[pmwiki-users] Lateral thought from a newbie

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Tue Jun 27 16:58:46 CDT 2006

Slug Shrubbers schrieb:
 > Could PMWiki be used as a basic e-commerce/e-ordering application?

The problem is that an ecommerce application does a whole lot of things 
that would have to be programmed in addition to (or outside of) PmWiki. 
Just off the top of my head:
* Compute taxes (usually based on the customer's residence,
   i.e. you need to store the tax regulations somewhere)
* Compute shipping&handling cost (often depends on weight,
   sometimes on bulk)
* Some countries (particularly those in the EU) require that the
   customer has seen and explicitly agreed to your terms of service
   (well, technically it's OK to not do that, but then your ToS simply
   won't apply); this means that you *need* a strict fill-the-basked -
   agree-to-ToS - present-the-invoice sequence. Having a fixed sequence
   is the exact opposite of what a wiki does, so you'd need to program
   the checkout sequence independently.
* Product categories often have subcategories, so the groups don't have
   a 1:1 mapping to product categories.
* Some people want to feed the orders into stock management.
   Oh, and into their invoice software, too.
(I'm pretty sure that there are lots of other things. People have 
written hundreds of add-ons to osCommerce.)

What PmWiki does offer is essentially a nice simple markup for product 
pages. That's an advantage, but most shop software simply uses HTML for 
that task - and PmWiki's collaborative aspects are mostly wasted on an 
eShop (I say "mostly" because I can imagine shops where multiple people 
work on the product descriptions).


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