FCKeditor in osCommerce

osCommerce LogoI'm working on an ecommerce site using osCommerce to enable the shopping cart functionality for my client's online store. This is the first time I've used osCommerce so I'm still working on improving my comfort level with the application. osCommerce is open source and released under the GNU General Public License. According to the osCommerce site:

osCommerce has attracted the largest community for an e-commerce solution that consists of over 106,100 store owners and developers worldwide with add-ons being contributed on a daily basis. To date there are over 3,500 add-ons available that have been created by the community to extend the features of an osCommerce online store.

Those numbers are impressive, but in my opinion the coding practices of the application are definitely showing its six year legacy of software development. While I have found osCommerce to work out-of-the-box, I must say that I'm surprised that most mods require hacking into the core application. I've been spoiled by working with more "modern" CMS applications with convenient API's and making changes through modules/plugins instead of modifying the core. However, I'm a newbie to osCommerce so maybe there is more to it than meets the eye.

osCommerce by default does not offer a graphical text editor for entering descriptions of products. While my client does know a little bit of HTML, he would prefer to have a WYSIWYG user interface. So naturally I looked at using TinyMCE or FCKeditor to edit the textareas. I like and have used both text editors, but decided to use FCKeditor for this project. No particular reason I chose FCKeditor over TinyMCE except that I didn't need two editors.

If you're looking for an easy method to get FCKeditor to work with osCommerce, take a look at Nick Marques mod as an osCommerce contribution, "FCKeditor in Product Description". The mod is easy to follow and took less than half an hour to complete. The mod requires you to install the FCKeditor in your "admin" directory and then modify two osCommerce files, admin/categories.php and html_output.php. At the time the instructions were written FCKeditor 2.1.1 was used. I found that the instructions worked just as well for the current version of FCKeditor, 2.3.1.