Category Archives: eCommerce

Ebay turning off ‘Active Content’

eBay has been nagging about turning off ‘Active Content’ for about a year now.

“From June 2017, you’ll no longer be able to use active content when creating your listings. Find out how it affects your listings.”

During that time I have had a ‘look’ at and they quote:

“Examples of active content include JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions.”

BUT…. and it is a big BUT for me, when you get into the ‘fine print’ this also includes a number of standard HTML4 tags like center and table… 

AND THEN….  (yes I am shouting) we are “Mobile Non-Compatible”… GASP, SHOCK, HORROR….

Ok, I have had a Valium and calmed myself from apoplexy… (Exaggeration level = 2.6)

I do a lot with eBay for various reasons, including my redundant household items that I need to dispose of and I have been using eBay since 2000 to vend my reproduction toy boxes, ephemera, and toy car spare parts. It is a hobby but has been a major aspect of my life for almost 30 years. 

So if you have read this far, you are probably looking at trying to fix your eBay listings for the first time in a decade. While you were ‘warned’ ages ago, the eBay communications have been sadly lacking in being explicit, resulting in it now being June 2017 and your listings will be changed even though you never had any ‘active content’ in the first place. BUT… you did, ‘wo is me’, use HTML4 and it is now time to use HTML5….  Argghhh… 

OK, so now that my rant is ended. What to do ?

Perhaps the easy way is to get someone else to help, the old ‘phone  friend’ technique. 

There are a number of sites that appear reputable and offer themes or designs for ebay templates. 

http://www.i-ways.net offer (and is linked from ebay) a mobile-friendly testing service. 

Try http://www.i-ways.net/mobile-friendly/en-au/ to test one of your listings…  mine failed miserably. 

The following links are to the posts that I have created as I step through the minefield that is ‘creating compliant listings for ebay’.

First up this is the eBay seller information page on Active Content. http://sellercentre.ebay.com.au/activecontent

Which details lots of stuff about Java, hit counters, etc. and buried down towards the end of the page is the, oh yeah, stop using these HTML4 Elements as well and a list of the dozen tags that will no longer be supported. 

Among these are the common ones for centering your ad and setting font styles, etc. There are some that I would not have used anyway., like ‘<applet>’

So eBay then recommend the i-ways.net “Free eBay Template Service” but be warned that they want to know everything about you in exchange for the service, so the “price” is your information and a direct connection to your eBay account. I opted to register but did not connect my ebay store at this stage. 

If you are doing the same, have some images ready! (png or jpg formats)

Store Logo 400 x 140px (3Mbyte max file size) and Store Banner 1200x550px (5Mbyte max file size).  

 

[links coming soon…]

 

 

Magento Wget Download

If you use Linux servers, are working with Magento, and want to download the latest version or patches then the Magento site is not as friendly as you might want.

The download process is java driven and does not provide a link for the download, just a browser based download to your local computer.

I work mobile a lot and I do not want to download 22Mbyte files to my notebook over 3G and then have to upload from my notebook to the server. It is just a waste of time and bandwidth.

So I went searching for the path that we need to use and for the latest tar.gz file for magento this is what works.

http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.0/magento-1.9.1.0.tar.gz

From what I can see, and assuming that they do not change the process, http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/ followed by the version number as a directory, and then the file name should provide a full download path.

In this case this combo downloaded the latest release for me to my Linux server.

# wget http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.1/magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz

A word of warning!

When extracting the tar.gz file, Magento do not provide a unique version path for the contents. All versions use the root path of ‘magento’ so assuming you always download to the same path you may have magento-1.9.1.0.tar.gz right alongside magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz and extracting the newer version will extract it into the magento directory over the top of existing magento directory. The result of this is that your new version is potentially saddled with artifacts from the earlier version. Delete the magento directory and start again.

A 4 step process could be:

1. Clean up from previous downloads

#rmdir magento   // or //  #rm -Rf magento

2. wget the new version

# wget http://www.magentocommerce.com/downloads/assets/1.9.1.1/magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz

3. Prepare a directory ready for the extract of the new version

#mkdir magento-1.9.1.1

4. and finally extract the file contents from the tar.gz file, into the stated directory, and strip the first directory from the path that is stored within the archive, i.e. /magento/

#tar zxvf magento-1.9.1.1.tar.gz -C magento-1.9.1.1 --strip-components=1

Next, carry on as usual with your backup existing, copy the new files, etc, etc.