[ic] Managing Database Structure Changes

Stefan Hornburg (Racke) racke at linuxia.de
Mon Jun 1 18:16:42 UTC 2009

Marty Tennison wrote:
> Stefan Hornburg (Racke) wrote:
>> Hello, Interchange enthusiasts!
>> [snip cool_stuff=1]
> Well, I'll give my 2 cents from the perspective of a amateur perl hacker. :)
> I read the README in the wellwell catalog and I must say, it all looks 
> great.   I would agree with all the goals.  My observations are...
> The idea of using XML to store DB definitions is good IMO.  This is very 
> similar to what Magento does (http://www.magentocommerce.com/) which I 
> admire a lot, except for the PHP part of course. :)  In Magento they 
> actually use XML to store page structure also (they call them blocks) 
> and it's pretty slick once you get the hang of it.  It adds a level of 
> complexity to the design but it also creates a lot of possibilities.
> I think it would be good to consider scenarios where all catalogs share 
> the same home directory and only differ by CSS or catalog specific files 
> which can be searched by order of preference.  I think a lot of the 
> popularity of many of the CMS systems and even ecommerce systems like 
> Magento is that you can operate two (or more) completely different sites 
> but they share the same underlying code except for cosmetic 
> differences.  I've done this using interchange through the use of 
> TemplateDir and it works well.  I did not see any ability in the 
> wellwell catalog.cfg for this functionality.  Forgive me if I missed 
> it.  I'll be happy to share my catalog.cfg if needed as an example of 
> how I achieved it.

OK, that is definitely a good idea. I didn't think of it yet, so wellwell
catalog.cfg doesn't support it.

Please share your catalog.cfg.

> I love the idea of plugins, especially if novice or intermediate hackers 
> like myself can handle the API.  I'll talk only from my personal 
> experience but when I was evaluating other ecommerce systems I noticed 
> that witting a plugin was fairly easy.  In fact, I was even able to 
> write (and contribute back) a plugin for Virtuemart (an ecommerce plugin 
> for Joomla) in PHP no less?  I noticed that if the plugin or feature API 
> is easily accessible, it makes it possible for guys like me to get in a 
> lot of trouble. :)  But it sometimes turns into something good. Simple 
> things like best sellers list, new items etc... are perfect projects for 
> guys like me.

Definitely. Plugins will be like little catalogs in it itself, so I suppose
they will fairly easy to rewrite.

FYI: I just added a section "Authoring Plugins" to the README.

> Overall I really like the idea of "leaving no stone unturned".  And from 
> what I have seen by examining the wellwell catalog I think it looks more 
> manageable and clean.   It looks like the database scheme is being 
> reworked, that's a VERY good thing. 

Yes and I also envision some kind of catalog bootstrapping in the future,
so the user has just to add some details like database parameters and
server name for catalog setup.

> Overall, I dig it.
> Interchange ROCKS!!!!  :)  (group hug)

Thanks a lot for your feedback!


LinuXia Systems => http://www.linuxia.de/
Expert Interchange Consulting and System Administration
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Interchange Development Team

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