osCommerce 3 (aka oscom3) – not for public consumption

By | April 1, 2011

I’ve had more than a handful of requests to update existing shops to the upcoming osCommerce v3. I’ve turned them all away on the basis that 3 needs time to grow before it is used on a real shop.

Let me say that again in more clear english;

osCommerce v3 is NOT suitable for use in a live shop.

Manager, Harald Ponce de Leon, says;

…v3.0 does not contain a full user feature set to be able to run an online store on…

Developer Group Manager, Mark Evans, says;

…anyone that jumps into something which isn’t even proven is asking for trouble […] we will learn a lot before I would use it for “end users”, I’m hoping the community will help shape what it becomes…

Category: v3

17 thoughts on “osCommerce 3 (aka oscom3) – not for public consumption

  1. Xpajun

    That’s if you can find a hosting service that understands that osC3 will(?) only work with php5.3+ – part of a reply I got from my host yesterday”

    “I would suggest trying the newest version of OSCommerce to see if it may work with the version of PHP we currently have installed, sometimes these requirements are simply guidelines to maximize performance with the script”

    But if people don’t jump on v3 is not going to develop very fast…

  2. Gary Post author

    Juls – if the host does not have 5.3 minimum it will not work. 5.3 introduced something called “namespaces”, which oscommerce uses. So < 5.3 = nono.

  3. Jared Call

    Contrast that with their prezi presentation: “Developers, sorry to disrupt! Store owners, you’re welcome!” That doesn’t seem to match very well with the comments you pasted above. Confusing mixed messages, but the most recent forum messages indicate that this is more of a preview or milestone release than a full release.

    I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be 3.0 full (as opposed to alpha something or beta something) it has large chunks missing.

  4. Mike

    After so many years “they” released a software which cannot be used in production environment because it’s not even possible to add products to the catalog?!? Gary please please please say that this is just a 1 april fool ! ;-(

    Sometimes I think that when HPDL writes about “we” he means the royal “we”.

  5. enigma1

    There are 2 issues here. The osC v3 and PHP 5.3+ and so just my 2 cents.

    For the first issue I will elaborate a bit on this comment:
    “But if people don’t jump on v3 is not going to develop very fast”

    A popular framework like osC should be developed in a way to maximize compatibility with pretty much every environment. Or at least every typical environment that can be setup and tested. And by environment I am talking about both the server and client ends.
    For the server end PHP, MySQL, Apache, IIS etc along with their different versions and configurations.
    For the client end: Browsers, client scripts, operating systems along with their versions and configurations.

    So if version 3 works only with 5.3 look what happens to a developer.
    1. He needs to switch configuration on his development machine every time he tests something on v3 and every time he tests something on an MS2.2 or RC2.2 for a client perhaps and that’s not exactly a couple of seconds.

    2. When I did develop a couple of modules for the v3 alpha 3 back in 07, development times were around 3 times longer than for the MS2.2. You just couldn’t do a quick hack or alter stuff as with MS2.2 To compensate for ease of module installation and automation that was the price. But now if you think the economy is booming and merchants are becoming IT investors you’re mistaken. What is really missing from v3 is the simplicity of MS2.2

    3. And what about an ajax framework, yes there is jquery integrated but is just that. It’s not utilized. Unless scripts have a purpose just including them with a framework is a waste of time.

    For the 2nd issue the PHP 5.3 and in general PHP 5 here is a comment from Gary:
    “5.3 introduced something called “namespaces”

    Yes namespaces, like our clients are enterprises the size of Amazon and truly need it along with a SVN perhaps for the thousands of programmers they hire to manage their stores. Because after all who knows? they could be conflicts in class names because we may run out of names when creating classes.

    What the people in PHP do in reality, they just copy stuff from C++ and “features” from the 80’s and 90’s era. I don’t see how innovative that is. Interfaces, iterators, class abstraction, public/protected/private methods (when are we going to see class polymorphism I wonder) and a plethora of other so called features? I have to tell you none of this impresses me and I can also give some details why we don’t need any of this.

    The PHP OOP model was good enough with the structure that was in place with PHP 4. With version 5 it should be leaner and simpler and not convoluted. I don’t enjoy having 10 different functions with PHP 5 doing the same thing.

    Putting aside security and bug fixes lots of new functions introduced with PHP 5 are pretty useless. And the number of incompatibilities between sub-versions is growing.

    Take a look in the PHP board see so many functions it works one way with PHP5.2 and another way with PHP5.1 and another way with PHP5.3 and so on.

    Do you think a developer will waste his time integrating all the “new functions” so the end result will only work for one PHP version? I don’t think so. I will use the most compatible and simplest functions that go back to PHP 4 and consequently the most compatible application framework or one that works with minimum alterations.

    If the developers behind PHP want to make the language the new C++ and repeat history fair enough, but I have better alternatives.

  6. Gary Post author

    I can see the point of moving forwards – I liken that to we all driving Model T fords. I also see the point of making osc accessible as possible.

    At this point, I won’t be working on 3 as a commercial entity – I don’t believe it’s ready for primetime, and I have not time available to help drive it forward. When 3 becomes usable for real use (eg it has all the standard ecommerce features like being able to add categories and products and so on), then I will take the time to work on the commerical aspect.

    Note also that Developers are required to sign a CLA (Contributor License Agreement) in order to be able to provide contributions for the community – I know for a fact that I will not be signing this, so there will be no more contributions — what my clients do with their contributions that I make for them is up to them, not me!

  7. jeff

    So the real questions that need to be answered are:

    – How long till V3 is production ready?
    – How long will V2.3 be supported?

    I love osCommerce as a software product. The inability to have dates you can make business decisions on creates uncertainty.

    There is nothing worse than uncertainty.

  8. Gary Post author

    Jeff, I’d suggest;

    – How long till V3 is production ready?

    A year, perhaps more. This is based on previous roadmap of releases by the osCommerce Team, and my point of view regarding the new CLA for developers.

    – How long will V2.3 be supported?

    Years. At least by the community, if not by the osCommerce Team.

    The above are my opinion only, other people may think differently.

  9. enigma1

    “Developers are required to sign a CLA”

    I didn’t see that earlier on. Looks really bad. Do you know if that also affects updates to already posted contributions? Or these are for new ones?

    Because when I release my code under GPL I want it to stay under GPL. And this part of the paragraph
    “Contributions on any licensing terms, including without limitation: ….”
    indicates releasing something under GPL may re-released as closed or binary code which violates the GPL.

  10. Gary Post author

    v3 is licensed BSD. So binary code is OK with that. I suspect the CLA is only for v3 onwards. I asked for (“clear english”) clarification on the CLA, but as yet, received a reply as so;

    “Which parts are you unsure of? The wording is pretty much a boilerplate CLA similar to what other projects have”.

    I have not enquired further (yet), have not had time to do so.

  11. enigma1

    Yes, v3 is licensed BSD. But if you say make a contribution with GPL then they cannot release binary code with your contribution included.

    So having that waiver in place it means they can now do so and release it anyway they want. At least that’s what I understand.

  12. enigma1

    The post doesn’t explain much. If you see this link
    Has 2 points regarding distribution of included source code that could be contributions released under GPL.

    # Is source code included in the distribution?
    # Is a written offer for source code included with a distribution of just binaries?

    So if you distribute binaries only, looks to me goes against the GPL.

    And in terms of compatibility, public domain is also compatible with GPL but that doesn’t mean you can take GPL code and release it under public domain. Otherwise anybody could release code originally under any license in public domain and then switch the license around. You know what I mean?

  13. Mark

    I have just updated the blog post to include details of GPL licenced code in binary/closed source projects

    There are also some misconceptions about the CLA which I will address in a separate blog post

  14. Giles

    I posted comment on the other osCommerce v3 thread but after reading these comments I can not help but agree.

    License changes – whatever the reason is simply madness … why would you bother updating your module and signing a CLA for a module which you have worked on for years to the newer version when the core is not usable in a live environment.

    I think the osCommerce development team have focused on coding and idealism NOT on the reality of the eCommerce world where people are selling real products to people and having to deliver … in a coding utopia where we can all wait whilst the code catches up with flexibility and diversity of v2.2 things may be rosy but I suspect we will see a large portion of the community remaining with osCommerce 2.2 or one of the other forks (like osCmax.com).

    I can’t help but think this is too soon after the 2.3.1 release (and too different for the community to accept).

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