ProcessWire Weekly #429

In the 429th issue of ProcessWire Weekly we'll check out the latest core updates, introduce a new third party module, and more. Read on!

Welcome to the latest issue of ProcessWire Weekly. In this issue we'll take a closer look at the latest updates to the core, check out a new module called SearchEngine File Indexer, and as always we'll also highlight a brand new site of the week.

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. Enjoy our latest issue and have a great weekend!

Weekly update from Ryan — latest core and Pro module updates

In his latest weekly update, submitted via the support forum, Ryan continues from where he left off in the weekly update from July the 15th, showcasing a complex user review system built on top of the comments system, and covering some related core and Pro module (FormBuilder) updates.

Among this week's core commits there were also a couple of smaller updates: a fix for issue #1602, where width/height for newly uploaded images were getting mixed, and a new third argument for the wireMethodExists($className, $method, $hookable = false) function. If boolean true is provided for the $hookable argument, this function now additionally looks for a hookable version of the method, e.g. className::___method().

Core comments system updates, and an example of the meta feature in action

[...] here's an example page that has a few reviews (click on the Reviews tab). As you can see, we're using the ProcessWire comments field to store not just the review, but also 15 other details and up to 6 photos, per review.

— Ryan

What's particularly interesting here is that this page utilizes the "meta" feature for the comments field. While a similar setup could've also been built using pages instead of comments, this is a new option for comments, and one that greatly expands possible use cases for the core comments support.

The Comments Manager Process module has also been updated this week. With the latest version it's now possible to add comments and replies via the admin interface. Among other things this makes it very easy for content editors to add "staff replies", without having to switch to the public site just for that.

FormBuilderFile Inputfield updates coming to the next version of FormBuilder

Along with the comments system updates this week — which can be reviewed via the dev branch commit log at GitHub — Ryan is also working on a new version of the file inputfield developed specifically for the commercial FormBuilder module. Here's what this new version has to offer:

  • The ability to display preview images when uploading photos.
  • The ability to show one file input at a time, revealing more as needed.
  • The ability to include a text or textarea description with each file upload.

That's all for our core updates section this week. For more details and a rather detailed set of instructions for creating a custom comments form using the FormBuilder module, be sure to check out this week's update from Ryan. Thanks!

New module: SearchEngine File Indexer

SearchEngine File Indexer is an add-on for the SearchEngine module, and a successor to the SearchEngine PDF Indexer module introduced a couple of weeks ago.

While SearchEngine takes care of indexing and making text content of a site searchable, it can only store the name, description, tags, and custom field values for file and image fields. Once installed and enabled, SearchEngine File Indexer takes indexing one step further, adding the ability to include actual file contents in the search index as well.

SearchEngine File Indexer can process just about any file, as long as there's a suitable file indexer available. A file indexer is a class responsible for converting source file into human-readable text, and at the moment this module ships with file indexers for...

  • common office documents (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .odf),
  • PDF documents (.pdf),
  • spreadsheet files (.xls, .xlsx, .ods, .csv), and
  • plain text files (.txt).

To get started, you'll need to install the SearchEngine module, install the SearchEngine File Indexer module, and install required third party dependencies. Once installation is complete, you can enable and configure individual file indexers via the SearchEngine File Indexer module config screen.

There are a couple of gotchas, though:

  • Indexing complex files requires third party libraries, which are not bundled with the module. Easiest way to get these is to a) install this module via Composer, or b) install the module and then run composer install in the module's directory.
  • Indexing files can be time and memory consuming. There are config settings for specifying which files to process, but in the long term it might be preferable to index files in the background. This option is planned, but not yet available.

You can give this module a try by installing it via the modules manager, by cloning or downloading it from the SearchEngine File Indexer GitHub repository, or by installing it via Composer. If you run into any issues, the SearchEngine File Indexer support forum thread is always open for questions, feedback, and feature requests.

Site of the week: Methods Analytics

Our latest site of the week belongs to the team of data solvers known as Methods Analytics.

Methods Analytics are, in their own words, specialists in solving complex problems — problem identification, data management, data science, visualisation, interpretation, and the delivery of actionable intelligence. They are based in four locations across the UK and United Arab Emirates, and work for public and private sector clients.

The Methods Analytics website was created by ID Studio Web Agency and introduced to the ProcessWire community via a showcase forum thread earlier this week. In addition to a rather unique and undeniably beautiful design, here are some of the behind the scenes highlights mentioned in the showcase forum post:

  • An impossible geometry 3D concept, and an accompanying 3D editor integrated into the ProcessWire admin via a process module
  • A modular system for content management, providing extensive control over the content included on each page on the site
  • A health check feature for finding and keeping track of broken links and other potential content issues
  • A SEO module with global editing section across all pages

The front-end of this site is based on the Bootstrap front-end framework, and the 3D animations are powered by the Three.js library. For some additional details about the site and a video showcasing the 3D editor process module in action, be sure to check out the showcase forum thread.

Thanks to the folks at ID Studio for sharing this project with us, and our congratulations to the client, Methods Analytics, for their new, ProcessWire powered site. Great job from everyone involved in this project!

Stay tuned for our next issue

That's all for the 429th issue of ProcessWire Weekly. We'll be back with more news, updates, and content Saturday, 6th of August. 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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