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Managing a large web catalog
trying, failing to edit by hand hundreds of pages
jeremy goodrich

 5:22 pm on May 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've been developing a large site with hundreds of pages. The thing is, every time I change something, it becomes a logistical nightmare to edit...even updating the shopping cart links, once per product, takes way too long.

What I need, in specific:

A script that will read the files I have, and put them into a database structure that I'm designing right now.

After that, a script that will read the contents of the database tables, etc. and output web pages based on that, and 2 different template files.

I've been looking at sourceforge, freshmeat, and hotscripts, and haven't had any luck. I'm going to try creating one for myself, but my perl programming knowledge is still somewhat lacking.



 10:43 pm on May 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

Sorry Jeremy. The only help I can offer is to bump the post and hope someone sees it and jumps in with some ideas... That's better then nuthin I guess! :)


 11:05 pm on May 17, 2001 (gmt 0)

The script that will read a database and output site pages based on the content and templates should be fairly easy...

The shopping cart script I use does that for most of the product information on our site, and the company we got it from (ahg.com) also offers a dedicated SQL database/site integration script called ForwardSQL [dbwww.com]. They're also very good about doing quick and reasonably priced custom alterations to their scripts.

As for a script that will take your existing data and creat the DB automatically, I dunno... That's the part I did by hand.


 5:37 pm on May 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

Storefront [storefront.net]

This might help. I would use the dynamic creation method instead of static pages. Basicly when I have a change on the product page or category page I edit two files and done. Product records are stored in a Access 2k DB or you can use their SQL version.



 5:24 pm on May 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'm working on this in perl as well. If I make any major breakthroughs I'll let you know. If you want to collaborate a bit drop me a line :) One thing you might be interested in is: "Akopia Interchange is the world's leading open source e-commerce software platform" [akopia.com] This is an open source e-commerce application that I just discovered. Haven't tried it yet but might consider it in the future. My worry is that, although it looks cool the code may not be clean enough for SEO ... but it's open source so we can change it around, whee.

Related thread:
looking for freeware programs for ecommerce [webmasterworld.com]

Related Article:
Builder.com Review of Akopia [builder.com]

jeremy goodrich

 7:54 pm on May 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks, physics. You might not remember, but I used to be "han solo." I signed my posts for a while, so people would notice the change.

Anyway, I have taken a look at the Akopia thing as well, but not in any great detail. Most of what I have is in text files, tab delimited. And I have the site almost done by hand, or rather, my wife has almost done the site by hand.

Collaborating might be an idea. Problem is, I'm such a perl novice, I doubt I could help much :)

The only reason I haven't gone into the Akopia thing before is that it seems very large, and I don't need all that. It's a large site I'm handling, but not large on features, programming needs, etc.

I'll drop you a sticky sometime later this week, and maybe we can talk. I've found some of the elements of what I want in individual perl scripts, that I would need to modify, but I think the guts of it are out there. It's just a matter of putting it together so that it works, makes sense, and is the easiest possible solution. :) That's why I'm studying perl. ;)


 8:00 pm on May 23, 2001 (gmt 0)


Don't worry, I'm a perl novice too (but at least it's easier than C :)) Here, here regarding Akopia ... too much for a simple site - just thinking maybe some day it would be helpful if I took on a big project. Probably the best thing would be if we can just keep in contact and trade 'secrets' and so on.


 8:19 pm on May 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

>text files, tab delimited

K per record? Number of fields?

jeremy goodrich

 8:24 pm on May 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

3 fields, not sure the number of K per record.

I found out yesterday I need to download the file again, because somehow the pricing info got corrupted on some of the items.


 3:58 am on May 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

I looked into akopia some more. It is pretty cool if you're not concerned with SEO too much ... but uses ? in the urls and so on :( Thumbs down from an SEO perspective.


 12:34 pm on May 31, 2001 (gmt 0)

OK, but wait .. this is what it says about Akopia on Hotscripts.com:
Description: ...Key features include: Intuitive Store Management Interface, Dynamic or Static HTML page creation, Configurable Order Reports, Fully-configurable Coupons and Discounts, Configurable Quantity, Pricing Supports Multiple Fulfillment Houses, Automated Installation and Configuration, Supports Embedded Perl and ASP-link Syntax, Tax Calculations, Shipping Calculations, Multiple Shopping Carts, Built-in Support for Cybercash, Customer UI Tools, Search Engine, Supports Cookies, SSL direct compatibility Built-in Database Supports all major databases including Oracle and MySQL, PGP Support, and more.
Maybe there is more to it than the demo on their site. Might have to download and install it to see how it measures up.

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