Zencart, is it time to move on?
Last year, the Zencart developer team has announced a new Zencart version 2.0 to be released by the end of the year, every user was excited with the news. More than 9 months passed since then, and now it is “you’ll get it when you get it”. Kim at zen-fu.com told me:
A client said to me “All this secrecy is very uncomfortable, this is my business were talking about…”
As I have put it before, Zencart is an open source project developed by a closed team, the people inside the team don’t want to open up to ideas and opinions from people who use their products. We don’t know exactly what’s going on, who is working on what, and when can we expect things to be done to plan ahead. All this gets to your nerve over time, especially if you have worked on it long enough (like me).
Their usual defense is “this is FREE, take it or leave it”. Huhm, okie, it’s true. But the reason why some developers still stick with it is because we love the software, we love the community there, and we want to see Zencart as a whole becomes a successful project. However, if this goes on, perhaps it will soon be the time to “fork a real open source project” as Kim put it. We want to see:
- The planning and development process should involve end users. After all, end users are the ones who use the software.
- Faster and Open development (common, just allow other developers the ability to contribute to the core code)
- More frequent releases (release shouldn’t take one year and a half to be released)
- More features by default (again, your end users are business owners, why forcing them to learn php and stuffs?)
Right now I’m looking at http://www.zenmagick.org/ a very promising “fork” from Zencart. I have been exchanging emails with Mano the current (only) developer of this fork, and he is very open to all ideas and opinions. We will see!