Seeking Advice: Building A Web Store From Scratch

Kimball Larsen kimball at
Mon Nov 6 14:25:27 MST 2006

On Nov 6, 2006, at 2:00 PM, Daniel C. wrote:

> Why does the language it's written in matter?  I realize I know
> nothing about your architecture, etc. and I'm giving you the benefit
> of the doubt here, but it seems like a weak reason to me.

Your original question was:

You can't modify something like Zen Cart to make the accountants happy?

And my response:

> On 11/6/06, Kimball Larsen <kimball at> wrote:
>> Zen Cart / OS Commerce and their ilk are lacking several things that
>> would require major plumbing changes to achieve (notably, that they
>> are not written in Ruby on Rails - natch), thus I wish to roll my  
>> own.

Your implication is that I can start with OSCommerce/ZenCart and  
simply modify it to do what I need.  That locks me into PHP.  I have  
decided not to use PHP for this, thus I can't just modify  
OSCommerce.  I would have to re-implement it all in RoR.  This would  
be fine, if I thought OSCommerce offered some best practices.

My original question is where can I go to find some best practices  
with regards to setting up a Point of Sale solution.  I have done  
extensive work with OSCommerce, and don't feel it really adheres to  
what I consider to be best practices in several areas, not just  

The language of good example software is irrelevant to me - as long  
as I can grok it and learn from it.  It's best practices techniques  
I'm after here.

(stuff like - at the time of an invoice it is a good idea to take a  
snapshot of all the relevant data, flatten all relationships and  
store it all with the invoice - thus when you later change the items  
offered for sale in your store, you don't have item_id fields in an  
invoice that point to a now non-existant item, but rather have stored  
all the item's details with the invoice.) (of course, it could be  
argued that flattening data is a horrible idea, and you should just  
never delete/modify the stuff you have for sale, but just add new  
inventory items when you wish to change your inventory)

-- Kimball 

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