Upcoming Project – Mega Drop Down Menu into osCommerce

Upcoming project is to take the Mega Drop Down Menu of Soh Tanaka and integrate it into osCommerce.

It is very straightforward in basic HTML (I managed to get it working within a couple of minutes) based on the examples given, but because I want the category structure to come direct from the database I needed to create some flavour of osCommerce standardised interface to grab the content from the DB, and output it in the required HTML.

It’s always a problem to work with the category structure of osCommerce – especially if the output is required in a certain format. There are a few “css” based category files floating about, but none of them output the HTML in the way that the Mega Drop Down requires, hence the need for a new way to do it, I’m almost there, but not quite right at the moment.

Anyway, should be an interesting project when it does go ahead – here’s proof of concept…

So, we can see that it will work, what I need to do now is make sure that the category structure is correctly outputted automatically rather than my proof of concept which was done manually.

Backport 2.3.1 images to 2.2

There are loads of multiple images contributions for 2.2, I even made one myself years ago. Since 2.3.1 came out I have been quite impressed with the admin functionality and shop funtionality of the multiple image system – I previously blogged about it here.

Last week, a new client (still on osCommerce 2.2) approached me wanting to add up to 12 images per product – easily possible, but I thought it would be good to backport the 2.3.1 system.

The reason I decided to do this is two-fold;

1. I like the 2.3.1 images system.
2. If the client ever upgrades from 2.2 to 2.3.1 it is simple to use the same images table.

Older images systems in 2.2

Most, if not all, of the older ways to add multiple images involve adding new rows to the products table. products_image2, products_image3 and so on. I needed to update a 2.2 shop to 2.3.1, and that shop had multiple rows added like this – which meant more work for me – I had to write a script to take the images from the products table (2.2) and transfer them to the new products_images table (2.3.1).

I’ll bundle it up as a contribution as soon as I have time.

2.3.1 Template – watch as I build…

I thought it might be interesting for you to “watch” a template build as I do it. So what I will do is screenshot every so often so you can see how it is coming on.

This is a mockup that I am going to attempt to come close to;

After I am finished, I -might- try Julians idea of creating some cheat sheets for the different component parts of the template. I also will be selling the template, of course.

The result

Read on for a bit of info as to how it was done. If you compare it against my sketch that I made this morning, I think it stacks up fairly well!

Let me know what you think about this blog post (and the comments!), and what you think about the template that I created today…

Market Research, please help…

I’m considering setting up an “osCommerce Club” where I would charge a monthly subscription fee.

All subscribers would get access to bits and pieces (such as small snippets of code) that I do not release publicly – as well as one “large” contribution (eg a template, or a module like that “article manager” I blogged about) per month…

If I was to start a subscription offer like that, would there be an interest, at, let’s say $20 usd (£10 ukp) per month.

Let me know your thoughts, good, bad or otherwise.