So, it isn’t quite a Christmas release, but still 2008!
There isn’t too much new stuff in it – it’s mostly maintenance. Still, I figured that releasing the full list of plugins might be a good idea.
I am sure there have been bits and pieces that changed but never made it into new releases, so this would be a good time to catch up.
On the other hand, some plugin code changed and pretty much all plugins were affected, so I won’t feel too bad removing deprecated code in the future.
Of course, there have been new plugins too, but I have written about those, so nothing really new.
Just updated to the latest wordpress version – unfortunately, I might have deleted all uploaded images :/
I’ll try to recover them ASAP, but won’t promise anything. Should you have some in your browser cache, I’d be happy for them.
I’ve been pondering whether to have another release before Christmas for a while now and I think it would be a good idea. As far as releases go this is going to be a pretty minor one.
I spend a some time fixing some small things that croped up and als refactored a lot defines away (making them consts in service classes mostly). Some theme related defines about directory names got removed completely as they do not really change a lot (and shouldn’t either).
On the plus side there are going to be two new plugins. Firstly, the already annourced form handler and also the code I’ve been using on the demo store to switch themes.
There is also some new code in the form of new cache implementations and also a new ZMDatabase implementation using PDO.
The only real downside is that I’ve touched every single plugin. That in itself is probably not a bad thing, however the sourceforce file release interface requires to set platform and file type for each separately and that is a real pain.
Anyone following planet mozilla will have seen a few. If not, the image is some sort of summary of this blog, based on the RSS feed. In fact, wordle can convert any feed and you even get to choose the colours!
Just thinking loud, but would there be interest in product bundles for Zen Cart (via ZenMagick)?
There seem to be people looking for that and the available commercial mods are priced higher than a few commercial carts that are out there.
it sounds like an interesting project and would certainly be good to show of the capabilities of ZenMagick if it could be done entirely as a plugin.
I’d be really interested in getting some feedback about what such a plugin should be able to do.
Of the top of my head I can think of the following (split up into store and admin):
- separate template to display bundle information (optional)
- being able to buy just like a regular product
- create bundles like regular products
- assign existing products to bundle
- allow to bundle products that are not available as single items
- price helper to display the regular total of bundle items compared to the bundle price
EDIT: Perhaps I should emphasise the fact that it is actually possible to use ZenMagick with your existing zen-cart installation! The storefront templating stuff is all optional, although it is the default
Yesterday I checked the creole homepage for updates and to my horror I discovered that the project is being abandoned.
While I can understand the reasons behind this step to a degree, I still feel sad on different levels. I’ve picked creole as alternative to the current Zen Cart database code as it seemed mature and, at least to me, rather promising.
Also, the style it is coded in is very close to my ideas about how PHP code should look like. Seeing that the repository is going to exist, maybe there is still hope that someone else will pick up the project.
For ZenMagick, nothing really is going to change. I’ll be trying to convert the current 1.2 beta code into a single file as I’ve done with the 1.1.0 release (I had a go at that in some spare minutes, but there have been changes that make the current import code break, so it’ll take some time).
I am glad that I took the time to write my own (thin) database layer for ZenMagick to avoid depending on a single external project. This is proof that it was time well spend, even though the circumstances are very unfortunate.
I might evaluate another database API for the future, although this is very low priority and will be far in the future. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.
I think releasing the themes prior to the next ZenMagick release was probably a bit too optimistic.
I just realised that there are a couple more things that the new themes depend on.
One thing that is for sure is that I added a couple new classes to some of the default theme templates (mostly result list related). On the other hand, it should be possible to figure out what those are based on the theme specific CSS. In any case, downloads do not indicate too much interest (which surprises me, to be honest!).
The next release will be a minor bugifx relase plus some more refactoring, so it seems to be a good idea to get that out of the way before diving back into some bigger changes.
I actually just now released the first four public and free (covered by a Creative Commons Attribution license) themes.
There might be some glitches, as I developed against a trunk version of ZenMagick, but except for a small issue with highlighting the correct header navigation item I can’t think of anything that should cause the to break.
I’ve been playing around with implementing new ZMCache provider. xcache is nice and easy to test, in particular since it comes with a simple admin interface to dump the cache entries.
I just found something similar for memcache and it was really a big help.
Besides being able to verify that adding/removing from memcache worked, it helped figuring out how to retreive the stored items and, more importantly, the cache keys.
Since ZMCache supports grouping of entries the only way to handling this is to iterate over all entries and compare prefixes.
Initially I implemented some internal tracking. However, I wasn’t sure whether that would stay in sync over time. Iterating over entries might not be the most performant operation, but considering that this is ever going to happen from within the admin interface of ZenMagick this should be fine.
To verify that creating new themes is really as easy as it proved to be using styleshout templates, I decided to add another one, this time from a different source.
The result is similar. Typically, the CSS of the template can be used as-is [with some minor exceptions], complemented by a custom theme.css to get the rest in line.
Usually, the default views work ok without any additional work. Sideboxes are a bit different. This is not surprising as those are most dependant on the actual layout code used in the template.
The new themes should be released soon (hopefully this weekend), now that I received an informal OK from styleshout (not necessary, but it makes me feel better). There have been some minor improvements on top of the versions running on the demo site, so they should be a pretty good starting point for further improvements.