Jul032009

No CommentsWebshop v5.5 by Dandomain

by Caty at 4:38 pm Posted in Design, Reviews
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I have been working on DanDomain Webshop software as early as Feb this year and as the project is drawing nearer to an end, just thinking to leave some thoughts here as compare with Zen cart and osCommerce.

Before I start, I would like to emphasize that this is solely based on the view point of a designer regarding the template system and not on a standpoint of an owner. Why would I say so? Well, for owner or anyone else who wish to open a webshop and start selling right away, webshop v5.5 is a good start, simply because the ease of use as most of the settings are controlled in the admin panel. There are a number of default templates and styles that one can set easily with very little knowledge of html programming. As far as I can see, this webshop is rather popular with its Danish clients.

But on a designer point of view, it is really a pain in terms of programming and setting up custom templates here and there. As I mentioned earlier, most settings, including templates, css styles and add-on modules has to be done via admin panel. The codes are pretty messy as the system auto-inserts quite a number of redundant codes which in returns, designer will need to find ways to "hide" it in order not to disrupt with the intended design. An example is that many non-semantic "<span>" tags are added un-neccessary here and there and therefore efforts need to be taken if a block level element is required here, either by changing its’ default display property with css or doing a small "hack" of "un-span" and "re-span" later in between the block level elements that one intend to insert.

In addition, this system is "table" codes based and hence messy nested table are seen every where. I have to close one eye on my developer tool "HTML tidy" sitting right at the bottom of Firefox window where warnings statistics show up with a flying color. To name a few: "<html>" and "<body>" tags can appear in the middle of some content pages, styles declared inside <td> elements etc..

Finally I survive through the design and implementation phases by significantly lowering down my expectation towards producing a design that passes W3C validation with warning and error free. And most of all, with great patience. Giving me a choice, Zen-cart is still my preferred option so far.

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