MODXpo 2012 – Utrecht, The Netherlands

MODX Team Speakers
MODX Team Speakers – from the left: MODX founder Ryan Thrash, MODX CTO Kevin Marvin, and Mark Hamstra who has worked with us a few times.

Keynote: The State of MODX

[J.P. DeVries from the MODX community live-blogged from this session, if you want more points and some quotes: devries.jp/blog/2012/11/10/state-of-modx]

Ryan Thrash tried to explain his feelings and visions for MODX.
MODX is the most flexible and creatively free CMS in the world – it already supports HTML 8 and CSS 5 even if the standards won't be written for at least 10 years. Some of the built-in editors might not, though.
48 % of the global user base is from Europe which makes us the biggest MODX continent. Because of this the MODX team are pretty aware of and attentive to european interests and problems.
MODX is pretty feature-rich, secure and stable so now the focus is shifting towards making it easier and more pleasant to use;

  • There is now a User Experience Designer in the MODX team
  • Revolution is not dead and is without a doubt the recommended system for production. Especially larger systems that need stability
  • MODX Cloud: Server and backup management with a single click
  • MODX 3: Will be released in 2013, but no one should wait for it. Basically Revolution with a new Manager (or many)

Keynote: Why we built MODX Cloud

[J.P. DeVries from the MODX community live-blogged from this session, if you want more points and some quotes: devries.jp/blog/2012/11/10/modx-cloud]

Kevin Marvin started by saying that MODX 3 is the future and then listed a lot of things that should be done in the process of thinking up what MODX 3 should be;

  • Internal – things that we do that need to change / improve
  • Improvements – things the product does or our users use, that need to change / improve
  • Innovations – things our users do that do not exist in our product, but really, really should
  • Inventions – things that our users do not do, that they might if we made them possible

Then came a long list of improvements already planned for Revolution 2.x, including some that will help a lot in developing (i.e. Elements as files and versioning, multi-dimensional Template Variables, InnoDB, many modern Media Sources and a much better module ecosystem).

Running behind schedule, this session just continued into the next session where Ryan Thrash joined too.

Innovating with MODX

This turned out not to be a session about the development processes within the MODX team and community, but an open microphone Q & A session where people could suggest stuff for MODX 2.x and 3. Main points were;

  • E-Commerce solutions (everyone else was dying to have them, but we're not like them)
  • MODX speed problems are most likely never because of performance problems in the core
  • More Media Sources
  • Lots more E-Commerce talk
  • "There are no dumb ideas, there are just ones I won't do" – Kevin Marvin

Running Multiple Sites or Languages in MODX

Bert Oost had a live demo of how to set up a site in MODX and seamlessly integrate content in multiple languages (actually just english and dutch) in a pretty simple way. He made a multilingual site that most notably was easy to translate and maintain, using basically just three thing, two of which are standard MODX components;

  • Context – Works like the root for a whole site, i.e. for a different language
  • Lexicon – A built-in system that is pretty much like our language placeholders, but integrated in MODX
  • Babel – A third party component that provides clever functionality for multilingual sites

Using this he set up a simple site with a few clicks and a little typing (it really is that simple using Revo or Cloud) and then made an exact copy in a different Context. Then he created and inserted some Lexicon entries and told MODX to send requests to different URLs to the proper Context. Bam! Multilingual site!
Then in the Manager he showed that when editing a page he got buttons to let him edit the same page in a different language or create the page if it didn't exist in a particular language.

Developing Extras for MODX: Hands On

[J.P. DeVries from the MODX community live-blogged from this session, if you want more points and some quotes: devries.jp/blog/2012/11/10/developing-extras]

Mark Hamstra delivered what was probably the most hardcore geeky session, just a guy sitting down and writing a plugin for the Manager.
He started by explaining a little about how the interface and back-end of the manager worked and then continue on to code a lot and talk a little. There isn't really much more to say, except that we too could be making new (or re-/moving old) features in the manager. If you want to feel really geeky or really left behind, take a look at the blog mentioned above.

Creating Transport Packages for your Extras

[This was pretty much just a guided tour of bobsguides.com/mycomponent-tutorial.html]

Bob Ray explained how difficult, tedious, and absolutely necessary it is create Extras and especially remember all the details and then packing them in way so they could be installed on other sites without problems. And so he made an Extra for making all those things a lot easier.
Again, there was a lot of geeking around and a bit of coding, and we should be able to do it quite easily just from the link above.
The point he didn't make that clear but that we clearly need to make, is that we need to do this! That way we can much easier move functions and systems we make for one site to any of our other sites – the package contains the information needed to set it up, and that could be a great time saver in the future development.

Aside from all that, we talked to pretty much the guys who knows best in the world (i.e. the ones who made and are making the system) and they told us to get to MODX Revolution as soon as possible. Not to rush it, but to make a proper, planned transition. There is apparently no reason in the world to wait for MODX 3, and even when it comes it will be much easier to upgrade from Revo than Evo, as MODX 3 will be built on almost the same engine as Revo. Other than that, we could try MODX Cloud – it sounds like it would suite some of our needs and demands very well, both for developing our bigger sites or rapidly changing our smaller sites.
If we find any problems with the processes we shouldn't hesitate to contact the MODX team or use the community way more than we do, they appear to be more than eager to help :)


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