[ic] Interchange 4.5.6 beta released

Jon Jensen jon@akopia.com
Tue, 26 Sep 2000 02:22:18 -0500 (CDT)

We're pleased to announce that the Akopia Interchange 4.5.6 beta release
is ready and available for download now. We encourage all current
Interchange, Minivend, and Tallyman users to download and evaluate this
latest release, and contribute their feedback, bug reports, and general
feelings about it as soon as they can.

The major new additions are in the administrative user interface, and the
majority of the back-end functionality remains relatively unchanged from
Minivend 4. Therefore, existing Minivend users should be able to upgrade
to the beta without fear, since the most likely place that "beta" quirks
will appear is in the administration. A fairly complete list of changes
appears at the end of this message.

We strongly encourage anyone using Interchange to subscribe to the
interchange-users mailing list and there post your feedback and bug
reports. List information is at:


Download links for the standard tar.gz distribution as well as the RPM
package are at:


Please note that the RPM version must be invoked and restarted differently
than the normal version. See README.rpm for details.

See http://developer.akopia.com/ for a live demo, the latest news,
and online documentation users can contribute to.

We look forward to your comments!

The Akopia Team


Interchange-4.5.6 changes -- complete overhaul of UI

* Everything renamed to "interchange". interchange.cfg, interchange.pid,
  etc. If you keep minivend.cfg as the configuration file, the PID file
  will be minivend.pid. There should be a good level of backward

* "construct" is now the default demo -- a "foundation" demo will be
  added later.

	-- Improved graphics and layout over older demos.
	-- Split ship addresses for items
	-- Shipping notices integrated
	-- Recurring order facility (doesn't yet work).
	-- PO with credit limit
	-- Merchandising cross-sells by category or item.
	-- "Others who bought this"

  The HTML rendering is kind of slow on Netscape, any help with that
  would be appreciated.

* The user interface (UI) was reorganized to make it easier to understand
  and use.

  -- All functions should now be available via menu, quicklinks should
     not be necessary.
  -- Most database table lists are HTML lists with links instead of
     the button approach.
  -- Administration console with information helpful for debug.


* Orders 
  -- list-based
  -- shipping status notices
  -- automatic check of archive box when status=shipped
  -- list-based delete and archive operations
  -- lists are sortable on multiple fields
  -- status display for individual line items
  -- change size of list with Knar UI_SZ_LIST_ORDER

* Customers
  -- list-based
  -- list-based delete and deactivate operations
  -- lists are sortable on multiple fields
  -- status display for individual line items
  -- change size of list with Knar UI_SZ_LIST_CUSTOMER

* Item editor
  -- Select list of items to delete or edit in sequence
  -- Now have different "views" for merchandising, pricing, inventory, etc.
  -- checkbox-based deletes
  -- item fields to display set with UI_ITEM_FIELDS
  -- separator fields set with UI_ITEM_BREAK
  -- cross_category field added to merchandising table

* Content
  -- Templates easier to create
  -- Editor allows change of template

* Layout
  -- button builder does on-the-fly items
  -- fixed bugs in search builder

* Merchandising
  -- new menu, includes affiliate stuff

* Reporting
  -- Fixed cast problem with PostGres reports
  -- More consistent look/feel for reports

* Administration
  -- New information screen that should help with diagnosing trouble
  -- Table select/edit now consistent with other editors
  -- Selector rows can be sorted via column, forward and reverse
  -- Table display properties can be easily edited


* Database update forms (mv_todo=set) now can set fields in multiple
  tables when there is a common key.

* Changed SpecialPage defaults for "search", "order", and "checkout"
  to reflect longstanding defaults in demo catalogs.

* Fixed bug in fixed-field (PriceField) pricing, introduced sometime
  in Minivend 4.

* Added GUESS_NUMERIC parameter to databases, which operates by checking
  field types in SQL and by looking at the import data on DBM. You can
  see this in operation in the UPS tables "Ground", etc.

* Removed auto-index of key field if POSTCREATE statement exists.

* Added some more better auto-numbering support. Still not ready
  for the UI.

* Found bug in Vend::Table::DBI->inc_field that caused a quoted value
  when really was a number.

* CSV imports now are fully as functional as others, can do indexing, numeric
  guess, etc.

* Added "value" widget type for [accessories ...].

* Added [tmp var]scratch setting[/tmp] and [scratchd var] tags to
  purge Scratch when setting/accessing variables. This can improve
  session write speed if setting a large value which will only be
  used in the current page.

* Added "tabbed" filter, and some other Filters. Now you can add
  your own filters persistently with:

	Sub <<EOS
	sub somesub { 
		$Filter{foo_to_bar} = sub {
			my $value = shift;
			$value =~ s/foo/bar/g;
			return $value;
	or just in the current page

		$Filter{foo_to_bar_tmp} = sub {
			my $value = shift;
			$value =~ s/foo/bar/g;
			return $value;

  Thanks to Stefan Hornburg for suggestion.

* Fixed SpecialPage handling of salestax.asc, thanks to Jeff Carnahan.

* Fixed _postcode() routine in Order.pm, thanks to Brett Harrison.

* Fixed longstanding problem with demo catalog whereby the UserDB
  defined the username field as "user" but it was actually named
  "username" in the database. Changed UserDB default to "username", because
  "user" is a reserved word in some SQL databases (i.e. Postgres).

* UserDB: Removed mv_credit_card_info from B_FIELDS so that it would not
  be saved in UserDB.

* Added [counter ...] tag, with some additional capabilities over
  the old [fcounter ...] tag. Kept fcounter around in UserTag for
  compatibility with older catalogs.

* Added image copying for shared image directories (the admin).