1.1 Progress Report

Work is continuing fast and furious on the much anticipated 1.1 release of Shopp.  We’d like to update the community on our progress and let everyone know about some of the other happenings surrounding the project.

iThemes for Shopp

It’s finally happened.  Great theme support for Shopp is on its way from the amazing crew of talented designers and developers at iThemes.  Theme support for Shopp has been oft requested.  It’s a space we’ve intentionally left wide open for the best and brightest theme designers from the WordPress community to fill.  Today, the iThemes crew is the first to deliver by integrating Shopp with their ever popular FlexxTheme.  It’s killer taking the the raw power of the Shopp e-commerce development platform and adding it to a theme with an easy to customize layout.  It’s a winning combination that makes a Shopp-powered storefront that much easier and faster to deploy.

We had the chance to meet the some of the iThemes team at WordCamp Raleigh and today’s announcement is a realization of that meeting.   The guys at iThemes are really awesome, truly genuine people with a passion for helping others make the most from WordPress.  That sounds a lot like what we’re trying to do too. Since Raleigh, we’ve been forging what we foresee to be a strong, long-term partnership that will deliver some fantastic solutions for the WordPress community.  To ensure that, we will be providing support for iThemes integrated with Shopp on our forums and in our official support Help Desk.  The announcement today is only the beginning and we couldn’t be more excited. Not just exited for Shopp, but for both the Shopp and iThemes communities.

Be sure to checkout Flexx, and the over 80 other great WordPress themes they offer!  The same team behind iThemes also runs PluginBuddy developers of an easy backup plugin for WordPress called BackupBuddy.  It takes the headache and stress out of backing up your site.  If you’re running an e-commerce site without backup you’re running a huge risk.  BackupBuddy takes care of it for you backing up everything from the database to all the files in your WordPress installation, the plugins, themes, scripts and uploaded content.  BackupBuddy is a commercial plugin for WordPress, backed by the great team at iThemes.  Its affordable peace of mind for your storefront.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Shopp Webinar at iThemes

In concert with all the iThemes goodness, Jonathan Davis will be providing a guided tour of Shopp in a free webinar hosted by iThemes on Wednesday, July 21st from 1-2 pm CDT (2-3 pm EDT).  You’ll need to register to reserve a spot at the Shopp E-commerce Webinar before it fills up!  Thanks again to iThemes for hosting the webinar!  Also check out all the other great webinars and courses available at WebDesign.com a hub of training resources for web design and development with a focus on WordPress.

Maintenance Release

In case you missed it, last Monday we posted Shopp version 1.0.18. It is a simple maintenance release primarily to address a compatibility issue with the now available WordPress 3.0 release.  It also includes a handful of other small fixes for some well known issues in the previous release.

Support for Supporters

As of today, the community support forums and official documentation is now only available by login with a customer account linked to a purchase of the Shopp core.  Without a verified purchase of the Shopp plugin, you will not have access to view or post topics on the forums or read articles on the official documentation wiki.  A number of purchases were made before our integrated account system, so there are a fair few without any login, but a valid purchase. If you have a valid purchase of the Shopp plugin but no login, please contact the support team on the Help Desk with details of your purchase.  It’s important that you provide these details up front so we can get your account created pronto.

We honestly hate that this has to happen, but we feel it’s another necessary step to ensure we are pouring our support resources back into the community that has supported the project.

1.1 in Beta

On the 1.1 side of things, we’ve wrapped up feature development work and are now fully in beta.  We’re really excited about this release and can’t wait to deliver it.  We made the transition to beta just a couple weeks ago and while we were making the transition to quality testing, we made some changes to make it easier to for the Shopp community to work with us and play a role in the future development of the project:

  • The Feature Requests forum now allows the community to submit and vote on features to make it easier for us to see the difference between what the community really needs versus what some feel would be nice to have.
  • We also announced that we opened the Shopp Bug Tracker to the public so that anyone can report bugs both in current releases and the in-development version.
  • Finally, we provided Developer Key owners access to bleeding-edge releases to preview and test the latest and greatest work. At 3 am EDT (GMT-4) every day, the latest code from our development repository is packaged up and made available as a download to Developer Key owners.  Just login to your Shopp Store account and select Downloads from the menu.  The bleeding-edge downloads appear below purchased downloads.
  • Lastly we’re now in IRC every day to work interactively with those testing the bleeding-edge releases.  Details on this are in the Developers forum (only accessible by Developer Key owners).

All of these steps demonstrate that we want to engage the Shopp community to help make Shopp the best e-commerce development platform possible.  It also helps us get releases out sooner.  Everyone wants Shopp 1.1 released tomorrow.  We really, really do too! The reality is that Shopp is such an enormous system with so many moving parts that it makes ensuring everything works for everyone in every environment for every use… well, it makes it an extremely large task.  Doing it all ourselves means it could be into the fourth-quarter of the year before we finish 1.1.  With help, we think its possible to see release within a month.

There are already several people participating and I’d like to acknowledge a few of them that are providing really amazing feedback: Dave Johnson, Jonah Coyote, Anders Hassis and Shaun Robinson.  Thank you for taking the time to help out, submit tickets and even follow-up reviews.  Your participation has already helped tremendously to find issues we’d not yet uncovered ourselves.  The quality of your reporting has also helped us reproduce and fix these issues quickly.  Keep it up! It’s exactly what we’re looking for!

Optimization Work

In wrapping up architecture and feature development we’ve been spending a huge amount of time polishing up the code base.  With it, we’ve done some serious optimization work.  Shopp now sports it’s own script queueing with concatenation support.  All those Shopp scripts are now in a single request.  We’ve also pruned through each script to trim every spare byte possible. That in addition to running all of the Shopp graphics through image optimizers adds up to a cumulative savings of 20KB off the total overhead of Shopp resources.  With Google’s announcement that speed is a factor in ranking websites, we’re going the extra mile to ensure things are nice a snappy.

Tax Overhaul

The tax system is the last system to get an overhaul with the addition of support for local tax rates and layered tax rules.  With tax rules, you can now apply a tax rate based on conditions of an item in the order, such as by product category, tag name or even by customer type.  Local rates support now allows specifying a local level of tax rates to be added to the base rate to support taxes at the county or municipal level (or any level beyond country and state/province).  It is a far more complete, far more flexible tax system that allows us to get out of the way and provides the tools to model nearly any tax environment accurately.

Custom Image Cropping

With the new image server system, images are sized on-demand from the template layout settings.  When a cropped image is requested for a template, you can now custom crop each individual image with the new cropping tool in the product and category editors.

Promotional Discount Limits

We’ve also added support for specifying promo use limits so that a given promotion can only be used by a set number of customers.  This makes it easy to run promotional discounts for the “first 100 customers” or for any one-off discounts you might provide.

New Add-on Testing

We have several new add-ons that we’ve developed especially for Shopp 1.1 that need tested including:

  • ShipWireAn inventory storage and shipping fulfillment service and shipping rate calculator. Available as a shipping module for Shopp.
  • Amazon S3 – Fast content delivery from Amazon.com. Available as a storage engine add-on for your digital product files or catalog images.
  • SagePay – UK & Ireland based payment processor. Available as a payment gateway add-on.
  • Manual Processing – Process credit cards manually using a credit card terminal with secure credit card number storage.  Available as a payment gateway add-on for Shopp.

All you need is a developer access key (single-site key owners can upgrade to developer access quickly and easily).  Once you have the bleeding-edge Shopp core downloaded and installed, make a request to the Help Desk for any one of the add-ons above that you’d like to test and we’ll give it to you for free.  After testing is done, you can keep the add-on and get free updates as our thanks for your efforts for testing and reporting bugs.

Release Estimate

So when will Shopp 1.1 get released?  We will be releasing Beta 2 to developers soon and expect to hit Release Candidate status by the end of the month.  If things progress as they are currently it could be as late as the end of August before it’s released.  We’d love to speed that up if at all possible, we’re just looking for developers willing to begin deploying sites with it so we can quickly identify and resolve the little issues that aren’t found in our internal sweeping tests.

So the hope is that as we reach each new phase of stability (Release Candidate) we’ll have more willing developers ready to develop with the new code and report bugs.  If the amount of bug reports picks up we could be more confident to release 1.1 in mid-July.  All of these dates are our best guess based on the current environment.  Now that things are coalescing we will be able to make better and better decisions about how soon to expect the official release.

  1. Thanks so much for the kind words and links. We feel the same about you guys and Shopp. We promote it when anybody asks about ecommerce with WordPress.

    We’re working on some more new ‘Shopp’ stuff very soon!

    June 22nd   #

  2. Avatar of chup

    hi there, just to check, do you guys have any affiliate programs in mind for developer who recommend shopp to their client for consideration?

    June 22nd   #

  3. Does manual processing also cover being redirected to a page with the sellers direct bank transfer details, OR a page that says “Do this to pay for your order before we send it to you”??

    June 23rd   #

  4. This is great news! Looking forward to testing the beta.

    I’ve been trying to find some time to test out the dev, but I’m just covered up. However, I have a few clients just waiting for 1.1, so I’ll be sure to find time to test the beta out.

    Thanks for the updates!

    June 23rd   #

  5. Avatar of Ernst

    How can I help with the release of 1.1. I am a developer that is leading a team developing 3 different e-comm sites with Shopp/Wordpress. Please let me know how I can help beta test the software and I would love to be a part of that.

    Thanks for the updates on 1.1 I am really looking forward to using it.

    June 23rd   #

  6. Avatar of Razvan

    is the current version 0.17 compatible with WordPress 2.X ? Will 1.1 be compatible with WordPress 3.0 ?

    June 27th   #

  7. Hi, I’m a developer and I want to help with the new release. I’m currently working with several sites where I can test this.

    Please contact me.

    Thanks!
    ~Christi

    July 1st   #

  8. Avatar of Jonathan Davis

    Christi, you need to have a Developer Access purchase for Shopp in our system to access the bleeding-edge version of Shopp.

    July 5th   #

  9. Avatar of Jonathan Davis

    @Razvan:

    1.0.17 is compatible with WordPress 2.6.x to WordPress 2.9.x. Shopp 1.0.18 is already compatible with WordPress 3.0 (although there may be some lingering niche issues that we’ve yet to discover).

    1.1 will be fully compatible with WP 3.0.

    July 5th   #

  10. I’m expecting manually payment to be included in 1.1, as i can’t find that in 1.0.
    Well documented plugin, love it!

    July 10th   #

  11. Another thing is, do take note PayPal is supporting MYR (Malaysia) right now, please included that in PayPal payment gateway option. Cheers

    July 10th   #

  12. Wondering if you’re going to address PCI compliance issues. We have a “Web Application Cross Site Scripting” vulnerability on the account page that prevents us from becoming PCI compliant. Is there a patch or workaround in the works?

    July 13th   #

  13. Avatar of Craig

    Is there any chance when it goes to release candidate that it be open to more than just developers license? I am in Software Testing during my day job, and am waiting on version 1.1 to see if I need to move to a different platform for my wifes website for the shop portion of it.

    July 13th   #

  14. Avatar of Jonathan Davis

    We’ve come across this a few times where some PCI scanners report vulnerabilities that are in fact not vulnerabilities. In one case we saw a PCI scan of a Shopp site that reported an XSS vulnerability in the Cart via the promo code input. However, we do proper escaping by encoding entities from the input. The re-encoded input is output back to the browser in a “safe” form that prevents it from creating a real problem. However, because the scanner detects parts of the output in the value of the field, it flags a problem despite there being zero chance of an XSS attack being successful.

    On issues like that we’re at a bit of a cross roads as we know we are properly filtering input and escaping output despite these scanners saying there is a problem. We could fix it for that specific scanner, but then there could be problems in other scanners as each scanner may have slightly different assertions about the proper handling of the test case exploits. We have a lot more research to do before we can resolve this issue universally.

    July 16th   #

  15. Avatar of Anthony

    @Jonathan

    when trying to use shopp with wp 3.0 i got the error not sufficient permissions error(shopp ver 1.0.18), reverting to wp 2.92 resolved the issue

    how is the australia post progressing?

    July 16th   #

  16. Jonathan,

    Thanks for the explanation!

    July 16th   #

  17. Will 1.1 support WP3s Network feature? (old wpmu)

    July 18th   #

  18. Avatar of Alex

    Guys this is extremely encouraging!

    I am setting up a store for our site right now and am absolutely dying for the add on capabilities. Should I upgrade to developer for this or is the release around the bend? I can feel the excitement!!!!

    July 19th   #

  19. Avatar of Jon

    I posted in the forums trying to get a progress report on 1.1. It is now 20th July, so can can you post a status report?
    I built a new site offline and waiting to go live – but its a month late because I wanted to incorporate 1.1 before it goes live.

    July 20th   #

  20. I’ve been waiting on release 1.1 to pull the trigger on setting up my e-commerce website since I first saw this post. But it’s nearly GO time… I will need to start dev and implementation in 2 weeks. How far is 1.1 from being released? Do I wait for it? Or if I purchase and use the current version, how easy/hard will it be to upgrade later without breaking the work I do now?

    Thanks.

    July 21st   #

  21. Avatar of Jonathan Davis

    1.1 is still in Beta. We’re working as fast as we can. We will be releasing to Release Candidate first. There is every possibility that the RC versions will be available to all Shopp key owners. So you will have a chance to use it early.

    So to answer your question, the release may not be until August. However, you can start developing with it in RC, which we hope to have ready within the next week.

    July 21st   #

  22. Thanks for the update…. I think a lot of users would like to see more frequent updates – even if you’re just telling us to keep waiting. One of your biggest competitors – wp-ecommerce does make updates to their blog multiple times each week. I find myself coming to this site almost daily looking for updates but leave disappointed.

    July 21st   #

  23. can I participate on the 1.1 beta program? we are planning to use Amazon S3 for our download data. Please let me know what to do …
    Thanks
    Axel

    July 22nd   #

  24. Yawn :)

    July 24th   #

  25. Avatar of Jon

    Why not release the beta version to all shopp owners with the usual beta warning … this is a normal step to take. That way, new site builders can use 1.1 and upgrade should be painless after the beta period is over.

    July 27th   #

  26. I am really keen to get our new shopp designed for launch but I am now waiting and waiting for 1.1 before I can start. Please keep the progress updates more frequent or release the beta so we can make a start now.

    July 28th   #

  27. Is the RC available yet?

    I agree with John. Your social media efforts are lacking. We need more updates and more twittering. Get transparent about your progress and post more often.

    July 28th   #

  28. Avatar of Courtney Bostdorff

    Yes transparency would be nice….there’s nothing quite like seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel 😉

    July 28th   #

  29. Avatar of Jonathan

    I can’t / won’t commit £750 to a new Shopp design without some reassurance of progress and a vague hint of a release date. But requests for updates are met by silence as the tumbleweed rolls by.

    July 29th   #

  30. Avatar of John

    You might add a blog section to the site just letting us know what you’re working on. We can contribute via comments – check out getshopped.org and you’ll see that their blog has very regular updates – if anything you could do something like that.

    July 29th   #

  31. Avatar of Jonathan Davis

    Ok guys, got it. The message is received and understood, the Shopp community wants more frequent updates. We’re so focused trying to get the new release done, we’ve not been as vocal about what’s going on. I’m genuinely sorry if you feel like we’re keeping you in the dark. Our lack of social activity is a symptom of how much we have to work on and not any intentional silence.

    That said, you can see daily progress on the bug tracker (link in the article). Look under the 1.1 Beta 2 milestone and you’ll see what we’ve got ahead of us yet. The bug tracker overview shows we’re 90% complete. Unfortunately, those familiar with the production cycle know that last 10% costs the most in man-hours to get done.

    To be crystal clear on where we are, we’ll get a new updated announcement out very soon.

    July 29th   #

  32. Avatar of John

    Great! We appreciate the update!

    July 29th   #

  33. Avatar of Courtney Bostdorff

    Awesome News! Thanks Jonathan!

    August 3rd   #

  34. Avatar of boah123

    @Jonathan: Will the loading time of the shop also be improved?

    I mean the website not the shopp admin. In my experience the loading time is pretty low compared with wordpress pages.

    Thanks!

    August 4th   #

  35. Are we still looking good for releasing it today?

    So stoked to get to upgrade!

    August 30th   #

  36. Avatar of Philadelphia

    I’m looking forward to using the New Add-On Shipwire Shippping Module!!

    I’ll put my hand up to test it if needed, as I want to use it straight away for my shop.

    Please let me know if you still Beta testers or when this will be ready?

    Thank you!

    October 10th   #

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