Open source ecommerce suite in rails

This is half announcement, half question. I am in the process of
creating an open source ecommerce suite in ruby and rails. After
spending the last 12 years writing similar closed source applications
I now have the opportunity to implement it as open source, which is
something I've been wanting to do for a while now.

The question I have been debating over is mostly about ease of use for
the merchant. The design calls for two components. One is a thin
payment gateway and everything else is in the other component. Think
of your average shopping cart and payment gateway all combined in one
unified UI, and the gateway literally being just an api without any
UI at all. The only drawback to this approach is that it moves more
of the responsibility to the merchant. They would need to maintain
their database, monitor a management daemon/cron task, etc.. The
alternative is to have the customer/order management UI as part of the
gateway, which would mean it would not be customizable unless you
host the gateway component yourself, which most people would not be
doing. Personally I like the former approach using the thin gateway.

We will be offering hosting options, so I'm thinking that will be good
enough for merchants that want someone else to manage all the
technical stuff. Due to visa/mastercard rules it will also be pretty
tough for the average merchant to host the gateway component, so we
will also be providing a payment gateway service based on our own open
source platform. It will be free for those that host the entire suite
with us, and less expensive then any other gateway even for those that

Comments welcome...


Exciting - I'll be looking forward to seeing the API.

Good luck.