at least.

PUGDOGŪ Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ

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Re: eCommerce and shopping or catalog In reply to
While I'm not having any of the "old" problems I had with this program, I'm having problems to which no answers seem forth coming. The "support" is via a mailing list (I haven't found any forum area) and their on-line docs suffer from the same problems the 3.x versions did -- all the questions you don't need to ask, are answers (how to untar a file, for example) and all the ones you do need to as aren't.

The problem with Open Source is obviously "support" and that is something I understand, to a point.

But a program as large and complex as this shopping cart needs _some_ people who are dedicated in supporting the basic problems to get the application installed.

I still have the vague uneasy feeling that the goal of the program is to convince people they need to pay for a support program, and I don't like that.

Anyway, at least for the time being my own catalog program is back on, since there is support for it, and we have a forum or two to discuss the problems and get feedback.

It's a shame, since reinventing the wheel is about the the thing I hate the most, but getting involved with a program or project that is as "old" and "mature" as minivend/Interchange that still suffers from the same "old" problems is a bad sign.

Unfortunately, the other open source packages are not much better (for other reasons) and there isn't much of a selection.

Within Links SQL we have a working database, a working method for accessing the database, a framework upon which to build, and the ability to modify it within and without reason :)

Right now the catalog/order system I have assumes the "product" is a link in the database, and is "unique" so that once sold, it's no longer available.

This can be expanded.

Because this will of reason be a part of the next links, I'm going to move the discussion of all this to the new links forum.

So to recap... there are minor side projects, but I'm still working on the two main projects -- banner rotation and shopping cart/catalog.

There have been a lot of discussions and ideas here, and the other forums, all are being considered.

There is _NO_WAY_ this program can be as complete as the minivend/interchange program (if you look at that beast, it's flat out awesome, but suffering from those same problems). But, with the features in the GT modules, these programs should be able to handle most of the needs of most people.

Enough of this. I'm really, really bummbed about the MV/IC problems, since I thought it had finally overcome it's utilitarian roots.

PUGDOGŪ Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ