[tei-council] Shopping cart tryout
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
daniel.odonnell at gmail.com
Mon Aug 17 11:56:18 EDT 2009
Thanks very much James. These are all useful comments. Some are easy to
fix, some are "indeed, you are right--I have noticed that/thought of
it," and some are on a longer term "something to fix" list. But infra...
James Cummings wrote:
> Some css-related annoyances:
> 1) Is there are reason there are such weird Quantities of things? Looking at the Register for Conference/Workshop page it gives me a Qty. column with 130 (conference) and 25 (workshop). I can even sort the list by these quantities, but have no idea what they mean. (Since they don't seem to be related to price.)
I don't know why you would want to sort by quantity, or why quantity
should affect price. The reason for the numbers are pretty
straightforward: we can accept about 130 registrations for the
conference, but can't handle more than about 25 registrations for the
workshops. I'd put them in so people could see how much space was left.
But if it is confusing, I'll try and get them back out. It can be
difficult to find the right switch in the backend--Zencart was not
designed by a usability expert.
> 2) The side-bar navigation style doesn't match the TEI website: The top bit has the same colour but you don't get informed they are links by having the colour change and underline appear when you hover over them. There are also two colours of blue (i.e. 'Privacy notice' is a normal blue link rather than TEI blue.) There is nothing that distinguishes 'How Can I...' 'Shopping Cart' and 'Information' from each other even though Shopping Cart is a link. When I went to the shopping cart and came back, the text 'Shopping Cart' disappeared (well white on white, turning yellow on hover).
All good points. The limit has been largely the time I've had to devote
to getting colours exact against things like arranging credit card
acceptance at the bank. Most of these are already on my list of to-dos,
but I'm not sure any are worth delaying conference registration for. I
am very thankful for the point about the link issue with shopping
cart--this has bothered me without me knowing why, and I never noticed
the link-colour difference. There is a bit of the uncanny valley to the
thing, I admit: another thing you don't notice is that the font on the
menu bar under the TEI logo is not exactly the same or the same width.
Perhaps once it is up, this is something we could collectively look into
improving. However, Zencart spreads its components around with unseemly
abandon, meaning that it may be more a slow solitary task to be done on
> 3) 'Item starting with' dropdown alphabetical selection box is just annoying.
Agreed. On the "to do list"
> 4) Site Map has an extra blank nested list item.
I noticed that yesterday too. It is coming from a really stupid design
feature of zencart--a FAQ that you can either have in its entirety or
not have at all. You can only turn it off by dropping an entire module
from the setup. But it seems to leave space for it in the site map
anyway. Of course it is only computer code. Ultimately, it will be
possible to find it and eliminate it.
> 5) You should be able to opt-out of 'Newsletters' on the registration page. The only place I could find to do this was on My Account -> 'Subscribe/ unsubscribe from newsletters'.
Thanks. That's easy to fix. I thought I'd removed the reference to
newletters on the registration page. We don't have one, of course.
> 6) geekhost.ca seems fairly expensive for just hosting a zencart installation for the number of registrations we're likely to get. Why aren't we doing this at Virginia? (Also I happen to know some of us already have hosting solutions that allow custom installations of zencart and so we could do this at no charge -- but I recognise having it separate from any individual person has its benefits.)
Can't do it at Virginia, because of commercial restrictions; are using
Geekhost because the techs there have agreed to help with maintenance
and porting. I'm responsible for recommending this course of action to
the Board--which was presented with the issue of cost
explicitly--because shopping cart software is so far out of our core
expertise that it didn't seem reasonable to go immediately with a
self-serve provider. After we are comfortable using and maintaining it,
we will presumably look for a cheaper host (there is no timed contract
involved). But at the moment this extra cost is paying for having
somebody else port the software from the development server to the
production server, bail us out if we crash things, and provide advice on
required services (they've already saved our bacon [and money] on
merchant banking and gateway accounts). Sometimes cheapness needs to be
balanced against efficiency of time and expertise.
There is of course no way that a shopping cart could be hosted on
somebody's private account: the liability for that person would be
outrageous, and it is the first thing the FBI would wonder about when
the money vanished.
> All that I notice with a first glance at it.
Again thanks very much. I'll be calling on your help after it is up!
>>>> We are very close to launching a shopping cart for online conference
>>>> registration and subscription. I'd appreciate volunteers for a dry run.
>>>> Here's the development URL: http://zencart2.kakelbont.homelinux.net/
>>>> You need a username and password to access the URL: /u guest /p tseug
>>>> I won't give any more instructions: let me know how well you can see
>>>> what you need to do and whether or not it works. An error arises at the
>>>> very last stage of a purchase or registration because the email is not
>>>> set up on this test server. We are particularly interested in the
>>>> conference registration, since that has got to open very soon.
>>>> There are other ways of doing things, so let me know if this is not
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
Associate Professor of English
University of Lethbridge
Chair and CEO, Text Encoding Initiative (http://www.tei-c.org/)
Co-Chair, Digital Initiatives Advisory Board, Medieval Academy of America
President-elect (English), Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l'étude des médias interactifs (http://sdh-semi.org/)
Founding Director (2003-2009), Digital Medievalist Project (http://www.digitalmedievalist.org/)
Vox: +1 403 329-2377
Fax: +1 403 382-7191 (non-confidental)
Home Page: http://people.uleth.ca/~daniel.odonnell/
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