David Reynolds

Welcome to boredom

Oscommerce Hell

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So we’ve finally managed to the powers that be to let us use something other than PHP as our development platforms for upcoming projects at work, which is fantastic. As I said in a previous post, Django is quite cool, and I’m actually enjoying using it (except when I come up against a brick wall due to lack of python knowledge, but that’ll pass).

This all sounds like good news, eh? Dave’s gonna start enjoying his job again? This would be true apart from one thing (well two, but I’ll not go into the other one here): OSCommerce.

A while back, we figured it’d be a good idea to try and use a ready-made, open source, online shop solution, because it wasn’t proving cost-effective enough for us to write bespoke shops for every customer who came along wanting a shop. We stumbled upon OSCommerce, then into CREloaded (OSCommerce with lots of the contributions already installed), which seemed like a good idea at the time. It wasn’t. By any means. I’ve been battling with 2 sites for what seems like forever (probably is about 2 months) to:

  1. Take a template we've paid for and alter it to look how the customer wants
  2. Fix broken bits of template to make the site work properly
  3. Fight through thousands of lines of badly written, badly commented PHP to try and alter something to be slightly different, like get something to print in a different order

.. the list goes on.

I think I am finally getting towards the end of what I think I need to do on this site, then we just have to deal with what the customer thinks I have left to do. The two could be wildy, wildy different. Hopefully by next week, I should be finally be freeing myself from the claws of this horrible beast they call OSCommerce. Luckily, all involved agree that the software is rubbish and we shan’t be using it in the future. I’m sure I’ll feel this way about Django in a few months, but from here it is looking fantastic.

Don’t Change Your Plans from the album “The Loft Sessions (XM Radio)” by Ben Folds