The biggest milestone in our history will be reached on March 31 2011 with the release of osCommerce Online Merchant v3.0. This is the result of years of hard work, community feedback, and patience! We thank the community and our partners tremendously for their support during this long development phase and look forward to working with you in achieving our goals for 2011.
Each piece of the puzzle we’ve blogged about previously has now come together and formed the framework as v3.0. The focus on this release is to provide a solid and flexible base that can be built on with exciting new core framework and user features, and to be easily extended on with Add-Ons.
Our vision is not to provide one or more full feature packed “enterprise-ready” solutions but to provide a solid core framework that can be easily customized and extended on to meet specific requirements.
The framework has finally reached the stage of being production-ready. The release date of March 31 was set to freeze and clean the API to provide a solid-as-possible framework to start building on. Most of the new exciting user features we had wished for v3.0 will not arrive with the initial release as it would have otherwise delayed the release even longer. We strived for perfection and are now delivering as fantastic.
Our release strategy is now changing from delaying releases until a set number of new features are ready for production use, to pushing out new features as soon as they are ready. Features and bug fixes belong in products, not in development repositories!
The flexibility of the framework allows us to release early, release often without conflicting with customizations. Updates are safely applied through the Administration Dashboard after displaying which core files are to be modified. Customizations are performed in a separate namespace that override core framework functionality.
The level of hard work does not stop on March 31 but will continue strongly throughout April and coming months to push out regular update releases that fix bug reports and introduce user features that did not make it for the v3.0 release.
April will be an extremely busy and exciting month we can’t wait for!
Our versioning scheme is now improving from no longer publishing Preview, Milestone, Release Candidate, Alpha, or Beta releases but fully supported production-ready releases. Each version number will be in the form of X.Y.Z (eg, 3.0.0) where X is increased for major incompatible releases, Y for minor API changes, and Z for bug fixes and new features that don’t break compatibility to earlier versions.
Each API change will be documented for developers to review.
From April we are going to:
- Be active in the community to help developers understand the framework and store owners its user features
- Update remaining Applications and Modules that were not finalized for the v3.0 release
- Provide a database import tool for existing v2.2RC2, v2.3.1 and v3.0A5 users
- Start a localization site for translators to use and build language translation packages
- Document v3.0 framework and user features
- Finalize MS SQL Server database abstraction queries
- Extend the CoreUpdate Application to also support installed Add-Ons
- Allow Phar packaged Add-Ons to be tested without the need to install them first
- Continually improve existing features and introduce exciting new features
In addition we are looking for new talent to help us:
- Improve overall UI design
- Support database servers with our abstracted queries
- Continue to improve the core framework
We are looking forward to expanding our team and to improve our products and services. Contact us if we don’t find you and you’re passionate about Open Source and E-Commerce!