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  • What is the point of the template editor?

    Why is a template editor provided?
    If you make changes to a template, you cannot utilize any changes in the cart software that comes after your modification!
    Our templates are five years old!
    Something seriously wrong here.

  • #2
    It's provided so you can add your own functionality or features, which is pretty much required for any serious users.

    There would be no good way for them to add new default features to a modified template. Once you start editing it it becomes your file.

    It makes sense to me.

    Comment


    • #3
      From my perspective, you can almost have it both ways if you have technical knowledge. The idea is that as 3dcart makes changes, you could incorporate their new code into your templates. Here's where the almost comes in though. Unfortunately, we could all benefit if 3dcart were a little more committed to transparency and good communication. If they maintained a website where they documented code changes, including the incremental stuff such as bug fixes, we could all update our modified templates by incorporating our own modified versions of the code changes they listed. Unfortunately, they don't. In november, they fixed a variety of bugs with the html5 templates. One included the recaptcha code. Because they didn't make the code change public and just changed it in the common files, I went through november and december with contact forms and other such things that didn't work on mobile. I like 3dcart and don't mean to slam them here but everyone can benefit from constructive criticism. Hopefully someone from 3dcart will read this and consider creating a thread or webpage to document & index code changes for advanced users. They don't even have to answer questions on it. Just post the old vs new code with an explanation and let users figure it out for themselves. If their customers didn't want to make the changes, they wouldn't have to. Sorry if I co-opted your thread.

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      • #4
        No, input is welcomed. We have been with 3dcart since their inception and have been a customer since 2006.

        We do add function and features, however, doing so means we cannot utilize added features that come along with 3dcart.
        For example, we cannot utilize a feature because we have modified our template.
        Last edited by Mark; 01-15-2015, 04:09 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree bzeltzer. What would be fantastic would be if 3DCart maintained a github repository of their template files. Then those of us with the know-how could just fork the template, and add back in changes.

          If they aren't willing to do it, it probably wouldn't be too hard for someone else to set up something automated that would grab their common files from FTP and add them to a community github repository. We'd probably want 3DCart's blessing, though.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mark View Post
            ...we cannot utilize added features that come along with 3dcart.
            For example, we cannot utilize a feature because we have modified our template.
            https://support.3dcart.com/knowledge...ecific-changes

            /disappears into the shadows
            - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting

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            • #7
              DeanP, That is all well and good, but, our templates don't receive these updates.
              3dcart indicated to me that our template is missing the required code block.
              I requested the missing code block and did not receive a response.
              Last edited by Mark; 01-16-2015, 07:14 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mark View Post
                DeanP, That is all well and good, but, our templates don't receive these updates.
                Posters that indicate that just because it works for them, or a knowledgebase article exists, doesn't mean it works for all 3dcart users. I have been with 3dcart for quite some time, and I know what with I speak.
                3dcart indicated to me that our template is missing the required code block.
                I requested the missing code block and did not receive a response.
                The point of the linked article is to show you what block of code is needed to add the features. You still have to add it yourself. It cannot be automated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  cbsteven, so where is the code block I need?
                  I am not needing "gift wrap". I am needing the code block for Checkout by amazon.
                  I understand you folks are trying to defend 3dcart, but, your circumstances are not my particular circumstances. This is nothing new. This is the way it is. Unless you use default templates, with no modifications, you cannot use "features".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeanP View Post
                    What you're pointing out here is certainly helpful for some things but the truth is that 3dcart is constantly making changes as they squash bugs and add new features. This article is something that 3dcart publishes with milestone updates (5.0, 6.0, etc) whereas they are actually making changes much more frequently which sometimes coincide with version numbers and are often not described in much detail. Even articles like the one you linked are not 100% helpful because a lot of the time there are bugs in the original code which they discover through user feedback. These articles don't often receive the updated code and even if they did, there's no means by which individuals are alerted about changes or can view them in any sort of timeline.

                    I like the idea of a github repository but don't use it often enough so I'm not sure whether explanations of the functionality and specific changes can be listed along with the new versions of the common files. That said, this is up to 3dcart. They'd have to commit to reporting these things in a transparent and useful way. I wish they'd consider it but am not holding my breath.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Folks, really, and respectfully, it just doesn't work the way that you have it in your head.

                      @Mark - In your case, the problem is that your template is 5 years old. If you want modern features then you need to modernize your template. This is especially true if you want to use built-in modern features. You can't cling to a half-decade-old template and also complain about lack of cutting-edge functionality and features in the same breath. It just doesn't work that way with any cart provider.

                      As for not being able to receive updates once you make changes to your template, that's just the way it works. The same is true of custom WordPress themes and plugins, and with a number of other ecommerce and CMS platforms.

                      If a template has, say, 1000 lines of code and a change needs to be made to lines 473-482, there is not a 3DCart bot or daemon that comes through and only edits those lines specifically. Instead, the changes are made to a master file and then that file overwrites your file completely. For this reason, you can't have a custom file and receive the built-in updates.

                      Another possibility is that a template doesn't need updating, but a module or code section loaded into the template only needs editing. These are the automatic incremental (and often-server-side) changes that bzelter mentioned. An example would be 3D Cart fixing a snippet of the code that makes Amazon Payments work. Great - the problem is fixed, thanks - but only if you have a template that supports Amazon Payments in the first place; only then can you take advantage of that automated fix.

                      Additionally, sometimes functionality and feature changes are so numerous, complex, and dependent on one another, that a complete overhaul is the only option; simple "replace that old code with this new code" support article posts are not sufficient. These would typically be the "milestone" updates.

                      The purpose in communicating this is not to defend 3D Cart, but to explain how the process works and why only action - not griping - serves as a realistic solution. This is not a 3D Cart policy in which a conscious choice to brush off customers is made - it is just the nature of game and it is true, as far as I know, everywhere.

                      If you want an always up-to-date store then it is your responsibility as a store / business owner to educate yourself a bit, learn your options, select the best one, take initiative, and keep current by executing. Or, hire someone to either help or do it for you. If you choose to do neither of those, then you are lost and you will be behind the standards and behind your competition.
                      - Dean P. e-commerce and small business consulting

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeanP View Post
                        If you want an always up-to-date store then it is your responsibility as a store / business owner to educate yourself a bit, learn your options, select the best one, take initiative, and keep current by executing. Or, hire someone to either help or do it for you. If you choose to do neither of those, then you are lost and you will be behind the standards and behind your competition.
                        I agree with a lot of what you say but if 3dcart doesn't document code changes, it's very difficult for people to try to continuously update regardless of their expertise. While the store owner/webmaster has to do the work and will have to do complete overhauls on occasion due to major revisions, without any sort of documentation on the code changes, one has to spend a lot of time playing detective. This makes trying to stay up to date (even with bug fixes) into a full time job. I'm not sure if any other platforms do a good job of this or if they perhaps have a few less ongoing bug fixes. I'm not sure. I understand that there would be some overhead and organization involved in documenting the changes regularly.

                        All that said, if you had a template from 5 years ago, doing a complete redesign starting from a newer 3dcart template is probably a good idea and just part of the cost of doing business. I'm not one to say that everyone needs to redesign their websites every single year but with the way that your code affects SEO, it's probably a good idea to do this periodically. A lot of coding practices from 5 years ago could be hurting your SEO today.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bzeltzer View Post
                          I agree with a lot of what you say but if 3dcart doesn't document code changes, it's very difficult for people to try to continuously update regardless of their expertise. While the store owner/webmaster has to do the work and will have to do complete overhauls on occasion due to major revisions, without any sort of documentation on the code changes, one has to spend a lot of time playing detective. This makes trying to stay up to date (even with bug fixes) into a full time job. I'm not sure if any other platforms do a good job of this or if they perhaps have a few less ongoing bug fixes. I'm not sure. I understand that there would be some overhead and organization involved in documenting the changes regularly.

                          All that said, if you had a template from 5 years ago, doing a complete redesign starting from a newer 3dcart template is probably a good idea and just part of the cost of doing business. I'm not one to say that everyone needs to redesign their websites every single year but with the way that your code affects SEO, it's probably a good idea to do this periodically. A lot of coding practices from 5 years ago could be hurting your SEO today.
                          Sure a nice little article helps. Its just as easy to pick up a copy of beyond compare and FTP the common and custom template. In most cases you can roll the changes to your custom template and FTP it back into place in a few minutes. The only time this isnt the case is when they dont tell you which templates were specifically updated. It would be awesome if they could add revision dates to the common folder for this reason.

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                          • #14
                            I do agree with bzelzter that the documentation could be better. It would be great if, every time the common files get updated, that those changes were added to a rolling file, showing the date and content of the change.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cbsteven View Post
                              I do agree with bzelzter that the documentation could be better. It would be great if, every time the common files get updated, that those changes were added to a rolling file, showing the date and content of the change.
                              That would be very helpful.

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