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jj (2990)

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Software development manager for OpusVL [], member of Birmingham Perl Mongers [] and maintainer of [].

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Journal of jj (2990)

Friday November 14, 2008
09:45 AM

E-commerce with Catalyst

[ #37878 ]

Earlier this year my girlfriend and I decided to start our own business, Penny's Arcade, an online retail website to sell gifts, home accessories, and artwork.

I've spent the last couple of months developing the site,, using Catalyst, Handel, and OpenThought, and this week we went live!

This is the first serious project I've attempted with Catalyst, and I must say it's been quite a revelation. Compared to other tools I've used the speed of development was phenominal, and combined with a very simple method of deployment and configuration I can really appreciate now why it's so popular.

Aside from OpenThought which I've talked about before, the other key module used was Handel. Handel provides facilities to manage shopping carts and orders, and was very easy to extend to allow for our own custom fields and delivery calculations.

I'll be talking in more depth about the technical details at this year's London Perl Workshop, but the short version is that the site came in under budget and ahead of schedule, with Catalyst, Handel, and OpenThought taking much of the credit. Thanks to all the module authors who made it possible!

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  • An official victim for my Handel programming shenanigans. :-)

  • ...aren't you asking for a legal beat-down from Penny Arcade (the comic)?

    • On what possible grounds?

      • It was just a joke -- this it the internet, don't take me too seriously! -- I doubt the owner of a web comic would sue the owner of a web... whatever-it-is over a name. But I remember a story about legal evil between McDonald's and the leader of Clan MacDonald some years ago, so these name fights can turn ugly sometimes.

    • If Microsoft, our local factory for producing pillows and other bedding, is safe from Microsoft, the global software giant, you can be pretty sure Penny Arcade has no grounds. Also, different countries. Also, common term.

      • Apologies for the lame attempt at a joke. "Internet, serious business" and all that. Still... "Microsoft" the pillow factory? Funny stuff.

  • It would be very interesting to see the Catalyst view you have created (?) for the OpenThought. I've planned to implement some bindings (to Catalyst) that would make modifying the DOM on users' browsers from server code as transparent and easy as possible, and I guess this Catalyst view (for OT) would be quite close to this idea.

    However, transparent integration of server code and browser DOM could be even more general (than allowed by OT). Maybe even mirror/sync the whole DOM to the server and expose it