PubKit E1.0 for MODX Evo is on its way
10 Nov 2011 MODx
I thought it would be April, then May, then October, but now it looks like November is a realistic date for release of a major upgrade to PubKit, my front-end editor for news, blogs, events lists and custom-table based items in MODX Evo.
I've been using PubKit for sites I administer myself and clients' sites, and have tended to add customized versions to suit the individual installations - a message facility here, a bit of a gallery there, as well as fiddly code changes to allow for file uploads and multiple tagging TVs.
Now I have managed to pull the details of the most useful developments together into an update package that I'm giving a major version number. For now it will include only the basic document and record-based item types. Message forms and a basic gallery will follow soon after.
My main aim has been to make customization easier via snippet parameters, instead of code changes buried in the classes that define the various item types. For instance, you can add a document field to the list for processing by parameter, e.g. &docFields=`description`.
Major features include:
- Support for multiple tagging TVs (radio buttons, checkboxes, dropdown lists)
- Additional text TVs and document fields specified by parameter
- Support for simple file uploads
- Commands to clone and resequence items
I've also banged my head against jQuery hard enough to tidy up the sample item-management pages and reduce the number of separate forms required. This has opened up the way to bulk operations such as archiving bunches of old items, though I've not quite cracked the Ajax method of handling that yet.
I've decided to drop compatibility with pkBlog from this release. Though it seems to be more popular in terms of download numbers from the MODX Extras, I see the move from pkBlog to PubKit as a jump rather than a segue. If pkBlog does all you need, stick with it. If you need more, you know what to do.
One hiccup in the final stages of getting a release package together and testing concerns use of TinyMCE for rich-text input. I worked on a MODX 1.0.4 platform during development. When I tried out my installer on a standard 1.0.5 bare site, I found, to my horror, that every time I called up an item for re-editing, it gained extra empty paragraphs, sometimes even invalid nested ones. This seems to be down to the technique I've used as far back as the original NewsPublisher to repopulate the rich text input, namely a placeholder in the rich-text TV definition. Somehow the latest version of TinyMCE gets to see the placeholder while it's still empty, so it wraps it in a paragraph. Yuk. But in good SWOT style, I turned this weakness into an opportunity to make the repopulation code more robust. [Fx: Cue dragon-slaying music.]
Inevitable question: where's the Revo version? Still in "one fine day, maybe" territory. I had a look at MODX 2.1.3 recently, and found the response times have improved enough for it to not pose an RSI risk for me. So I'll be giving it a longer look, and maybe when v2.2 comes out, will go more deeply into creating a package for Revo, if all goes well.