The 201st issue of ProcessWire Weekly brings in all the latest news from the ProcessWire community. Modules, core updates, sites, and more. Read on!
Welcome to the 201st issue of ProcessWire Weekly! This time we've got a couple of third party modules and also one new site profile to introduce, but the biggest news of the week is no doubt the release of a new master version of ProcessWire – 3.0.96. The list of new features for this release is stunning, and we're really excited to talk about it here.
In our previous issue we posted a poll asking for your favorite modules, claiming that we'd have the results in by this week. As Adrian pointed out in our comments section, newsletter readers would've had almost no time to answer, so we decided to keep the poll open for another week. Next week we'll have those results in – that's a promise!
As always, a big thank you to all of you for being here with us, and please don't hesitate to drop us a note if there's anything in your mind that you'd like to share. Your feedback helps us focus on the things that you folks want to hear more about.
Latest core updates: ProcessWire 3.0.96 is our new master version!
The single biggest news item for this week is by and far the release of a brand new master version of ProcessWire – 3.0.96. As explained by Ryan in the latest post at the processwire.com blog, this is a huge update over our previous master version.
What's new in ProcessWire 3.0.96?
In addition to all the fixes and minor improvements we've made here and there, we've also got a very impressive list of all new features. Here's a small, hand picked list of some of my personal favorites:
- We've added a brand new Uikit v3 based admin theme. This is a major upgrade over our previous admin theme in terms of both design and included features.
- We've added support for client side image resizing, which not only helps you save some much needed server resources, but also makes the upload process perform better for your end users.
- As a major new feature we've added built-in support for exporting and importing pages, making moving pages from installation to installation – whether from dev to production or from live site to another – a rather trivial task.
- As a part of our ongoing quest to make the content editing workflow as seamless as possible, we've added support for drag'n'drop (and copy paste) image uploads in CKEditor, and also updated the bundled CKEditor to version 4.7.0
- As major image processing related updates we've added support for focus point cropping and image manipulation actions. Focus point cropping is a modern and versatile approach to cropped images, while image manipulation actions give content editors brand new tools for performing simple image editing tasks.
... and much, much more – including entirely new fieldtype, improvements to existing fieldtypes and inputfields, selector related additions and improvements, and various user management related improvements.
Check out Ryan's blog post for a complete list of new features in ProcessWire 3.0.96. Said post also includes some additional notes and details regarding the core upgrade process, and some discussion about our future releases, including 3.1. Thanks!
New site profile: Grayscale Site Profile
Grayscale Profile is a new site profile for ProcessWire. Built and released by rafaoski, this is a multi-purpose, multi-language site profile you can use as a simple company profile, blog page – or perhaps as a starting point for your own, more customized site projects. Some highlights from the site profile:
- Doesn't include a front-end framework, layout is based on CSS Grid and Flexbox
- Makes use of modern core features, such as Markup Regions and Functions API
- Includes SCSS files and built-in support for a gulp based build process
- Comes in two variations: one with and one without sample pages
If you'd like to give the Grayscale Site Profile a try, you can grab the full site profile package or the minimal version without sample pages directly from GitHub. For any questions or feedback, feel free to visit the Grayscale Site Profile support forum thread. There's also a live preview of this site profile available in case you'd like to see a bit more before diving in.
Big thanks to rafaoski for your work on this project!
New module: Symmetric Encryption for Text Fields
Symmetric Encryption for Text Fields is a new module from BitPoet. This module adds an encryption option for text fields, and any other field extending FieldtypeText. When encryption is enabled, the contents of said field will be automatically encrypted when saved to – and decrypted when loaded from – the database.
Behind the scenes Symmetric Encryption for Text Fields makes use of PHP 7.2's Sodium extension, and if that isn't available, it gracefully falls back to the bundled PHP Secure Communications Library. Encryption and decryption steps require a key, generated automatically by the module and stored by the user in the site config file.
Since ProcessWire's page finding operation relies on database level features, one of the downsides is that encrypted fields won't work as expected for regular page find queries. On the other hand encryption does provide a layer of extra safety for sensitive content – such as personal or financial data.
Some important considerations regarding the use of this module:
- This module is currently classified as a proof of concept or alpha release. Before installing any potentially unstable module, please make sure you're aware of the risks involved. Alpha modules are not recommended for use on production sites.
- When encryption is enabled, existing values don't change right away: in order to encrypt existing values, pages containing them have to be saved first.
- At least for the time being there's no built-in way to reverse the encryption, which means that disabling encryption later on can – and will – mess up your data.
Big thanks to BitPoet for your work on the encrypted text fields module. This is a handy tool when dealing with sensitive data, and an interesting option for those particularly worried about GDPR compliance.
Site of the week: Bibby HydroMap
Our latest site of the week belongs to Bibby HydroMap, leading marine survey contractor in the UK and Europe. Founded in 1997 and known as Osiris Projects until March 2015 Bibby HydroMap are experts of acquisition, interpretation, and presentation of highly accurate and precisely positioned seabed and subseabed data.
The website of Bibby HydroMap was built by Notanotherdotcom Ltd, a Wales, UK based web development company. The site fits in nicely with all our requirements for a great site of the week: it looks good and is highly usable, performs well, and also includes a bunch of interesting little twists – such as the smoothly animated blocks of content – that make the whole experience feel more enjoyable.
Design wise the site is modern and relatively simple: pages consist of different styles of content blocks, with a lot of text content and numerous images that are of good quality and feel in place with the content itself. There are case studies, equipment and service related info pages, a careers section, and various embedded forms. All in all this site both looks good and is rich in content.
The front-end of the site is based on the Bootstrap front-end framework, and some of the behind-the-scenes details we were able to spot are the use of Form Builder and ProCache – the first of which powers various embedded forms, and the latter of which is no doubt part of the reason why this site performs particularly well. All traffic to the site goes through HTTPS – a best practice for both security and SEO reasons.
Big thanks to the folks at Notanotherdotcom Ltd for sharing their work with us, and congratulations to the client, Bibby HydroMap, for their stunning new ProcessWire powered website!
Stay tuned for our next issue
That's it for the 201st issue of ProcessWire Weekly. We'll be back with more news, updates, and content Saturday, 24th of March. As always, ProcessWire newsletter subscribers will get our updates a few days later.
Thanks for staying with us, once again. Hope you've had a great and productive week, and don't forget to check out the ProcessWire forums for more interesting topics. Until next week, happy hacking with ProcessWire!