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Some introduction...

This module is experimental and there are probably bugs - so treat it as alpha and don't use it on production websites.

I started on this module because there have been quite a few requests for "fake" or "invisible" parent functionality and I was curious about what is possible given that the idea sort of goes against the PW page structure philosophy. I'm not sure that I will use this module myself, just because I don't really see a long list of pages under Home (or anywhere else) as untidy or cluttered. I would tend to use Lister Pro when I want to see some set of pages as a self-contained group. But maybe others will find it useful.

At the moment this module does not manipulate the breadcrumb menu in admin. So when you are editing or adding a virtual child the real location of the page is revealed in the breadcrumb menu. That's because I don't see the point in trying to comprehensively fool users about the real location of pages - I think it's better that they have some understanding of where the pages really are. But I'm open to feedback on this and it is possible to alter the breadcrumbs if there's a consensus that it would be better that way.

 

Virtual Parents

Allows pages in Page List to be grouped under a virtual parent.

This module manipulates the page list and the flyout tree menu to make it appear that one or more pages are children of another page when in fact they are siblings of that page.

Why would you do that instead of actually putting the child pages inside the parent? Mainly if you want to avoid adding the parent name as part of the URL. For example, suppose you have some pages that you want to be accessed at URLs directly off the site root: yourdomain.com/some-page/. But in the page list you want them to be appear under a parent for the sake of visual grouping or to declutter the page list under Home.

Example of how the page structure actually is

Before

Example of how the page structure appears with Virtual Parents activated

After

How it works

This module identifies the virtual parents and virtual children by way of template. You define a single template as the virtual parent template and one or more templates as the virtual child templates. Anytime pages using the child template(s) are siblings of a page using the parent template, those child pages will appear as children of the virtual parent in the page list and tree menu.

You will want to create dedicated templates for identifying virtual parents and virtual children and reserve them just for use with this module.

Features

  • Adjusts both page list and tree flyout menu to show the virtual parent/child structure, including the count of child pages.
  • Works everywhere page list is used: Page List Select / Page List Select Multiple (and therefore CKEditor link dialog).
  • Intercepts the "Add page" process in admin, so that when an attempt is made to add a child to a virtual parent, the child is added where it belongs (the next level up) and the template selection is limited to virtual child templates.
  • Intercepts moving and sorting pages in the page list, to ensure only virtual children may be moved/sorted under the virtual parent.
  • Superusers have a toggle switch at the bottom of the page list to easily disable/enable Virtual Parents in order to get a view of what the real page structure is.

Usage

Install the Virtual Parents module.

In the module config, enter pairs of parent/child template names in the form virtual_parent_template=virtual_child_template. If needed you can specify multiple pipe-separated child templates: virtual_parent_template=child_template_1|child_template_2. One pair of template names per line.

There is a checkbox in the module config to toggle Virtual Pages on and off, but it's more convenient to use this from the page list.

Notes

It's important to keep in mind the real location of the virtual child pages. This module is only concerned with adjusting the appearance of page list and tree menu for the sake of visual grouping and tidiness. In all other respects the virtual children are not children of the virtual parent at all.

It's recommended to select an icon for the virtual parent template (Advanced tab) so virtual parents are marked out in the page list as being different from normal parent pages.

Do not place real children under a virtual parent. There is some protection against this when moving pages in the page list, but when it comes to changing a page's parent via the Settings tab the only protection is common sense.

 

https://github.com/Toutouwai/VirtualParents

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Very useful if you want to create automatic breadcrumbs via a function. I had this problem by creating child pages under a parent that should not be displayed via a real URL. The parent was only to categorize the content. But in the breadcrumbs it was displayed. In my case I solved it by categorize the children via different templates, but if you have only one template for the children, this solution will not work any longer.

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