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

Stefan Hornburg racke at linuxia.de
Tue Mar 14 04:35:37 EST 2006

Andreas Grau wrote:
> 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.

Do you have any nice examples for us ?

> 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.

I think the majority of questions will be answered, sooner or later.
Because of the variety and the wide range of application for Interchange
it is hard to answer any question. After all, any of the Interchange developers
has to earn his living.

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

Did you look at the XML documentation at all ?

That might be also a coincidence with almost zero input to the documentation
from the Interchange community.

> 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.

Even if that is the case, I don't necessarily need to care about it.
There are more than enough existing clients for me, and once in a while,
there are new ones coming in. Some have left, but most of them for other
reasons than Interchange being an inferior product.

> 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.)

IMHO b) is in fact really important, but in the moment there is a lack of manpower
in the ICDEVGROUP. Sorry, but we working on it.

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

All that was  already discussed multiple times,
but people are better doing ramblings than helping out.


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