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Some updates about the final release of virtuemart 2.

Posted in Latest News

Some people were annoyed that we do not update about the situation. The question is do we communicate or do we develop? Our style to develop needs already really a lot of communication, because we use rapid prototyping and pair programming technics. There is also a lot of communication in the forum. People who follow the vm2 forum a bit are updated. They can see the errors, questions and our answers.
They should also consider that we already released a version which is more or less treated by the development team as a final. That means we take care that people can smoothly update. For us it is important that beta testers can use their work for their final store. We also train the update processes itself. As I already wrote before I suggest to install vm2, try, test and learn it. Start to create your store, learn the possibilities. Then you can decide if VM2 is ready for your purposes. The virtuemart 2 core is now and later released as is without warranty. If it is a final or not.

There are also some people who are annoyed, because they trusted the published ETA and have now angry clients. This people are very rude. Not helping but shouting that it is too slow is just ... (speechless). It is really crazy that the team should feel guilty and is accused for something it never promised by people who did nothing for the virtuemart project .

The version M was quite final, so we tested to develop different plugins and run into trouble. The payment and shipment plugins do not belong to the core, but are essential for a shop, so releasing a core without a minimum amount of working plugins is useless. We noticed that the system can be simplified, which improves and helps with the plgugin development. Since we are not final, we combined the abstract plugin handler for shipment and payment plugins. Within 3 days we optimised the pluginsystem and enhanced it. This was a big shift and very good that we waited with the final release.
The next big shift is that we got unhappy with the multilanguages solution for j1.7, or better said, there is none and it will take time until there is any and the solutions in seight are not performant. We got the idea how to write a fast performant multilanguage system. Since we need that for the virtuemart store, we decided to write it and it seems that we needed 4 days for it. The result is a multilanguage system, which is even faster than before.
Since we changed 2 big systems, the plugin system and the language system, we must do another release. We call it Release Candidate 3.

Feature list: Integrated in joomla 1.5 and joomla 1.7 with its advantages (articles, blog, forum, ...)

  • Uses joomla extensions
  • User based shopsystem
  • Template overrides (layouts, mails)

 

native multilanguage

  • categories
  • products
  • manufactuers
  • vendors
  • seo

 

nested categories

  • with meta tags for seo
  • with description and media

 

shoppergroups

  • pricing depending by shoppergroups
  • price display depending by shoppergroups
  • payment/shipment depending by shoppergroups
  • anonymous shoppergroup

 

shopper

  • customizable shopper input form
  • input form depended on registration, checkout or shipment
  • completly anonymous checkout
  • Adressbook
  • default Bill-to and Ship-to address
  • default payment and shipment method
  • check of eu vat id (not working yet)

 

products

  • with meta tags for seo
  • short and long description
  • dimensions (weight, size)
  • multiple media
  • variants, attributes
  • stockable variants
  • unlimited child products and derivated levels
  • product pattern (Parent product used as pattern for child products)
  • related products

 

Inventory/Stocking

  • stocking/inventory
  • stock warning
  • virtual stock (ordered but not finally bought)

 

Prices

  • various type of prices to display depended by shoppergroup
  • prices adjusted by shopper choosen currency
  • different currency format per currency

 

real multi currency

  • auto updating rates
  • add your own currencies for fixed currency rates

 

manufacturer media handler

  • atm finished for images, will be used for downloadables, videos, pdf, programs, ...

default SEF/SEO integrated Product reviews and ratings dynamical calculator

  • discounts based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
  • tax based on time, category, shoppergroup, country, and state
  • discounts, tax per product and/or order
  • discounts, tax have their own currencies (for duties)

 

multiple payment and shippings options

  • shipment payment methods are defined per vendor

 

checkout

  • guest checkout; completly anonymous checkout
  • option to register at begin of checkout
  • cart is an object, competly overridable by template
  • cart is stored in the session
  • 1 click checkout
  • multipage checkout
  • one page checkout (not by default)
  • SSL

 

order handling backend

  • Payment/shipment workflow
  • history
  • modifiable

 

order handling frontend

  • order tracking for anonymous users

 

revenue

  • sortable

 

template handling

  • different joomla templates by category
  • different category browse pages per category
  • different product display pages per category/product

 

product display configurable by

  • latest
  • topten (most sold)
  • newest
  • featured
  • sortable
  • searchable

 

marketing promotions and tools

  • coupon handling
  • recommend a product to friend link

 

other

  • hidden debugging tool
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Virtuemart Final ready to take off

Posted in Latest News

Good news,

So far it looks like that the final release of vm2 is now 1-2 weeks away.

We understand that many people are not happy, that we have not set a final release date, but we don't want to create banana software, many people have been working hard in the past few weeks and months, building a robust shopping cart they are proud of, and with this in mind, we feel we are at the final stages. We want release VirtueMart 2 when the last sub release has no new severe bugs. The last sub release should be stable as the final, then we release it, however, please remember that VirtueMart 2 will be the fundament core for the next few years, so we wanted to consider as much as possible for it's future use.


The general problem to set an ETA is that VM2 is developed by a community and not a company.

This means that the work is not only delayed because people working on VirtueMart who need to pay their bills and do other jobs, it means also that the whole process of testing & qualifying is done completely differently, normally a tester is a skilled programmer and not an end user. We have a strong working community, so we rely on testing from our community, this has delayed development, because it takes more time to train the people and to understand if there is a bug or a misunderstanding of the feature. On the other hand this leads to a more intuitive and self explained product, the other problem is that a lot people in different countries and with different ideas, work together purely over the net. We do not sit together in one office, so we need a lot more communication using forum's and chat rooms. Altogether more than 20 developers have committed their code, and more than 20 extra testers are in touch with the core team, during this time we also had programmers, who had to leave the project for personal reasons, and in some cases the programmers claimed to finished a task, left the project and when it got tested by the community later, we found a lot bugs and had sometimes rewrite the whole work of them. This problems affect the final product in a positive manner, so this makes it harder for estimating the release date.

What happened since the first RC in may?

First we changed the whole database layout using a common pattern also used by nooku. Then we implemented abstract controllers, models and tables, to follow the DRY principle (meaning = Don't repeat yourself). After that we thought we are done and released the RC2, but then Joomla 1.7 came out. To get an idea what we had to do (http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?topic=90207.msg295973#msg295973). Then we found out that a lot stuff was buggy or only partly implemented. Take a look on the developer forum to get an impression (http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?board=127.0)
So what we think is the estimated date for the final? Let's take a look on our feature list http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?topic=91199.0 as far we can see, almost any feature is implemented. The missing features are not obligatory for many people, so let's take a look to the forum board with the bugs, since version j, it seems almost any bug is fixed. The bugs left are minor or specifically connected to the environment of the user. So when you are happy, with the already built in feature, you can treat the j version as a final.

And finally!

There are already a lot people happily configuring VM2 for their shops and some of them will go online, before VM2 is announced as final because it works, it works very well and the initial feedback we are getting makes the road to this version and the developers happy and proud.

VirtueMart is a community project, so the ideal is when the community itself signals that VM2 is final and I think the day is very near.

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VM2 version G is ready to be tested for production use.

Posted in Latest News

The new VirtueMart 2 Version is now in the last testing phase.

We are very sure that we could release this on Friday, but Max Milbers is going to the joomla day UK in London http://www.joomladayuk2011.org/, so we plan to release the final 2.0.0 shortly after his return.

The version G is already completely working and can be tested for production use. Dev site

In the last two weeks VirtueMart hits 4000 commits, which is some man-years, which has now been committed to VirtueMart project.

We have worked very hard and proudly present a new free and very flexible ecommerce platform, created with the knowledge of the big VirtueMart community. http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?topic=85643.0

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VirtueMart 2 Workshop in Mallorca

Posted in Latest News

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We want to enhance the support for VirtueMart users, so we joined Alexis Sotir & Daniel Dimitrov who organise workshops specially for joomla. The main idea of the VirtueMart workshop is that we want to help you to get your actual shop running. These workshops are not meant as frontal teaching with some lessons and exercises. We want that you directly apply your new knowledge to your own store. Configure your store directly with the help of two well known professionals in that area. For newcomers it is interesting, instead of paying an adminstrator, to do it yourself and support directly the VirtueMart Core developers. For professionals, it is interesting to fill all gaps of knowledge and for vm1 veterans, it is interesting to get the new features and workflows explained.

Additionally for everyone, we will have a good community time and we are such freaks, that we won't be able to stop talking about vm and joomla related stuff. The idea doing that in Mallorca and not in some big city is to lower distraction and to make the workshop a very intense learning event.

There will be two workshops Learn VirtueMart 2 Inside & Out of 16 hours each: one starting november 4th, 2011, and the other starting the november 7th, 2011.

There will be also workshops with Brian Teeman (building a Joomla web site) , Kristoffer Sandven (Blogging with Joomla), Peter van Westen (Joomla! Mastery), Daniel Dimitrov (Become a Joomla! developer).

The price includes accommodation, half-board and transport from pickup spot to venue and then back to the airport.

Accomodation VirtueMart 2 workshop

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Virtuemart 2 RC 2 ready for download

Posted in Latest News

VirtueMart 2 Release Candidate 2 released,

A bit later then announced, we release today VirtueMart 2 RC2 (1.9.8). As easy to see on the statistics of http://www.ohloh.net/p/virtuemart, we reduced the codebase again. We redesigned all tables and use now the nooku conventions. We added more b2b capabilities. The RC2 should now also be hardened against SQL-Injection, XSS and code injection. VM2 is working with j1.6, but not designed for it, that means we do not activly use the new ACL features and simular.

Very interesting for veterans, which use virtuemart 1.1 is the migrator. It already imports the most important stuff. At some points it does not make sense to import old setting, because it would lead to a very bad configurated VirtueMart 2 shop and not using the new advantages and features. But it should be possible for small shops to migrate to vm2 within some hours.

The new release also contains already an update function done by akeeba release system, dont wonder that it shows you running virtuemart 1.9.8, the final should just get the number 2.0.0.

The new features as list:

  • For faster and more secure programming we use now more abstract classes.
  • Completly redesigned table layout.
  • Added hooks for plugins (own views, own customer number system, and so on,...), look in the wiki for more information http://dev.virtuemart.net/projects/virtuemart/wiki/Plugin_system
  • Added registering while checkout
  • New backend design
  • Hardened against hackers
  • New js (jQuery to avoid Mootools incompatibility problems)
  • Customfields for the computer/pizza configurator
  • Real multicurrency, real currency format defined by currency
  • Prices displaying configurable by shoppergroups (also rounding)
  • Various sorting and searching options
  • Update system using Akeeba Release System (ARS, more information akeebabackup.com/software/akeeba-release-system.html)

Migrator:

  • Migrate your pictures to VM2 by uploading them into the right directory and synchronize them
  • Migrate your vm1 users, shoppergroups, manufacturers, categories, products and orders.
  • Migration process is resuming

What is lacking from our perspective?

  • The migrator could be more enhanced (more options speed).
  • Adding more different kinds of calculation (quantitative discounts, progressive discounts, profit)
  • Using better joomla ACL system for j1.6/j1.7
  • Hide debug messages

The core is fully compatible to j1.5 and j1.6, but the modules does not work without glitches in j1.6 yet.

For translators it is now the right time to join the team and translate the language files.

updated Downloadlink: virtuemart1.9.8.RC2H_extract_first.zip