ProcessWire Weekly #347

In the 347th issue of ProcessWire Weekly we'll check out ProcessWire 3.0.170, introduce the PDF Fieldtype/Inputfield module, and more. Read on!

Happy New Year and welcome to the latest issue of ProcessWire Weekly! I hope you all had a good time celebrating the end of what might be the strangest years in a while.

For the first weekly issue for year 2021 we've got a bunch of interesting topics to walk you through: a third party module called the PDF Fieldtype, an interesting and rather unique site of the week known as Diskussionsatlas — as well as a set of core updates.

Thanks to all of our readers for being here with us again, and as always, any feedback is most welcome – please don't hesitate to drop us a line if there's anything in your mind you'd like to share with us.

Latest core updates: ProcessWire 3.0.170

This week the dev branch version was bumped to 3.0.170, and Ryan covers this update in detail in his latest weekly blog post. For this issue we've composed a summary of all the changes introduced to the core since last week — which makes quite a long list!

In other news Ryan has a few things to say about the near future of ProcessWire. In his post he talks about how ProcessWire now feels pretty much "feature complete" when it comes to developing site projects with it, but also about how it's nowhere near "ready".

In my mind at least, it’s become the timeless tool that it set out to be, the best open source project of its kind, and with the absolute best community. Yet we’re still just getting started, the project’s biggest years are ahead, and I have a real sense of excitement about it in this new year.

— Ryan

So... if you happen to have ideas for making ProcessWire even better, don't hesitate to share them with Ryan via blog comments, the requests repository, or the wishlist and roadmap forum area. The roadmap for year 2021 is currently being compiled, and we'd love to have more feedback on what to add on it!

Updates and new features in 3.0.70

  • There is now a dedicated “Custom fields” setting on the “details” tab when editing a file or image field, providing a much easier way to work with custom fields.
  • There are now contextual documentation links and code usage examples included in the configuration of file and image fields.
  • Part of the File and Image field editing GUI has been updated and reorganized, and behind the scenes the code has been split to better optimize said modules.
  • Field and Template editors have also received various updates, with some of the settings moved between tabs and made easier and more intuitive to use.
  • In the Page editor ProcessWire will now automatically open or collapse a multi-column row of Inputfields together as a group.
  • The modules system can now detect modules that are present in the database but missing on the file system. When modules match this criteria, you’ll see them on a new “Missing” tab in the Modules admin.
  • The $modules->get() and $modules->getModule() methods are no longer case sensitive with regard to module name.
  • There are two new Templates API methods: $templates->add(‘name’) creates a new template and fieldgroup with the given name, while $templates->rename($template, $newName) renames a template, its fieldgroup, and the template file (if writable).

You can find more information about each individual update from the blog post, so be sure to check it out. And again: let us know if you have any suggestions for making ProcessWire an even better platform this year. Thanks!

New module: PDF Fieldtype/Inputfield

The PDF Fieldtype/Inputfield module is not really new — quite the contrary: the initial commit in the GitHub repository dates back to May 2014. Anyway, the long story short is that the module has just been revisited and updated to natively support ProcessWire 3, so we figured it'd be a good time to officially introduce it here.

In a nutshell this module allows one to store PDF files in ProcessWire fields, and then convert said files into a handy preview image for the front-end. Preview images are created on the fly using the ImageMagick PHP extension and Ghostscript, so this module requires that to be installed on the local server.

The API for FieldtypePDF is quite straightforward. The module extends the file field with a toImage() method that returns a Pageimage object:

$image = $page->pdfFile->toImage();
echo $image->size(100, 100)->url;

Thumbnail image generation is rather configurable, and just overall this module should be your go to resource should you happen to run into any PDF thumbnail related needs. On a loosely related note this module also comes with a test suite with support for easy testing on multiple ProcessWire versions thanks to the Tense tool — but that's a story for another time.

You can install this module via the built-in modules manager, directly from the GitHub repository, or with Composer. Big thanks to Richard Jedlička for developing the module and maintaining it through all these years!

Site of the week: Diskussionsatlas

Our latest site of the week is called Diskussionsatlas, or Discussions Atlas — a data visualization platform where the content is currently focused on the topic of "multiple benefits as a driver of energy-efficient building renovation".

The Diskussionsatlas is a data visualization tool which allows to explore the interconnections of different aspects of complex social topics in a playful and interactive way. The visual and structural design of the atlas is inspired by cartographic principles.

— Neue Rituale

This project was developed by Neue Rituale GbR, funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), and maintained by the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform gGmbH and the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE). As the longer subtitle states, the initial release of the service outlines the benefits and topics revolving around the subject of energy-efficient building renovation .

There's a case story for this project, from which you can find some behind the scenes details. While we can't say much of the backend, the front-end visualization magic is based on D3.js. This site doesn't seem to use a front-end framework, rather relying on custom styles with a BEM hierarchy.

Big thanks to the folks at Neue Rituale for sharing this project with us. Very nice work indeed, and seems like a great use case for ProcessWire's data management abilities!

Stay tuned for our next issue

That's all for the 347th issue of ProcessWire Weekly. We'll be back with more news, updates, and content Saturday, 9th of January. 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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