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  1. We're running CubeCart v4 and have been for some time, both on our own websites and those we manage for clients. Now 5.1.1 is out I feel that the new release may be stable enough to consider an upgrade, so I have started testing it. The first test has involved creating and population a v4 store on a temporary domain name, and upgrading it to v5 to see how it went. I wouldn't describe the upgrade as smooth, but after some hacking-around we got prices and product precis etc. working again. Why this doesn't work by defualt after an upgrade is beyond my research, but disappointing. My perception is that the principle problems with CubeCart v5, i.e. things that make me feel I don't currently wish to upgrade from CubeCart v4, are broadly as follows: Visitor Perspective To my mind most of the new v5 themes look awful, and give the impression of being included for the sake of it and not properly tested, so we're effectively stuck with the default Kurouto and my comments are based on that. (After factoring out the height of the banner) Where v4 displays 8 products in the height of my desktop browser window (4 in my Netbook), v5 displays just 6 (3 in my Netbook). The loss of two products, 25% of the total, from the all-important "above the fold" screen real estate is caused purely by white space and padding, nothing more, certainly nothing of value. So v5 will give 25% less products on immediate display for visitors to view without scrolling, i.e. a reduced sales potential: Why??? For what benefit??? Admin Perspective When editing a product the Main Image is not shown on the Image tab. I have tried this with three different browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome & Firefox) and on two different operating systems (Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.04LTS) and the problem is consistent. With several thousand products in our stores (more than 5,000 in one), and a multi-tier structure of image directories, it is not realistic to go hunting for the main image. It was clearly shown before in v4 when creating/editing a product, so why isn't it now in v5? If there is a single show-stopper than will prevent us from upgrading to v5, it's this, as it will effectively render our shop unmaintainable. SEO Friendly? v4 offers the ability to set product meta-data (URL, title, meta-description, meta-keywords) per product when either creating or editing a product, but this didn't work by default in v5 (and checking the generated source confirmed this). This is yet another example of something that didn't upgrade properly! In v4 we have been using "Apache Directory Lookback" method but this doesn't exist in v5 (only "Apache RewriteRule"). Will all our hard work on SEO really be lost if we upgrade? NOTE: I appear to have got this working after a lot of fiddling around, albeit not the same way as it was before (Rewrite rather than Lookback), but it's very disappointing (and suggests a very immature migration process) that it doesn't work by default. Following on from the above, why have the SEO data-entry fields been reordered to the new v5 sequence? The v4 ordering of URL-title-description-keywords made far more sense that the new v5 ordering of title-URL-keywords-description. The title and description are closely linked (and are the two critical things that appear in search results). They used to appear together for editing, so why do they now have the URL and (irrelevant to modern seacr algorithms) keywords separating them in the editor and no longer appear in the same sequence as they do in the generated source? On the face of it, this is a really silly design change and again has me asking: Why??? For what benefit??? Design, Development & Testing Quality My perception is that while some little thought has been given to design (and I don't mean the new admin tabs in which I see no benefit so far), very little effort has been expended on ensuring quality of development (where has the "Apache Directory Lookback" option gone?), and even less on testing (numerous settings lost in upgrade, missing product images in editor etc.) What to do now? As there is a clear statement that support for CubeCart v4 End of Life is road-mapped our options appear to comprise: Upgrade all stores we manage to CubeCart v5; or Migrate to a different shopping cart CMS. Where we are already using it we'd like to stick with CubeCart, but are frustrated by some of the new design changes and absolutely cannot do it without product images being properly displayed in the product editor. Does anybody have this working in their v5 installations?
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