I want to continue to offer e-commerce at a reasonable price, and that reasonable price will not be tagged on oscommerce. Oscommerce will easily be double the price of any other shopping cart going forward. The program is a beast, and as long as it's been around, it's turned into a Frankenstein monster.
To extend the program through "contributions" requires hacking it to bits. I installed only one or two modules that installed without having to individually hand-edit program files, but note that these modules completely and utterly REPLACE files from the base oscommerce installation, just as the ones that required hand-editing rendered the program un-upgradable.
This is point #1 in being absolutely and utterly unable to upgrade the package once installed and so-called plug-ins (read: hacks) are added.
This implies that oscommerce does not have "Hooks" - - no points at which contributions can easily be put into the program execution queue without disturbing the original files.
The templating of the program out-of-the-box is absolutely unforgivable. There is no separation of logic and design on the back-end of the program. Each are enmeshed within each other. One contribution forcibly ripped the template code out of the program code and separated them. I'm both grateful that someone went through the trouble and appalled that doing so was needed -- again this absolutely breaks the ability to upgrade the program.
I think I'm very spoiled by PmWiki. I never have to hack the program code to add a feature. Ever. That's Patrick's duty. Cookbook recipes (plug-ins) are kept separately from the program code. There are an abundance of program hooks to slip custom code into. The base install can be upgraded with or without the recipes being upgraded, with a minimal chance of breaking recipes, since the hooks serve as an API layer in the program, and rarely need to change how they behave.
I'm tempted to write in a shopping cart module, because oscommerce is the exact opposite of everything I've learned about a good, extensible and maintainable package.
I will be trying Zen Cart next. I now know enough about oscommerce to install it and even customize it, but I am not able, in any good conscience, to recommend it to a customer, and my price for installing oscommerce must be double what I thought it should be.
I have to apologize to the Frankenstein monster for having insulted him by comparing oscommerce to him. Oscommerce is far more of a hack than one body being combined with another brain.
[tags]e-commerce, custom programming, modules, open source, prices, programming, rant, usability, web applications, web standards[/tags]