Design/Programming Freedom (includes geek speak, sorry)

I was assigned a project at work involving a shopping cart program.

I think the first shopping cart I made was in 1999, for HMR Group, I also did one for Kenstar Travel, for Linux Consultants Asia, for Expocraft, for Asian Property Listing and others. Newer ones under my company like PowerHomes and Funtastic were mainly Mike’s work using my designs. My first ones I made were in Miva/dBaseIII,(without using Miva Merchant, it was really from scratch Miva shopping carts.) the later ones were all PHP/MySQL. I’ve been using payment gateways since… hmmm 2001 I think.

I started out when there were no popular ready-made shopping carts like Zen Cart, OS Commerce, Agora Cart, Interchange Cart. So I basically made everything from scratch.

During those days I was a hardcore HTML tables guy, so imagine shopping carts where the product catalog, has programming loops, they needed to count the products on every line and make some <TR> tags when needed. That really sucked, especially when the client says to change the layout or something.

Now in the CSS age, being a CSS advocate ever since I embraced the styles, I never wanted to do tables again. And my shopping cart programs in tables would be sooooo much easier with floating <div>s. Each product will just wrap down the next line. I was excited to work on this project.

And now the company wants me to use x-cart. Which is nothing but a shopping cart program they bought some time ago. There is not much design freedom and code is sooooooooo long. I guess that is how it is in any program when you try to make it 100% customizable to anything. The code is full of a lot of things not needed by the client anyway. Now I am forced to understand the programming of some other guy who made x-cart. And what I need is just a simple bare bone shopping cart with only the requirements needed by the client. Making code short and simple and easy to maintain.

I wanted to make a common easy to maintain shopping cart easily customizable for everyone to use here at work, but for some reason the company wants me to use x-cart, maybe because they are selling the product as well and showing the value of x-cart on the x-cart website.

But custom programs are even more expensive, and I wanted to make one customized for the company and I was not charging a cent. I was just happy and excited working on a new cart that will maximize the use of CSS. Well all of that happiness is going down the drain.

I will have to deal with x-cart. I hate reading someone else’s programming code. It is too time consuming. It is sometimes faster to make one yourself than trying to figure out other people’s work. But I am charging it to experience, I guess for me to feel better I will just consider everything a lesson in x-cart. So if ever I have a client that needs a shopping cart and I feel lazy to make one and I do not care about the appearance, I will give x-cart and since I have used it already, using it again should be easier this time. But on second thought, maybe not, x-cart is not free to use. Agora Cart, Zen Cart, OS Commerce, Interchange Cart are free, if ever they are paid, they are bundled with any hosting with the latest cPanel. If you need a good, reliable webhost that has cPanel, go to YDS Web Solution.

New Clients

New Hosting Client, Nearly done with my SEO client, and is cooking up another deal for a new website with the same client I’ve done the SEO. A small outsource on a contact form and other forms. Just at the right time I used up all my money for buying plane tickets for my vacation to the Philippines. For March my company in the Philippines will be collecting March bills and I got a few annual renewals on March so everything is all good.


I have been so busy lately, doing all these sites. Currently for my business in the Philippines. If ever sales is made outside the Philippines, this is an online transaction and the purchase goes straight to the Philippines.

But I cannot hold office, have a business bank account, and interact directly here. But once I got my business up and running here, along with my marketing collateralsm, I’ll be doing sales all the time when the opportunity arises.

I’ll start out as a sole proprietor since my business has always been a SOHO in the Philippines. And what I will do here is basically repeating everything I have done in the Philippines.

I got so much to read. Especially on what are taxable in my services and how much tax is paid for the service I render.

Well right now, my mind is more on my vacation with my family next month. And finishing all the projects I have right now before I leave.

When I get back from my 3 week vacation, it will be more business again.

Been Busy… Some Pictures

I’ve been busy lately with all sorts of things.

Less time to blog.

My college classmate Richard emails some pictures to our college classmates’ Yahoogroup. He posts them and ask people to come up with a caption.

Instead of giving a caption, I edited them.

He emailed these:

And I sent back these:

Now back to work…

Tables and Slices

I was a hard core tables user before in 1996 to 2004. My shift to full CSS tableless sites started when I worked at Einstein Industries. And whenever I see a heavy tables site to fix, I just do not feel like working on it. Sometimes I want to re-do everything. If there is anything I do not like doing here at work, it is fixing a tables site that is messed up. I think this is my third post in my blog about this. Because I really do not want to work on them, but I do have to work on them. I really do not like how they were made, and I believe many webmasters will agree with me. Table sites are fine, but if they are not made correctly, even if the website looks fine, they are hard to maintain. Some people using tables just do not know how to use them correctly.

Time to Upgrade

My PC has been running on Homesite 5.1, Dreamweaver MX, Photoshop 7.0 that had problems and used Photoshop 5.0 instead. GoToPdf. But I do have Homesite 5.5, Dreamweaver MX 2004, Photoshop 8.0 CS and Adobe Acrobat Standard. But I just feel that I do not have time to upgrade everything since every time I am chasing a deadline.

But I just could not stand working in Photoshop 5.0 anymore, so I decided to work on the upgrades. I started uninstalling an installing. And during the whole process, I am just watching and waiting for every step to go on. And in the meantime, bloggin.

Old School BMXers, where are they?

I just spent tons of hours not working! What a waste of time, I got tons of pending projects.

I am one BMX guy that has been riding seriously since 1986. Tried freestyle, ad played around and competed in local races in BMX and mountain biking. Influences are actually high school classmates, like Arvin Casanova and Jefferson Arrangorin. They learned earlier and I always felt I needed to catch up. When I started to finally learn, they stopped already.

I may not be as competitive as I was before, but I still have a few freestyle tricks under my sleeve. At least I still have something to show my children. There is just a time that you stop because you have to, but when the opportunity arises to still ride, even with less skills, I still ride.

That made me think, what happened to all the pros during my BMX days? I started searching and came across this website, All I can say that this site is really good if you are one of the old school BMXers. Being a webmaster, all I can say is the website looks real bad, even how information is presented. But the information is really really good. New school BMXers may not appreciate it if they do not know the people they are talking about. Find out what happened to Eddie Fiola, Woody Itson, Martin Aparijo, Mike Dominguez, Jose Yanez and the hot Krys Dauchy (she is still hot) and more. And the pros find out about the website and actually gives in updates themselves.

One nice thing I see is that they still find time to bike, even if they are not a good as before. And another nice thing is Bob Haro and Woody Itson who now works for GT still gives free bikes to the old pros once in a while even if these old pros may not be biking in the same way they used to. They just know that they will be happy riding a new freestyle BMX bike.

One funny thing to read, if you have watched Rad over and over again on your old Betamax, there is a funny interview of Cru Jones on the website.

So to all old school BMX Freestyles, is a recommended site that you need to read.

I spent like 2 hours just reading stories on this website. Well back to work…

Cleaning Up

Mama told me if I wanted to vacuum my car since the vacuum cleaner it there. I said nope, not today Mama, I just something to do. Which is cleaning up too. 😀 But cleaning up a computer. One of my computers was used for playing around. And a few things here and there were installed.

-Uninstalled all unnecessary softwares
-Ran AVG, Updated and Full System Scan
-Ran AD-Aware, Updated and Full System Scan
-Ran Spybot, Updated and Full System Scan
-Check msconfig, Disabled unknown start up items.
-Updated SpywareBlaster
-Check for unwanted files manually on the hard disk.
-Removed browser toolbars.
-Made Firefox the default browser.
-Removed homepage settings.

And this time, before I forget, I need to create a separate user profile and just delete it everytime and recreate it again so it is much easier.

Now back to work.

I hate fixing up other people’s work.

As the title goes… I do hate fixing up other people’s work when it comes to things web related. Sometimes it is easier to start things all over again doing it “my way”.

But in some cases… there is a small difference in the work time in either fixing things on an existing site, or redoing the whole thing. So it gives you a tough decision on which path to take.

But there are also cases that just fixing some mistake is easier to fix, but will contribute to making things harder in the future. That there are times it would take a long time to redo everything, but will make future editing a lot more faster.

Well I just needed to express myself while I work on some other website somebody else work on.