[thelist] Re: x-cart vs zen-cart

sbeam sbeam at onsetcorps.net
Wed Jul 6 17:54:37 CDT 2005

On Wednesday 06 July 2005 02:51 pm, Maximillian Schwanekamp wrote:
> X-Cart is built around Smarty, and their [Qualiteam's] other cart 
> LiteCommerce is built with Flexy -- two well-documented templating
> engines.  

Have used X-Cart, and IMHO its a great example of how NOT to use a 
templating system. The point of a template engine like Smarty is to 
cleanly separate the logic from the layout - but they elected to put a 
huge amount of the logic into the templates. Smarty makes this 
possible, with functions like {assign} and {math} and {eval} (!) but 
that does not mean you should do it. Along with the, as mentioned, 
1999-era nested tables mess, it turns out to be almost as hairy as a 
site that mixes HTML directly into the PHP itself. And trying to decide 
which template corresponds to which chunk of HTML is a challenge, and 
again, a template system is supposed to make that easy. Actually it 
really hurt us as it took much longer to customize than planned - when 
we heard it used Smarty we assumed adjusting the templates would be a 

Anyway, those headaches aside, it does have some nice features out of 
the box that set it apart from other offering that I know of. We have 
spent many hours customizing it to suit the clients needs and it is 
better written than osCommerce at least. Personally I might try 
LiteCommerce next time, the authors basically admit (paraphrasing from 
a forum post read months ago) that there were some design mistakes made 
with XCart, but they applied those lessons to LC and it is much cleaner 
(read: OO) if not yet quite as featureful.


# S Beam - Web App Dev Servs
# http://www.onsetcorps.net/

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