Spider.my shipping module for osCommerce / Zen Cart v0.4

January 27th, 2011 | by Sean |

These shipping modules have been at Shipping-Quote.net since 2011. Download them from there.

A fairly minor release this one, a little bit of tidying up to remove differences from the osCommerce and Zen Cart modules, but also a couple of changes you should know about:

Small packet methods

Prior to v0.4, small packet methods were added onto the list of methods the module would give quotations for. That produced a weird behaviour where a customer with a lightweight order being delivered by Pos Laju would see two quotations: a cheap one by Pos Laju Document and a more expensive one by Pos Laju Parcel. I was asked if I could make it so that only the small packet option would appear for small packets, so the v0.4 behaviour is to give quotations for only those methods listed in the ‘small packet methods’ admin settings.

This change makes the module simpler and also more robust. You can re-create the old behaviour by adding all the methods from your ‘postal methods’ setting to the small packet methods setting. Note that if you install this version and don’t change your settings, your customers may see fewer shipping options at the checkout than you would wish them to.

Module reports referring page to spider.my

This is a change that is invisible to the shop-owner. Spider.my receives some information about the shop using the module whenever a quotation is requested. All web services receive these basic kinds of information. When your shop requests a quotation, spider.my ‘knows’ the IP address of shop’s webserver. It ‘knows’ the postal origin, destination and weight of the order.

A webserver usually (but not always) ‘knows’ what kind of software requested information. When you look at a web-page, your web-browser ‘tells’ the webserver that you are using ‘Firefox’, ‘Safari’, ‘Opera’ etc. The spider.my shipping module reports its User-Agent (that’s the standard name for this piece of information) as something like “Spider.my shipping module v0.4osCommerce”.

A further piece of information which is commonly sent by your web browser to a website is the address of the page on which you clicked to request the next item of information (or on which an image appears, for example). This referring page is sent by your browser to a webserver as the ‘Referer’ (it’s spelled wrong by standard). From v0.4, the spider.my shipping module sends back a ‘Referer’ telling spider.my which page the shipping quotations appeared on. It’ll commonly look something like “myonlineshop.example.com/checkout_shipping.php” – the shipping options page at your checkout, if your shop is called “myonlineshop.example.com”.

Version reporting

One last minor change in v0.4 is that the version number of the shipping module you are using will be visible in the description of the shipping module when you select it in the Admin panel of your osCommerce / Zen Cart shop. That’s an easy way to tell if your shipping module is up to date.

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