(A Better) WordPress Shopping Cart

The folks over at Instinct Entertainment released WP e-Commerce 3.6.6 today and received not so great feedback from users. Looks like 3.6.6 is a bit buggy. Sadly, this does not surprise me one bit. Take a look at the code, and try to grasp what is going on.

A year ago I muddled around, and hacked an older version of it (was the newest version at the time) apart for a client of mine. At the time the code was a nightmare to navigate. This spring when they wanted to add more features, some of which were in the newer 3.6 branch, I did some research on the changes between versions. Sadly, things have not gotten better (code organization wise).

Right now, WP e-Commerce is not open source. It however, is the only solution for users that want to use Authorize.net. The client that I made the modifications to WP e-Commerce for at one point proposed just making our own plug-in. Since I personally do not have an interest in establishing a e-commerce site, I will not spontaneously produce a e-commerce plug-in.

Should such a competing plug-in be released by me a few things can be guaranteed about it.

  1. Fully commented source, just about every line will have an explanation, functions commented properly, with explanations of their prototypes.
  2. Full (and proper) i18n (internationalization) support in accordance with the WordPress i18n guidelines.
  3. Utilizes the WordPress API when appropriate.
  4. Clean, fast code that is object oriented when appropriate.
  5. Highly modular, easy to remove unwanted/unneeded features. Items included in the HTML head are reduced to only what is needed.
  6. Predictable release time line similar to that of Breadcrumb NavXT and WordPress. Monthly bug fix releases, new features released the same month as a WordPress “major release” (e.g. 2.2, 2.3, 2.5 were major releases), or every three to four months (I try to keep bug fix releases fixed to three or four max).
  7. 100% Open Source licensed under the GNU GPL2.

Numbers 1,2,3,6 and 7 would be there from the get-go. The fifth one would be introduced in time, and the fourth would be an ongoing thing. Development would begin as .1 and not follow any particular time line for releases until 1.0 is reached. By 1.0 it would be stable, though by .8 or so it’d be a suitable replacement to WP e-Commerce.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

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