Now this is the ecommerce application that everyone was waiting for, and to be open-sourced, meaning free to install, no licence required, even better!
Magento 1.3 feature list (PDF) is all that customers will need for their online store, and easy for developers and agencies to sell as part of their product family.
MAGENTO COMMUNITY NEEDS LOVE FROM VARIEN
However, I feel that Varien are ignoring important feedback provided by its users, after all there have been over 1 million downloads – so each version is very well tested by the community.
With Varien listening and monitoring what is being said about Magento will lead to a stronger, more powerful and flexible platform for all owners and users to enjoy. This currently isn’t happening.
There are lots of frustrating quirks and ‘Magento-isms’ to the application that are quite easy to debug, being based on the PHP zend framework. However, they still remain on each release, as a developer you just have to be aware of installation or database issues from past experience.
Currently bugs, issues and even ‘how do I’ questions are being left open on the Magento forum, ie: not being answered by moderators. This I feel is rather sad for a product that clearly has huge potential.
» Optimise the code – Magento is very resource intensive
» Less demand on server memory
Many many more at the Community Roadmap. Magento 2.0?
As the community has to fend for itself (although the forum always says 1000 users online), you will find that a lot of users actually keep fixes and workarounds to themselves, rather than sharing fixes on the forum. Perhaps the feeling ‘why should I bother, if no one is listening?’ attitude?
CUT THE FORUM NOISE
Their are a lot of questions on the forum that are the same, and some threads that go off in a different direction. Moderation and slimming down the unnecessary content is required.
PUSH FOR EXTENSION EXPERIMENTATION!
I would also like to see more experimentation with Magento extensions over at Magento Connect. Currently there are some ‘nice-to-have’ features members or partners have added. However, more CMS integration would be great, like with WordPress, there is currently a Magebridge extension that allows you to share databases and content, but it’s still early days. I recommend Varien focus on getting the existing features in the next release (1.4?) stable before committing to any new features.
At the moment, anyone can experiment, but again there’s no support or advice when you require it, unless you hire a Magento solution partner to help. Costly.
You can get support from the Magento Enterprise edition which was released this April (2009). This version provides a service agreement with Varien and starts at £5,500 per year. However, the difference between a free model and per annum basis is huge, and one of the main ideas behind the open-source movement is that developers and programmers contribute towards improving the core code of the application.
A positive step forward is that Varien have transferred the development of the roadmap to the Community Advisory Board. Through direct involvement with the community the CAB will be able manage and supervise the roadmap more efficiently, more openly and more cordially. Link to Roadmap of Magento.
That’s good news. However, it is very, very sad that Mageno has so far completely ignored interacting wiith the community – there are no team members in the forum any more. Bug reports are ignored and not commented on or just closed without any explanation.
I would really like to see Magento proving that it is listening and working with the community. More Mage-camps and workshops please.
Magento feels like how WordPress was a few years ago, (good, but could be great!). Magento has some killer features that still prove to be shaky..
Varien will continue to offer an application that will be a few years behind in development if they choose to look away from a community that is sharing very valuable feedback.