[ic] "High traffic list" - ramblings on Interchange

Andreas Grau agrau at esquat.com
Tue Mar 14 03:03:30 EST 2006

Remark: The introduction is copied over from another posting. I didn't
want to mix subjects, which is why I am starting a new thread.

On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 00:00:22 -0500
Mike Heins <mike at perusion.com> wrote:

> Quoting Mick Szucs (mick at scrapbookgraphics.com):
> > Hello, all.
> > 
> > The warning that this list is "high traffic" seems a little unfounded now.
> I remember the warning -- we used to get 15,000 messages a year -- but
> I forget where it is.
> > 
> > I'm running a reasonably successful osCommerce site right now and I'm
> > looking to move to something that, umm... sucks less.  Interchange seems
> > to be flexible and well written, plus I *heart* Perl.
> Welcome. I believe osCommerce and the success of PHP is probably one
> of the reasons Interchange's mail list is not so busy any more.

This is most certainly one reason. There are many PHP based shopping
carts, and many hosting provider concentrate on PHP, with little or no
support for perl.

And many of the PHP carts are, well, good looking. Hardly any IC shop
in the hall of fame is nice and modern. And inviting.

Next, IC is largely unsupported. If you look in the mailing list
archives, there are tons of serious questions which remain without
answer. The other IRC channel is mostly dead.

Then, IC is not really documented. Since when I follow IC, there has
been zero visible progress on the docs.

Take an unsupportive mailing list plus zero docs, and you come to think
that IC is actually a closed-shop solution.

To a newbie, IC is very complex. I can tell you from my own experience.
And if one doesn't find a helping hand, he is likely to turn away again.

What will be the consequences ?
- Further drain of installations
- Further drain of users
- Increasingly bad reputation (complex, ugly, unsupported, few users)

In the end, there may be a team of dinosaurs who satisfies himself with
existing clients. Probably rationalizing that IC is technically better
than anything else.

Anybody remember Univac or Data General ?

For IC to have a future, I believe it would be necessary to
a) help people grow from newbie into intermediate state, so reciprocal
help can build momentum
b) do the marketing work: improve the docs, polish the sites, spread the word
c) leave the ivory tower (see a.)

I would appreciate it. And I hope we'll get somewhere with my
provocation. Unless I am the only one who feels like this.


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