While working on the upcoming release 0.7.0 I noticed some issues with the current release that I want to address first. In other words, there will be a version 0.6.4 shortly.
It will be a pure bugfix release including things like:
- The current release identifies itself as 0.6.2 rather than 0.6.3
- Sending gift vouchers is broken (my favourite thing to break, it seems)
- Pretty links are broken :/
With the first iteration of performance enhanvements in place it is time to look further. Page caching is certainly good, but often does not give the kind of fine grained control required.
One way to break down page caching into smaller pieces would be to allow content views and(side)boxes to be cached individually. In practical terms this could mean to execute the layout on request, but return cached pieces of HTML for particular boxes and/or the content view. (more…)
Currently, ZenMagick supports site wide and theme specific settings/code in a special file named local.php. While this is very handy from a users points of view, it raises a few problems for the application that I have been thinking about.
As with all software, ZenMagick has got it’s flaws.
One thing I just noticed is that the SQL install feature does not work in 0.6.3! That means installing requires to run the SQL script found in
zenmagic/etq/sql using the zen-cart SQL patch tool. This can be found in the admin area under Tools.
Por people having trouble finding all this relevant suff, I am in the process of setting up a Known Bugs or similar page, so bear with me…
I reckon there are plenty people that have tried ZenMagick and struggled with uninstalling and I think I might owe them an apology.
Uninstalling software is perhaps the last thing a developer wants to think about, especially if the software will sure be the next killer app… Still, people will want to get rid of software for all sorts of reasons and there is no excuse for denying them a reasonable way out.
So far ZenMagick has been a one-way-street in this respect and I am going to change this starting with the coming release. As a first step, patches that modify existing zen-cart files will support undo. Everything else comes down to deleting files and dropping a few tables.
Not quite a full uninstall function, but getting there…
As mentioned in the readmap update, performance will be the key thing in the upcoming 0.6.3 release.
While there reamain still things to be improved, the already implemented changes will make things way faster.
One very obvious thing to do to make things faster is to cache generated HTML. The cache could be memory, the filesystem or even the database (in certain situations). For ZenMagick, I chose the filesystem, as it is fast and there are existing solutions to handle cached data. Zenmagick is going to use Cache_Lite.
I mentioned in the roadmap update that there will be more API changes. They are more likely extensions rather than actual changes. I expect that virtually all changes will be backwards compatible.
So what is planned? (more…)
Having had some email conversations about current and coming ZenMagick features, I think it is time to write a bit about the short-to-medium term plans for ZenMagick. Also, I realise that the TODO list is not very readble (not even Iuse it very often…)
The next release, which is almost complete, will be 0.6.3 and will contain some bugfixes and quite a few changes to improve performance. I’ve been using xdebug lately and it is a quite valuable tool. I might try other products as well, but for now I am happy enought with it. (more…)
Finally I managed to update my site and join the zillions that blog away – we’ll see how that is going to work out for me…
I tried to stay close to the old design as this is definitely not one of my strong sides
I hope to use the blog to document a few ZenMagick things and keep people up to date about the current development. Drop me a line or leave a comment if you feel anything is missing.