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Useless for UK so far. 
 
Darren Grant
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Magento looks great, there has clearly been a lot of hard work put into it but so far it looks like it is useless for UK users and clearly shows it is built by Americans.

First and most critical is the Credit Card payment module does not have cards such as Meastro or JCB and doesn’t allow for the issue number or CVV codes to be entered.

Despite selecting UK during installation all settings are still US with horrid spellings like catalog and shipping settings were set as ship from USA. Surely when selecting UK as the locale all these things should be set to UK as default?

 
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Solar Frenzy
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Really? i thought that had been sorted?

Oh well .. starts to uninstall!

 
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YoavKutner
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Darren Grant - I think you are referring to the offline CC (saved CC) module is design to be a starting point for any offline CC type of payment module. This module can be customize easily to accommodate for small changes per country like adding a field for issue number and if someone wishes to even save the CVV number. In the US (and from what i know in the UK too) it is illegal to save the CVV number, and that is the reason this was omitted from this module by default. We currently integrated with PayPal UK both direct and express. This module was designed for use in the UK and developed under the help of PayPal.

About the locale. We have not completed all the default language files per locale. Once the UK language files are ready this will be made available, and the selection of the locale will be reflected. We also have an in-line translation tool that allows you to change strings in your installation of Magento both frontend and admin (http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/comments/video-in-line-translations/) and manage them even on a per store level.  So you can actually change any string to what ever you think it should say.

We have a big following in Europe and the UK, and are dedicated to make Magento work for the European market. Today Magento was released as a 1.0 Varien will continue adding modules to Magento and I am sure a lot of community members will start creating different modules as needed for each country.

Magneto was designed to be as flexible as possible to be customizable and so that it can be used out-of-the-box in as many countries as possible.

Thanks

yoav

 
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ODB
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Can someone point me in the right direction of where to start with adding the extra fields into the credit card module?

 
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Darren Grant
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Ah OK, I see what we have then is US release 1.0 Europe 0.8 beta.

The reason is that there are some fundamental components that should be in place for an international full release. You wouldn’t have released the 1.0 version with for example only Japanese credit cards and then expected the US users to build their own payment module, so I’m surprised you have expected it of non US users.

Don’t get me wrong I appreciate that a lot of work has gone into creating and you are generous enough to release it as an open source product and that is excellent. But you yourself say that not all the locales are finished so therefore the software isn’t really ready for 1.0 status. I would say for a 1.0 status the basic requirement would be for the user to be able to set-up a basic store in their own language and accept card payments would be a core part of a final release. So still a little way to go yet before an international ready version is ready to go, perhaps 1.1.

What you need to understand is that even for those of us who have some PHP programming experience the way Magento is produced is a significant change to what most people are used to and it will take a lot of effort to understand the way it is built especially as it requires understanding the Zend Libraries that themselves are quite new.

Sadly I think the time spent producing a UK PayPal payment module was probably a bit of a waste as PayPal is nowhere near as popular in the UK as it is in the USA for eCommerce sites. Generally PayPal is associated with eBay and as the Americans say “Mom & Pop” stores run by amateurs use PayPal as their primary payment method. Anyone trying to run a serious business in the UK with some credibility will have their own Merchant account as strict vetting goes on to allow a vendor their own merchant account it adds an element of trust to UK consumers where as any teenager in their mums garage can get a PayPal account. The PayPal module will be useful as many sites offer PayPal as an additional payment option but not as their primary/only payment method. By far the most popular payment gateway in the UK is Protx and the development time would have been better spent on a Protx gateway. Also much time has been spent on features such as coupons for example that although useful are not as essential where as a fully working stored card module for the international user would have been a better use of time.

Probably not your intention but it does give the impression that your primary concern is the US user and that the internationalization is kind of an afterthought.

BTW it is not illegal to collect the CVV number, it may break the terms of your contract with your merchant services provider in some cases but as far as I understand it the CVV number can only be stored up-to the transaction point and then must be deleted. The CVV number must not be stored after the transaction has been completed.

 
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redpen
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I too am struggling with the way Magento requires coding, but it’s massively expandable and I assume once I get to grips with it it’ll be the best thing to ever happen to e-commerce.  ProTX is a deciding factor for me too, but there are lots of UK payment gateways and Magento at least gave vendors the option to use Paypal if required. 

There’s stacks I need Magento to do that it doesn’t do ‘out of the box’ before we can go live, but that’s part of the fun.

 
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linxbaijy
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Paypal isn’t that unpopular in the UK. I have a website using Paypal IPN and Protx, the orders paid through are 40:60. If you use Paypal website payment pro, customer won’t notice what the gateway is.

Yes It would be nice if Protx Direct can be intergrated. But I can go with Paypal website payment pro and Google checkout which have been intergrated in Magento, I think the shipping module (Royalmail) for UK is now the only thing stopping me jumping into Magento.

 
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Ross
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Darren Grant - 01 April 2008 12:33 AM

Probably not your intention but it does give the impression that your primary concern is the US user and that the internationalization is kind of an afterthought.

I’m sorry, but that is well off base!  The Magento team have put a lot of work into a sophisticated system for internationalisation, including language packs, inline translation, a whole host of configurable settings - and you suggest it’s an afterthought!?

Do you really expect everything to come packaged just to meet your requirements?

This is opensource software, they are depending on the collaboration (not the complaining) of the community.  The tools are in place, now it’s our turn to do something with them.

 
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Darren Grant
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Ross - 01 April 2008 05:19 AM


I’m sorry, but that is well off base!  The Magento team have put a lot of work into a sophisticated system for internationalisation, including language packs, inline translation, a whole host of configurable settings - and you suggest it’s an afterthought!?

Do you really expect everything to come packaged just to meet your requirements?

This is opensource software, they are depending on the collaboration (not the complaining) of the community.  The tools are in place, now it’s our turn to do something with them.

I don’t think you quite follow what I mean, I know that internationalisation has been built-in, although following the beta path it took a while before the Tax settings would work without a state. What I’m trying to say is that the 1.0 release is not a full working release for countries outside the UK and that the focus was clearly on getting the US version out in time for the end of March release date and that internationalisation is something that has not been completed so it is an afterthought for this release.

As I said I appreciate all the work that has gone into Magento but nevertheless it is not ready for the international audience yet. It is all very well that the community will extend it but it is this kind of thing and then the sort of comments like yours essentially saying well tough mate that prevents projects like this from being more widely accepted. I don’t have the knowledge to make the modifications and neither do a significant majority of the people who have downloaded it and trying to get to grips with it. It is difficult enough for someone to learn how to set-up and use such a complex system let alone have to start editing the code from day one to get some basic things to work. I thought that was one of the criticisms of osCommerce.

So my point is still valid that this release is not ready for the UK and probably many other countries, so anyone without the skills to modify it should leave it at the moment as they will only end up frustrated by the fact that they won’t get very far in setting up a UK store.

 
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Ross
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Darren Grant - 01 April 2008 06:48 AM

… I don’t have the knowledge to make the modifications and neither do a significant majority of the people who have downloaded it and trying to get to grips with it. It is difficult enough for someone to learn how to set-up and use such a complex system let alone have to start editing the code from day one to get some basic things to work. I thought that was one of the criticisms of osCommerce.

So my point is still valid that this release is not ready for the UK and probably many other countries, so anyone without the skills to modify it should leave it at the moment as they will only end up frustrated by the fact that they won’t get very far in setting up a UK store.

While Magento is intended to be easy to use for store owners (who are probably a large proportion of people downloading Magento right now), however, it is not intended to be easy for them to set up.  In regards to setting up a store, Magento is intended to be a powerful and flexible system for developers to use when setting up stores.  So yes, there is an expectation that you have the knowledge to make modifications in order to set up a store.

Also, bear in mind that a v1.0 release is just a starting point, it is hardly mature software.  It may well be a couple of years before it becomes what it is intended to be.

You suggest the release is not ready for the UK, however I am about to launch 2 sites with it in the UK! Of course, there are things that need working out (like import/export, etc), but that applies to US users just the same.

I have spent quite a bit of time evaluating e-commerce systems for use in the UK, and my conclusion is that Magento has more potential than any other system.  If you find something better, I’d be glad to hear about it.

 
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Darren Grant
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Well clearly you are fortunate enough to be able to make the required modifications. But by declaring the software a full release many people will download and install it only to discover they can not set-up a UK shopping site and then just write off Magento as too complicated. I know that Varien doesn’t have anything to loose by someone going off and buying a commercial cart instead of using Magento but it does mean lost users by declaring the software ready before it is.

I think it needs a warning to people that this 1.0 release is not ready for general use only advanced users who are able to make modifications to it, as many people are going to get quickly frustrated.

 
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golles
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Darren Grant - 01 April 2008 08:06 AM

Well clearly you are fortunate enough to be able to make the required modifications. But by declaring the software a full release many people will download and install it only to discover they can not set-up a UK shopping site and then just write off Magento as too complicated. I know that Varien doesn’t have anything to loose by someone going off and buying a commercial cart instead of using Magento but it does mean lost users by declaring the software ready before it is.

I think it needs a warning to people that this 1.0 release is not ready for general use only advanced users who are able to make modifications to it, as many people are going to get quickly frustrated.

I think you are clearly misunderstanding the whole thing here.

This is an open source project being led by Varien - it is V1.0 and the whole project has only been in existence for a matter of months. This is a MASSIVE project and has been executed so, so well it is unbelieveable.

V1.0 means a lot - it means it is the first full iteration - not the final iteration

The software is quite usable for the UK market infact we are rolling out 4 sites right now.

Is it perfect - no (main issue is tax calculations for us)

is it the best out there - IMO - yes by a considerable factor

and IMO it beats many of the paid for solutions 100 times over - we have tried most ranging from low cost to £xx,xxx’s

and yes we have developers on staff BUT we are trying to roll out our new stores using the core only without any internal development at all - we have never been able to do that even with paid solution up to now.

The best approach - get into the community and figure it out - everything you need to run a UK based store is available now - if you want to change the language / spelling - go and change them - if not wait for the language pack.

 
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Darren Grant
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the widely derided osCommerce works for us, had it installed and working in a day. My frustration is the fact that on the face of it Magento looks so promising but due to the lack of documentation for software that is so radically different to what most people are used to the barrier to getting it set-up is massive.

I have so far spent a day and a half working my way through the wiki, forums and screen casts and yet I still can’t get any products or categories to show up. I literally installed it and then went to the admin interface to add a simple product. I can find it if I search but it doesn’t show up on the home page.

All of my posts so far must seem rather negative, but I have no reason to criticise majento as it looks fantastic. My problem is simply one of frustration in that I so want it to work but as seems fairly common in Open Source projects the lack of decent documentation is crippling my ability to even get the most basic things working. I clearly did misunderstand the meaning of 1.0 version as I thought it meant it was a release for general use by anyone but from your description that isn’t the case, a 1.0 is really only for early adopters who are willing/able to figure it out or modify it for their needs without documentation and hopefully contribute some documentation so the rest of us mere mortals can figure it out later.

I so want Magento to work but the only people who can produce the documentation are the lead developers. There is only so much you can figure out for yourself. For example what does the “URL key” field do in the categories section ? To some people that is a real dumb question but to me I have no idea what I put in that box. There really needs to be a user guide that explains what each field is for as I am stumped.

Because I am not a developer it make me feel stupid that I can’t do something as simple as get a product to appear on the home page, and it is not nice to feel stupid. But why do I feel stupid, simply because the software is not simple enough for an average person to get up to speed with quickly and lacks any comprehensive documentation to help them along. I have used many Open Source software tools and some of them have excellent documentation, admittedly they have been around a lot longer but Apache, Joomla, Drupal all have excellent documentation, but more importantly as soon as you install it you can get the basic functionality working virtually immediately. I can add a page to Drupal without understanding any of it and then flushed with success of getting a simple page working I can start to investigate how to do more complex things. This is in stark contrast to my apparent inability to even get a simple product to appear in the store using Magento.

I’m clearly not wining any friends by my apparent negativity but my frustration is not that there is anything wrong with the software, it has great potential. My problem is simply I can’t get it to work so it am getting more and more frustrated to the point of wanting to kick the screen in and I really want it to work.

EDIT: Well it seems I may have found at least a partial answer to my problem of products not displaying in this thered http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/5111/ and at least I don’t feel stupid any more as others are having the same problem and the reason? Well it is simply that there are no instructions and the interface for adding products and categories defaults to a set of options that don’t work rather than a set that do. That is nuts and I have to say if Varien think that is what you call simple to use I am stunned. So noe I’m genuinely peeved at varien for not providing instructions for such a fundamental feature of a shopping cart ! I don’t care who I upset that is just brain dead.

 
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Ross
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@Darren Grant - glad to see you are still around, despite the initial frustrations smile

I agree that some of the system defaults could be more usable (but also, what might be more usable when first setting up a test site, might not be more usable for the workflow of a larger ‘live’ store).

A ’Getting Started With Magneto‘ wiki article would be a good thing for now, maybe I’ll write one (if you don’t beat me to it).

 
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cosmetics
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Interesting discussion being followed by your overseas cloggy neighbours !

During this year I want to start my first webshop and I wonder if Magento is interesting software for newbies like me.
I like the appearance of Magento and the fact that it is a stand alone application, unlike VirtueMart.

However, loading time of some example/demo sites still seems to be rather slow.

I wonder if should await further developments first or if it should be better to go for VirtueMart or OSCommerce ?

You advice will be very welcome !

 
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Darren Grant
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I would suggest that Magento by far offers the most promise but at this stage it is not really an easy system to get going with. Hopefully over time there will be some better documentation and internationalization will improve. At the moment you really need to be in the USA and be able to figure things out for yourself to get a store up and running without frustration.

I suspect that over the coming months things will improve. osCommerce doesn’t really have good long term prospects as the development is really slow and much of it is out of date. It does however in my experience make quite an easy set-up if you are trying to get something up and running quickly.

If this is a project that you can afford to spend time on then I would say spend some time figuring out magento and hope that someone builds payment and shipping modules for your country before you are ready to start with your live site. Magento certainly holds the most promise for the future as long as they can build a strong community with the skills to make contributions. The trouble is that even those who are experienced php programmers it is all very complex as it uses object orientated code and a Zend library that is all new to a majority of people so it will take some time for people to figure it out. To my mind it is such a large complex app that it will limit the number of contributors to real hard core web developers who can commit to spending time learning it at the moment.

 
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