[ic] Managing Database Structure Changes

Marty Tennison marty at dripdepot.com
Thu May 28 23:14:56 UTC 2009

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.

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.

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. 

Overall, I dig it.

Interchange ROCKS!!!!  :)  (group hug)

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Marty Tennison                     DripDepot.com
email: marty at dripdepot.com
web: www.dripdepot.com
phone: (541) 201-3991 x102
fax: +1-866-686-6719
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