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Installation needs sorting
 
CharliesBooks
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  6
Joined:  2007-11-18
 

I am one of those who cannot install this product straight from a download.  I get the famous 404 error.

From what I have seen of the demos, and various comments posted elsewhere, this looks like a very promising product.

But it has one major fault (and yes I know it is a beta - but this is where and why it should be sorted) - the problem is the little one that the installation routine cannot find the `install` folder.

Too many people are having problems installing this - and many of those people are asking questions that suggest they know a lot more about computing than interested bystanders.  So what is wrong with the installation routines?  Well it appears to be something to do with the .htaccess file (as an aside should this be used anyway?)

Now before someone jumps down my throat and says that, for example, that I shouldn’t be installing this if I don’t know how to read the page source code, or whatever, that is not an acceptable response for a product that is intended to hit the mainstream (and I’ve read those and similarly arrogant replies on these boards) I’ve been working in I.T, with Unix, Aix, Linux, Windows (and a few other operating systems no longer in vogue) for well over twenty years - and have even, in the dim and distant past written device drivers.

It does not matter how good the product is, if the end-user (or, as seems is the case here, their technical staff) cannot install `off the peg` the product will fail.

Do not think that I do not like the product - the demos looks great - but after two or three days of trying to get this to install I wonder if it is worth while (I’ve got a lot of work invested in mods to the standard oscommerce - but then I’ve re-engineered my site numerous times in the past). Please note that I need to move on - I think that Oscommerce no longer fits the bill - and I am looking for a newer offering - and on the face of it magento appeared to fit the bill - but I am questioning this offering as a solution.

Now as an ex techie (I spent 20 years in technical support and evaluation) I would not even look at a product that did not install easily (although I have often had to tweak the installation process to get past `problems`).

I expect to sort out problems - I often have to sort out installation problems, but this one seems to revolve around the mechanism used, and on all the forums I have not yet read one solution that works - so unless I am convinced that the system is good enough why should I sort out the installation problems (even for myself).

And the problem for this project is that I cannot tell if it is really worth the effort until I have installed it - and that applies to a good many folks out there (most of whom do no even have my level of experience)

 
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Zander
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  15
Joined:  2007-10-30
 

Having looked through some of the .htaccess related issues people are having I think the issue can be summarised as not being a problem with the install process itself but rather a problem with the “System Requirements” documentation not being complete.

Magento has been developed from the ground up to support a very flexible URL structure allowing for infinitely configurable “search engine friendly” URLs amongst other things. The trade-off for this power is that, in order for a standard Magento installation to be successful, the web server must be configured to support a few specific requirements. Many web hosting companies will support these requirements as standard and no changes will be needed however there will equally be many web hosting companies that do not support these requirements as standard.

The “System Requirements” page of the website lists the minimum version of PHP that the server must support along with the PHP extensions that the server must be configured to use. This is a good thing and something that is lacking with some other PHP based applications.

The “System Requirements” page of the website also lists the Apache web server (either 1.x or 2.x) as a requirement however it unfortunately does not go in to detail as to how the Apache server must be configured. One reason for this is that there will be a number of different ways Apache can be configured and still support the same standard Magento install. Another reason might be that documentation regarding how to configure Apache is really outside of the scope of the Magento project. The situation could be improved however with a small list of requirements being added to the “System Requirements” page such as:

The Apache configuration must have "mod_rewrite" enabled

The "Options" directive of the Apache configuration must enable "FollowSymLinks"

The "AllowOverride" directive of the Apache configuration must be set to "All"
This is not a definitive list, just an example.

It is worth noting that, whilst Apache is listed as a requirement, Magento will run quite happily under other web servers if they are configured correctly. I for example run a test installation of Magento under the Nginx web server without any problems at all and Nginx does not even support .htaccess files. I would not however expect none-Apache installations to be supported by Varien - at least not any time soon. I am sure community support for none-Apache installations will grow if there is demand.

It should also be noted that, because Magento is pre-release software, there is still a lot of documentation that has not been written and/or released. Where documentation has been released by Varien it has generally been to a very high standard (even some of the forum posts by Varien personnel have been to such a high standard they could almost be taken and extracted in to documentation as-is). Varien have made it clear that there is an awful lot of documentation still to come and they expect the necessary documentation to be in place by the time the first “release” version of Magento is made available.

In the interim, the best way to manage any problems is to post questions to the forum as people have been doing. I have no doubt that the issues that are discussed in the forum will ultimately be addressed either with changes to the software or changes to the documentation. Many already have been.

 
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RoyRubin
Enthusiast
 
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Total Posts:  968
Joined:  2007-08-07
Los Angeles, CA
 

I’d like to thank you both for the great comments. The installation process is critical for Magento’s adoption - we fully realize this and we’ll continue to improve the process and documentation.

Thank you.

 
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CharliesBooks
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  6
Joined:  2007-11-18
 

Thanks for the response - I haven’t looked at this for a couple of days, but the first thing I noticed on the forums today was a `step by step guide` - just what is needed in fact .  I think this bodes well for the product - as I haven’t tried it yet I don’t know if it will sort out my problems - but if it doesn’t I’ll give some feedback so that you can make any changes (if needed). 

Like most people I expect a few problems when trying out a new product, but when I posted my original thoughts there did not seem to be a simple or single guide where you could go to that would give possible solutions to standard problems.

Anyway full marks so far.

 
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