ProcessWire Weekly #215

In the 215th issue of ProcessWire we take a closer look at two new third party modules, Log Maintenance and RockPdf, and also cover the latest post at the blog co-authored by Ryan and Jonathan Lahijani. Read on!

Welcome to the 215th issue of ProcessWire Weekly! This time we're going to cover not one but two brand new third party modules, and we've also got a really great looking new site of the week belonging to the Belgian financial company Huysman.

In the weekly post at the Ryan and Jonathan Lahijani discuss the newly released WordPress vs. ProcessWire video series – a really interesting collection we also briefly introduced in our last week's issue, ProcessWire Weekly #214.

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.

On the ProcessWire blog this week: introducing the ProcessWire vs. WordPress video series created by Jonathan Lahijani

Remember those WordPress vs. ProcessWire videos we briefly introduced last week? In the latest post at the blog Ryan and Jonathan Lahijani – the creator of said videos – discuss the process of creating the video series, the content covered in it, and some of the stuff Jonathan has learned from and while making them.

The post starts by focusing on the methods Jonathan used to create the vieos, including the software and hardware products involved, and then goes on to cover the content of the videos and Jonathan's views on the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. As a long time ProcessWire user Jonathan has a lot of insight into this topic, so this week's blog post chock-full of useful information.

For some valuable and constructive WordPress vs. ProcessWire coverage be sure to visit the weekly post at the blog, and the WordPress vs. ProcessWire video series at Youtube. Huge thanks to Jonathan for his contributions for the ProcessWire community – keep up the great work!

New module: Log Maintenance by Philipp 'Soma' Urlich

We're going to introduce two new third party modules in this issue, and the first one is a module called Log Maintenance. This module, which was developed by Philipp 'Soma' Urlich, makes use of the built-in LazyCron job scheduler to perform maintenance tasks on the log files your site generates:

  • You can choose how often log maintenance is performed – this can be anything between every 30 seconds to every 4 weeks
  • You can choose to archive old log files – when archived, log files are zipped and added to a separate archive directory
  • You can choose to automatically prune log files to include a specific number of lines or bytes, or to only contain entries for a specific number of days

All in all Log Maintenance is a really useful tool that you can pretty much just install and forget about, and it'll automatically keep your log files at an appropriate length. With this module installed you won't, for an example, accidentally end up with unusably large log files.

If you have any questions or just want more details about Log Maintenance, check out the dedicated support forum thread. The module can be downloaded or cloned from the GitHub repository, but please keep in mind that this is still an early release – and for that reason we'd recommend making a backup of any important data before installing the module, just in case.

Big thanks to Soma for sharing this module with us!

New module: RockPdf by Bernhard Baumrock

Our second third party module for this issue is a PDF creation helper called RockPdf. This module was created by Bernhard Baumrock and briefly mentioned when Bernhard released his RockReplacer module. Back then this module wasn't available for the general public, but now that it is, we were thrilled to check it out in more detail.

Now, in a nutshell RockPdf is a wrapper for the mpdf library. Mpdf, as you may already know, is a commonly used PHP library that turns HTML content into PDF, complete with (at least basic) CSS styling, embedded images, and so on. While you could include the mpdf library directly in your code, accessing it through a module has some benefits:

  • First of all you have access to an instance of mpdf anywhere in your template or module files simply by calling $modules->get('RockPdf') – no need to include any additional files or anything like that.
  • RockPdf makes debugging layout issues notably easier by embedding parameters passed to its functions as HTML comments into the generated markup, and also by giving you an easy method to fetch the generated markup as-is.
  • While mpdf by default includes a massive blob of fonts, with RockPdf you get only the ones you really need – and you can still add more if needed, just by dropping the font files into specific directory.

Perhaps the most notable benefit from using RockPdf instead of directly including mpdf is related to the first bullet point above: by using RockPdf you get to keep your template and module files clean, and the API usage is always consistent. As an added bonus you also don't have to worry about keeping the mpdf library manually up to date.

For more details about RockPdf, check out the documentation available via the gitlab repository. And, once again, big thanks to Bernhard for sharing a very useful new tool with us!

Site of the week: Huysman Verzekeringen

Our latest site of the week belongs to Huysman Verzekeringen – a Belgian company that provides insurances and financial guidance geared towards both individuals and SMEs. Their ProcessWire powered website was created by freelance developer and designer Nicolas Grande, and has a really beautifully designed layout, complete with various content block types and embedded forms.

While we couldn't quite pinpoint the front-end framework used on this site – or perhaps there was none – what we did notice were some familiar ProcessWire modules. The ones that particularly stood out were FormBuilder and EmailObfuscation. Other than that, the site is secured with a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt, and appears to have multi-language support built in – although the bulk of the content is currently only available in Dutch.

Our congratulations to Huysman Verzekeringen and Nicolas Grande for this splendid site, and thanks for both sharing it with us and trusting ProcessWire for your content management needs!

Stay tuned for our next issue

That's it for the 215th issue of ProcessWire Weekly. We'll be back with more news, updates, and content Saturday, 30th of June. 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!

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