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# Minivend V4.x
# Copyright 1996-2000 by Michael J. Heins <>
# Originally based on Vend 0.2
# Copyright 1995 by Andrew M. Wilcox
# Portions from Vend 0.3
# Copyright 1995,1996 by Andrew M. Wilcox
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it
# and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public
# License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either
# version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later
# version. 
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public
# License along with this program; if not, write to the Free
# Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston,
# MA  02111-1307  USA.

Welcome to Minivend! This program is completely unsupported, without
warranty of any kind. The author is interested in problems, suggestions,
or comments, but does not have time to offer free individual support
in most cases. See the Minivend website at
for more information.


                        M I N I V E N D
   Minivend is a full-featured electronic catalog system (commonly known
   as a shopping cart) with online ordering capability. It is a high-end
   database access and retrieval system with SQL support via the Perl DBI.

   A full list of its features is available at:
IMPORTANT NOTE:  Minivend 4.0 requires, repeat REQUIRES, Perl 5.005 or Perl 5.6.

The information you need is in the following files:

    README     Copyright info, roadmap to installation
               and pointers to support system
    Copying    Your Minivend license -- please read.

    WHATSNEW   Change information for all versions in this
               version family.

    MANIFEST   List of all core distribution files.
Major files/directories in the distribution:

    Makefile.PL The installation scripts

    dist/       The distribution files, exclusive of executable
                files and modules. Includes:

                minivend.cfg.dist   Distribution minivend.cfg
                basic/              The basic MV catalog demo application.
                simple/             The not so aptly named "simple" demo
                src/                C and Perl code for CGI links
                compat/             Some Minivend-3 compatibility tags
                lib/                Minimate
                usertag/            Some fairly-standard usertags

    extra/      Some not-always-needed Perl libraries.

    lib/        The library modules needed to run Minivend.
    scripts/    The executable files, relocated to bin in the run
                directory.     The installation test script.

    win/        Windows-specific files

Here is the short version:

    gzip -dc minivend-4.xx.tar.gz | tar xvf -
    cd minivend-4*
    perl Makefile.PL
    make test && make install

-- WHEN IN DOUBT, RE-START THE SERVER.  It won't take but a few
   seconds, and changes in configurable options don't take effect
   until it is done. You may even change a page and not see the
   effect until the server is restarted.

Not yet. When is not yet determined, but it will not be soon.
If you are very experienced, you might try installing the ZIP
file with "perl Makefile.PL". But *at least* the following problems will
be present:

    1. You need to put "SessionType  DB_File" in catalog.cfg.
    2. Minimate will not work (unless you can build Safe::Hole).
    3. You probably need to use Apache since we no longer support
       cygwin.dll and tlink.exe. If you can get running
       on other web servers, patches are welcome.

Do not use it in a production system.


                      A V A I L A B I L I T Y
                              A N D
                     C O M P A T I B I L I T Y

Minivend 4 has been tested on Solaris 2, Linux, FreeBSD, and Digital
UNIX/Tru64. Its predecessor Minivend 3 also reportedly runs on SCO, AIX,
and other Unix ports.  It should work on any UNIX or Win32 OS with Perl
5.005 or higher.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR BSD USERS: Minivend has been known to segfault when
reading sockets on Perl. This occurs more frequently on a busy system.
The workaround is to set in minivend.cfg:

    MaxServers   0
    Housekeeping 1

Windows does not support fork(), so the server runs in the foreground. There
are other differences; the canonical installation is UNIX.


                         D E M O

There are two demo applications included; one is not so aptly named "simple",
the other is "basic". For the best instructional experience, start
with "basic" and then try "simple".

To install the demo, go to the directory where you installed 
Minivend (default is "mvend" in your home directory or /usr/local/minivend
for root installations) and run:

    bin/makecat basic


    bin/makecat simple

Follow the prompts and after restarting the Minivend server you
should be able to access the demo catalog.


                     D O C U M E N T A T I O N

The documentation is in several man pages and HTML files in the doc/
subdirectory of the main Minivend directory.

There is an extended documentation package available


                    K N O W N   P R O B L E M S

    You will need to make sure the following are in effect
    in minivend.cfg:

        MaxServers 0
        Housekeeping 1

    Expect lots of crashes if you don't do this.

Apache with SUEXEC:
    VLINK/UNIX socket mode will not work well unless you do the
    install as a normal user. If you are going to support multiple
    users, you must use TLINK/INET mode.

    Many things won't work the same as UNIX. See the
    README-win.txt file for more information.


I, the author, am very interested in learning your problems with
Minivend, and am interested in clarifying the documentation for
future improvements.  I am not much interested in BEING your
documentation, though, unless you pay well and promptly. Please
send kudos, comments, questions, and complaints to:

Note that I receive thousands of emailed questions per year and cannot
answer them all. The more research you do on your own the more likely
I am to respond. Helpful suggestions and real bug reports are almost
always acknowledged.

There is an active user support mail list,,
which has traffic of about 600-900 messages per month. To subscribe,
send "subscribe minivend-users" in the *body* of a message to, or visit the mail list page at

Good luck with Minivend!

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