OpenCart 1.5.5 – What to expect?
Last time we announced the new version of Opencart (1.5.4) and before that about the project transfer to github. And now, there is no exciting news other than a teaser of next OpenCart release.
For the upcoming OpenCart 1.5.5, from what Daniel says and result of our research, the following features to be added:
- Product filters
- Auto updater
- Better install/ upgrade
- Extension manager
Let’s look at these one by one.
As expected these would let the visitors filter your products by a certain criteria like category, manufacture, price, color, size etc. Indeed this is a useful feature to help visitors to narrow down the product into the list of criteria they need.
This sounds big. Can we really have an auto update the way WordPress does? If true this will be amazing and bad at the same time. Amazing, because, well everybody wants a bugs fix or new features just a click a way. But judging by the way OpenCart changes from one release to another this can possibly introduce automatic incompatibility bugs with the dozens of installed extensions a real-life store has. We can just wait and see, but I don’t think we are going to be disappointed.
Better install/upgrade script
At the time of writing most of the above mentioned features are barely working, but you can see the install and upgrade got more aware of your surroundings. The upgrade script has loads of code added to make sure the transition from earlier OpenCart versions back to 1.5.1 happens smoothly. At the moment the only new addition in the install script is that it lets you choose a database driver on one of the last steps of the process.
As with the above features this is still under heavy development, but what we got from the code was that you can upload your own extension archive. The extension manager then extracts it to a temporary directory, moves it in the actual tree of OpenCart.
Even if we not see any information in the code, but according to it name, extensions manager hopefully make us easier to enable/ disable extension after installed or to remove files of uninstalled extensions. Personally, we couldn’t get it working from most recent code snapshot. But this, alongside the auto updater looks quite ambitious. Kudos to the development team!
Is This -Really- a Good News?
Some of you might be so excited expecting the next OpenCart release, but another might be realised that this could be not a good news for current version. Indeed all listed above is great feature but do we really need it at 1.5.x version?
Right now if we talk about the most OpenCart stable version, then the answer would be 1.4.9.x. And the 1.5.x is an exploring and adding new features. But most developer will suggest us to use the latest version with endless features development with a regular bugs fix contain another bugs. We happy and excited expecting the new features, but we will more pleased to have stable eCommerce site.
It’s not to late for the OpenCart team to separating the current work into separated 1.6-alpha branch and continue to release bugs fix regularly for the 1.5.x version. The worst think is some people releasing their own bugs fix version for 1.5.4 based on OpenCart development at Github. This is indeed a good contribution, but of course all of us will agree it’s better if the bugs fix is released by the Dev Team.
Well, whether this is a good or bad news, based on our observations of the past releases of Opencart (2 months for each release, average for the past 3-4 times) and reflecting the major development of OpenCart 1.5 from 1.4; we at OpencartNews expect this one to come somewhere in the end of November or may be as Christmas gifts.
Follow @OpencartNews on twitter to stay tuned as we update this article with the latest news around the oncoming OpenCart release.