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osCMax v2.0.15 release and project details

     osCMax v2.0.15 was released a few days ago and I wanted to fill in a few details to explain what this new release is all about. The new version fixes a lot of issues that were present in the previous release and is primarily a bug fix release. there were also several additions to features/functions. While there have been changes to a large amount of the osCMax files, it should also be noted that the core has not been significantly changed, including the installer. This release is a big improvement and does fix a lot of issues with 2.0.4, so it is recommended that 2.0.4 users upgrade to this version.


Upgrades

     Upgrades are always a tricky subject. This release has included an upgrade script that will update your database from 2.0.3 or 2.0.4 stable to 2.0.15. Once the script is run you can simply replace all the php files with the new files in this package. Previous releases of osCMax would need to be updated to 2.0 stable in order to use this upgrade script. It is always recommended that before doing any upgrades on a live site that you first test the upgrade on a copy of your site to make sure everything will go smoothly. Then make full backups of your live site before doing the real upgrade. These upgrade instructions are also very helpful.

     In addition, several steps have been taken with this release to make future upgrades less painful. One of the key updates to the template system in this release is the addition of sub-template javascript support. The immediate benefit of this change is that you no longer have to bog down your site with javascript that is only needed on a few pages of your site. All the javascript that has been sitting dormant in the <head> section of your main_page.tpl.php can be removed and put into its own sub-template file, so it is only included in the output for the page that it is needed. The same has been done for per-page and per-box style sheets,


Fixes
     A list of the reported bugs that have been fixed in this release is posted in the release announcement. In addition to the reported bugs, there were several dozen other issues that were also resolved. These include small layout fixes and tweaks throughout the entire application, UI / style sheet updates to bring consistent styling, minor errors that were either unreported or obscure enough to only affect a small portion of users.

These are some of the more noticeable fixes in this release:

  • Paypal Web Payments Standard and Paypal IPN payment modules are now working correctly with gift vouchers and coupons.
  • The Gift Voucher/Coupon module has been reworked to fix almost all problems that were in the previous release, including problems with vouchers showing in the admin queue, balances not being reduced, etc.
  • The Affiliate Program has been thoroughly debugged and updated to clear up problems with usability and affiliate sales not being credited on some systems. 
  • The image display system has been updated to be much more robust and consistent in using thumbnail images to save bandwidth and reduce page loading speed.
  • Slimbox has replaced the outdated image pop up boxes.
  • The full French Language has been included in the default install package, and many of the problems with the language files have been cleared up.
  • Account creation pages and address pages now reload the states based on country selection using AJAX and no page reloads.
  • Many lingering php5 compatibility issues related to register_globals, register_long_arrays and short_open_tags have been resolved. 
  • php 5.3 workaround for deprecated functions is in place for this release to allow a smooth transition to using php 5.3

Future

     This release is a big positive step forward for the osCMax project after several years of slowed development. While this release addresses some of the long-standing issues with the application, there are still several issues left to be resolved in the 2.0.x version, and we have committed to getting those issues cleared up as quickly as possible. We are trying to maintain monthly maintenance releases to incorporate any new fixes into the main release much more quickly than in the past. As part of that commitment, we have scheduled another maintenance release for next month (around March 8th, 2010).

     In addition to this, v2.1 has been under active development and is well underway. We have a lot of big things planned for v2.1 and will be sharing those details as we get closer to a new version release. While there is no official release date set for v2.1, you can check the road map for a snapshot of where we are at and what is currently happening.

     We are very excited about the direction of the osCMax project and look forward to sharing our work with you!

 

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