osCommerce 3.0 Alpha 4 Released

osCommerce logoosCommerce, an open source shopping cart, is one more step closer to reaching a 3.0 release.  Although the journey to completing the  osCommerce 3.0 software continues to take users and developers on a very long road,  Alpha 4 was released to the public on March 30th.  As a reminder,  alpha releases of osCommerce are for "testing to help fix and improve subsequent alpha releases for a final, stable, secure, and production ready 3.0 release".  In other words, you shouldn't use the software for a "live" store.

We've already talked about the new features added in earlier alpha versions of osCommerce 3.0 so there is no need to mention them in this article.  New features in Alpha 4 that have been added to the shopping cart since Alpha 3 include:

  • Administration Tool access levels (about time)
  • Administrator Log
  • Administration Tool batch action capabilities

Mastering TYPO3 TypoScript

Kshipra Singh from Packt Publishing sent me an e-mail the other day asking us to publish another one of their sample chapters here at CMS Report.   If you recall, we posted an article on one of the sample chapters from a book on Alfresco.  The book this time around is Mastering TypoScript: TYPO3 Website, Template, and Extension Development.  Long name for a title so why don't we dig a little deeper and find out what this book is really about.

TypoScript is a declarative programming language that offers developers, administrators, and designers full control over the configuration of TYPO3 and its template engine. Only with a good command of TypoScript can you leverage the powerful capabilities of the TYPO3 engine, to customize and control all aspects of your TYPO3 sites. If you're serious about TYPO3 as your content platform, you need to master TypoScript.

As before, I don't have the book in front of me and this should not be considered a review of the book.  Instead, I'm only allowing Packt Publishing through this post to give you a taste of what the book has to offer.  You need to decide for yourself if you want to buy the book.  The following is what the book intends for the reader to learn:

Michael Kaply: Deploying Firefox 2 within the Enterprise

Michael Kaply has been writing a series of articles on how to deploy Firefox 2 within the Enterprise. I wrote last year that one of the difficulties of deploying Firefox and Thunderbird in the enterprise was the lack of tools Mozilla provided for deploying the software. I'm happy to say that Kaply's articles do a fairly good job on providing some solutions for those organizations that need to manage a large network of clients.

Battle of the CMS Bands Bryan Ruby Tue, 03/20/2007 - 01:06

As most of you probably know by now, Jeff Robbins from Lullabot and Drupal genre recently released "The Drupal Song".  What you may not know is that Wordpress and Joomla! also have their own songs.  Well this fact hasn't gone unnoticed by Amy Stephen in her own blog in which she says it's time to vote for the top song of the week.

OK. Normally, I am adverse to pitting one open source content management system against the other, but it appears we have no choice. As of today, we have three songs and only one can be the #1 Open Source CMS Song of the Week. It is time to pick the winner. Sorry, it’s how it works. I didn’t make the rules. If you object, you need to contact Casey Casem.

WordPress community member Devin Reams released his song and video back in January. Joomla! community member Anand Omka released his Joomla! song back in November and the video was released last week. Today, Jeff Robins released his Drupal song and Dries Buytaert announced the video will be shot on location during the OSCMS conference at Yahoo later this week.

Any has invited the open source communities to vote for their "favorite song" and as far as I can tell, the vote will take place through comments at her blog.  What?  Wordpress and and Joomla don't have their own poll module built into their core?  But alas, we're not voting for the best CMS here but instead the best song.

United States students continue to fall behind in IT education

All I can do is shake my head in the direction education has taken in the United States. I've written about this topic in the past, a little here and on another blog of mine. In one of those blog posts, I wrote the following.

American society as a whole seems to have less value for education, especially in the sciences and math, than when I was growing up. Maybe I’m more sensitive to these numbers since I am a scientist at heart…but isn’t anyone else disturbed by this trend? While I feel there should have been something done to help reverse this downward spiral sooner, I’m glad at least that it is finally getting some some well deserved attention by the Bush administration.

College students in the United States are not showing up in those university programs that are focused on physical science, computer science, math, and engineering. There are a number of politicians, parents, and students that will blame the public school education system for the current state of education in the United States. I have some serious doubts whether fingers should really be pointed in the direction of the teachers or even school system. I think in many ways, those fingers should be pointed right back to the parents and their children. Perhaps life in America is so good that by the time the student becomes a young adult, life hasn't prepared them to face the challenges and disappointments they need to do well in the sciences.