Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Moderators at osCommerce are quite unbelievable

Yesterday, someone asked how to incorporate "tabs" into their product_info page in order to save space. I advised to go and search google for "webfx tabpane", and advised that I had this code working in my osC Store but could not post the URL as that would be aginst the Forum rules. Today, I receive this PM from a Moderator

Title: Discussing offsite solutions: Contents: Posting this is also is against forum rules
How the heck can me saying "go search google" for code be construed as "discussing offsite solutions" when the webfx code is already a core part of the MS3 Admin !!! I cannot believe that Harald surrounds himself with these people who don't know the code contained in osCommerce. It defies belief, and is yet another example of how the osCommerce Forum & Team has rapidly gone downhill since the recent departure of the only sane Team Member.

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!


At 8/08/2005 11:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, although I have a good deal of repsect for many of the development team, past and present, there's one forum moderator in particular who seems to have a contempt for developers he feels are a threat to his position. I've read hundreds of posts from other developers in the various fork communities popping up now that complain about him. IMO, he's the number 1 reason there are so many osC forks in the first place. I don't understand how HPDL can continue to defend the guy.

At 8/08/2005 11:31:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Now the moderator is stating that the reason for the deletion was because I said I have this working on my own osCommerce Store, however I cannot post the URL to show you my implementation as that would be against the rules of the Forum. Sorry.

However, this is negated by the fact that I reposted my advice into the same thread without mention of my site at all. This was also deleted, presumably meaning the problem is one of "off site links" - even if they are to code already in use by osCommerce!

What can't these Moderators have some integrity in what they say and do?

At 8/08/2005 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Of course, after complaint, the Moderator has now backtracked and said:

This topic is not up for debate - I have removed the offending content and the post is now visible again.

The offending content presumably being me saying I cannot post a link to my site as per Forum Rules.

But this is not borne out by the comments in his Private Message to me.

How I wish that these people would grow some balls and admit when they are in the wrong. As far as I am concerned the conversation is now over - a total waste of space from start to finish.

At 8/08/2005 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

IMO, he's the number 1 reason there are so many osC forks in the first place.

Certainly a major factor, that is for sure.

I don't understand how HPDL can continue to defend the guy.

Because it would be a major loss of face to Harald to have to admit that he "employs" a useless person who knows actually very little other than where the delete button is, I believe.

At 8/08/2005 01:35:00 PM, Blogger -Chance said...

Anybody who has seen my posts on the osC forums knows I can be "blunt", but I always try to have some useful advice in my posts.

Since I returned from military deployment and posted in the past few days, I have recieved 2 warnings from one mod.

When did osC become such babies?

At 8/08/2005 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Here's one more thing that came out of the discussion:

Your post regarding moderator actions has been removed - these type of posts are not permitted on our forums.

So it seems that any Project Feedback to do with Moderators is also against Forum Rules.

Chance, I'm really not sure why osCommerce has gone downhill so rapidly. It's disappointing as many people don't realise that the present rules are hurting the community rather than bringing value to the community :(

At 8/08/2005 02:24:00 PM, Anonymous dreamscape said...

To me, it is amazing to see the number of times a "rule" is quoted... but then if you actually check and read the actual forum rules, many of these so-called "rules" do not actually exist. And many of the rules that do actually exist are so vague and ambiguous that they can be easily bent to the will of the mood a moderator may be feeling on a particular day.

At 8/08/2005 03:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to add my $.02 here, because:
1) I'm 100% sure that the "Team" reads this and other external blogs to further their way-out opinions of anyone who doesn't ascribe to the party line.
2) Any moderator with 1/2 a sense of decency would PM the poster after deleting their post.
3) Perhaps the "Team" can somehow thicken their incredibly thin skin. The slightest bit of criticism, even when intended as a suggestion, a "heads-up", a "you might want to consider" apparently results in an immediate branding as a detracting ne'er-do-well who is lucky to be allowed to partake of the ivory tower that is osCommerce.

I find myself sticking around in spite of the Team, because I like the product, slow moving as it is, and I enjoy helping other forum members. I enjoy working with the product.

My wishlist:
1) convince the team believe the most people are actually trying to help and that nobody is out to get them
2) convince the team that post deleting without notice really ticks people off when they should be educating them instead by editing their post or just SENDING THEM A PM for crying out loud
3) thicken up their skin so that every little stoopid thing doesn't offend

If they didn't offend so much, far fewer people would get offended and respond offensively. Watching all of this garbage is just like seeing the mean kid say "why doesn't anybody like me?"

At 8/08/2005 03:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, the amazing, funny, unbelievable thing is found here on the dutch forum (an official networked site) operated by Mattice, where Berkedam, a well respected member of the community who recently became forum moderator for oscommerce.nl started this thread on webfx:

waddayathink about that ?

At 8/08/2005 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

waddayathink about that ?

It makes me wonder why I still bother with osCommerce. I might just learn dutch and post over on that forum!

Seriously though, I think that there is a bit of a witch-hunt going on against Developers (and those who make money with osC) at the moment. Any excuse will do, I think, which goes hand-in-hand with Dreamscapes comment as well...

And I know that my reaction in this Blog is not quite reasonable, but I have been pushed and prodded in the ribs by the osCommerce "Team" so much that I am now biting back a bit. Sorry :(

At 8/08/2005 04:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> waddayathink about that ?

Not to mention that there is (or at least I thought there was) a contribution for product tabs that uses the webFX TabPane. I am nearly positive I had seen one before, but I just looked and could not find it. Who knows, maybe it never has existed as a contribution, or maybe it was removed for who knows what reason (because TabPane is available under a tri-license, one of which is the GPL).

There is one particular mod on the forums that seems to have some kind of "war-mongering must conquer all" complex. We used to get into it quite a bit a year or so ago.

Interestingly enough, at one time I emailed Harald to complain about the mod, and even emailed him a list of threads that were deleted but contained nothing against forum rules. His response was something along the lines of trying to tell me that the threads were not deleted, because he would have know about it if they were. What a freaking joke. Apparently he turns a blind eye and lets the mods get away with whatever the hell they want.

I don't get into it with the mod anymore because 1) I don't really visit or post at the forums all that much anymore, and 2) I let the mod know to not PM me or have any further contact with me. He tried to tell me I could not request that, I which point I let him know that if he needed to contact me he could reach me through my lawyer and any further direct contact with me would be deemed intentional harassment for which I would seek punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotion distress. While just a scare-tactic, he hasn't bothered or contacted me since.

At 8/08/2005 04:33:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Well, I think the Tabpane must be OK to use and post as it is used in the MS3 Admin section (or at least it was the last time I d/l'ed the CVS version)...

And we know that any code used in osCommerce and distributed must be GPL'd...

At 8/08/2005 04:49:00 PM, Anonymous dreamscape said...

>> Well, I think the Tabpane must be OK to use and post

Yeah it is. If you check the WebFX site for the license info, all of their scripts are available under 3 licenses:

1. the WebFX Non Commercial License
2. the WebFX Commercial License
3. The GNU General Public License

I don't know why I didn't remember this before, but not too long ago someone posted asking about the tabs in the MS3 admin and how one could place them in MS2.

I replied it was just the webFX TabPane script... in fact I even posted a hyperlink directly to webfx, and the thread was not deleted, and still remains.

Now what I did might be considered a violation of the rule "Postings regarding other projects may be treated as off-topic and may be deleted without prior notification." However, in my case it was not removed (not yet), and since TabPane is integrated into the osCommerce project, how can talking about it be regarded as talking about some "other project".

In case anyone hasn't noticed, osCommerce is filled with 3rd party solutions (sometimes not properly credited, but that is another story). So on the forums are we only allowed to talk about code originating from the team? And code and scripts the team have acquired/modified from 3rd party solutions, we're not supposed to discuss, even though they are part of the project?

At 8/08/2005 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Josh, you've brought up a valid point. I think I have found some code that is used in osCommerce that is not GPL. The README for the code does not say it is, but equally it does not say it isn't...

I will contact the Author to find out for sure.

In the meantime, I do know that the Author stipulates this:

ALSO this license does not apply to any Travel-related or travel-booking site - if you require the use of this calendar on in such a site or application, please contact me first and appropriate licensing can be set up separately.

Looking at that comment which is from the creator of quite a large piece of osCommerce functinality, would suggest to me that anyone using osCommerce to sell Holiday packages, Villas, Car hire and so on, is doing so illegally - unless they have contacted the Author of the code of course!

At 8/08/2005 05:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least they are consistent in their flaming inconsistency. sometimes i wanna be a moderator just so i can delete other moderator posts that i think are off-topic

At 8/08/2005 05:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least they are consistent in their flaming inconsistency. sometimes i wanna be a moderator just so i can delete other moderator posts that i think are off-topic

At 8/09/2005 08:19:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

I have posted up my question about the non-GPL Spliffy Calendar code - awaiting a sensible reply...

Should be interesting to know how non-GPL code can be integrated into a GPL distribution, legally.

GPL or not GPL

At 8/09/2005 09:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, you got a reply, hardly qualifying as sensible though

At 8/09/2005 03:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holly hell that MarcoZorro guy is a moron in every sense of the word.

At 8/10/2005 09:19:00 AM, Anonymous Darklings said...

Lol - reading all this - and being verry new to osc - i can already tell witch mod you guys are talking about... I guess he's on a warningspree...

At 8/12/2005 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, have had posts removed, and I think it is outrageous. You are right, you are blunt. The world is made up of all kinds of people, including those who are upfront and blunt. Your knowledge speaks for itself. How you deliver that knowledge should be appreciated and not taken personally. The moderators need to take a deep breath, relax, and let people be themselves unless they are being outright offensive. Your posts, from what I have seen, don't fall into this category.

At 9/12/2005 07:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be way behind the times but I just noticed today that Burt is forum member #69, there are now over 77,500 members in the forum. I doubt that there are many people that have been working with osC as long as Burt with the exception of Harald. Even after all this time to treat him as an outsider and with such little respect is totally shameful.

At 9/12/2005 08:30:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Thanks for that :)

Being such an old-timer works against me sometimes as I've seen the politicking that goes on behind the scenes. A really good guy departed from the "team" a few years ago and Harald never even mentioned it. I wonder where Jan is now?

It's funny to realise that Harald has only been able to give up his day job for osCommerce in the last 6 months or so - prior to this, I *think* I was the only full time osCommerce coder (I haven't had a day job for years).

I recently decided not to visit the osCommerce Forums any more, as I was always on the receiving end of abuse from the "Team" (including being told to "f--- off" by one of them)!

It's kind of painful and a wrench, but for me is the only way to stay sane!


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