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ModX and Vanilla

edited February 2008 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I seen very little discussions of ModX and Vanilla on, so I want to throw the question out... have anyone from here us that combo to create a rocking site?


  • I heard the code behind modX was not the best. Funky app, but not great behind the scenes. A real shame. Would love it to be otherwise.
  • I'm a developer for MODx, and also contributed to the MODx-Vanilla Bridge (same username on those forums). I decided to hold off my work on the bridge until we roll out 0.9.7 which has been rewritten from the ground up. Our legacy version of MODx was cluttered due to inheritance from the project that we forked from.

    Give it some more time, I'm still working on the bridge as I have my own need for it. Look for such features as SSO, Unified User tables, inter-linking, and the ability to attach Vanilla discussions to MODx documents (can't think of a name for that feature yet).
  • can you give a brief history of ModX
  • @sirlancealot: great news. I am really happy to hear that this ia happening. Looking forward to a preview. The fact that you are also building a bridge is brilliant news.

    Please be sure to keep us updated.
  • edited February 2008
    From what I understand (I've only been a developer for since Dec 2006), the fork was not a very pleasant one, but I can't say for sure. The next version of MODx will be legacy-code-free, but our goal is to make a smooth upgrade path between the two. Once the project moves to 0.9.7 core, I think you'll all start to hear more about it.

    Here is an article written by one our foundation programmers, it's called Transforming MODx: Tales of OO, MVC, and O/RM.

    EDIT: Big typo, changed date to Dec 2006 :-/
  • Is there an eta on this?
  • Well, thanks for answering my question, sirlancelot. I may not use ModX for my current project, but it will be good to know for future uses.
  • edited February 2008
    Maybe I can add a bit about MODx history, since I am on board with the team since 2005 (also, same nickname on the MODx boards). I wasn't on board at the time but indeed the fork did not go down quite well. Important thing is : it's the past, MODx has moved on and as Matthew (aka sirlancelot) said the dev team has been working hard on severing the last ties to the fork by rewriting everything from the ground up.

    Now back on why MODx was created to begin with, I can help you get some perspective by quoting Ryan Thrash, MODx co-founder :
    We started the MODx project out of frustration after a multi-year search for an open source CMF (Content Management Framework). We needed a solution that would allow us to quickly build clean XHTML/CSS sites and web applications (i.e., a sensible, robust and extendable API without extended learning curves), and that also worked as a great marketing-site CMS. While MODx began as an add-on hack of Et**ite, we ultimately found ourselves in the "interesting" position of having to choosing between forking the project or abandoning over a thousand hours of work. We chose dinnerware. Since then, we've significantly enhanced the API and rewritten much of the application.
    (If you're interrested, read Ryan's Looking back, looking forward post).

    Granted, the codebase has a few quirks but as Ryan points out MODx already is a very flexible and versatile tool. I came from 2 years contributing to Textpattern, and I found in MODx what I loved in txp : unparalleled flexibility, very nice template system and... a great community ! In a nutshell, I like systems which works for you, not the other way around :P I can only imagine that's why you (and I) love Vanilla so much :)

    What I love about MODx ?

    Real separation between content and presentation for starters. I should be obvious : well, it's not ! Remember having to hack the core code of a system, a plugin or module to get your layout and styles to work as expected, fix standard compliancy or accessibility issues ? Well, I know I do and now it's the first thing I check out when testing a new system. Most of them don't fit the bill...

    Most systems have a rigid way to structure content. Usually, content has a limited structure: Title, Summary, Body. Extensions (plugins, modules or the likes) sometimes offer to manage different types of content (images, products, job offers…): but again, they force you to use a predefined content structure which does not necessarily fit your particular needs. When they do offer a way to create custom content fields, they are either limited in number or in types. You can create any type of custom content fields: text, rich text, number, date, images, checkbox, dropdown, email, url… with no limitations whatsoever. The best part: you can do so directly from the backend, without ever having to alter the database structure manually. Each custom field is linked to a given template: that’s why the custom fields are called Template Variables in MODx. It allows you to define which templates can use the custom variables, and possibly define several content structure if needed. You can use, style and place those content field easily: a simple tag, [*my_template_variable*], and you can display the content wherever you like, the way you want it displayed. Better yet, if you need to make it available for frontend editing, just add a # before the variable name [*#my_template_variable*]. Pretty easy, uh?

    For a designer like me, it's a dream come true, I confess :P

    Ouch, I didn't mean to hack the thread with a selling pitch (by now you'll have guessed I am a sort of MODx evangelist :P), but since you asked about where MODx comes from and what it stands for...

    Back to the subject, I love the idea of having a nice integration between MODx and Vanilla. My clients sure need as much efficiency as they can, and for me this means a lightweight core with a total separation between content and presentation + nice templating + a well thought out API to help customize the app...
  • edited February 2008
    Here's some discussions of this topic on the MODx forums:EDIT: If you would like to play around with the code that I wrote, you can download it from my post on the Vanilla-MODx Integration thread.
This discussion has been closed.