[nycphp-talk] Two part question: Shopping carts & E-commerce

Cliff Hirsch cliff at
Mon Aug 27 22:13:23 EDT 2007

> They want to start with about 12 items and have the shop interface w/miva,
cart32 or shopsite.
These are carts, not merchant accounts or gateways, so I¹m confused.

>And as far as time frame and budget, I could build a cart from scratch. I have
the Apress book  "PHP5 & E-commerce", plus all the obvious online resources.
No, no, no!!! A cart can be deceivingly complex. I used the same book as a
sort of ³Framework² for a tangential project that is cart-like. The three
layer architecture is great, but upside down. The presentation layer selects
the business logic ‹ go figure. Plus, it covers maybe 20% of what¹s really

> Is it a wise idea to build the cart from scratch?
NO. See above.

>If I don't build the cart from scratch, what are some alternatives? I need it
to be totaly skinable...

There are a gazillion carts ‹ both open source and commercial .Even the
commercial are dirt cheap. Another alternative is a hosted solution. You¹ve
got to have a really, really good reason to develop a cart from scratch.

The big open source cart is oscommerce, which has a reasonably good fork
called Zencart. X-cart is a good commercial alternative. The code is a
nightmare, and will make any oop purist barf, but very easy to hack and
skin. There¹s numerous others. First, figure out the budget and
requirements. That will wittle down the list.

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