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Weekly update – 19 November 2021


ryan
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This week we've had a mixture of core updates and more work on the PageAutosave/LivePreview module. In the core we have mostly maintenance updates and issue resolutions. I'm not going to bump the version number this week as I'd like to get a bit more added to this version first. 

One feature request that appears in the core this week is the ability to specify colors for RepeaterMatrix item types (idea from @Ivan Gretsky). If you have any version of RepeaterMatrix and you use the current core dev branch, you can specify the background color for any repeater item type by placing a color hex code in the repeater type label (like at the end of it, but wherever). For instance, typing in #777777 (or just #777) would make the repeater items of that type have a grey background rather than the default color background. Though whatever color you choose, note that the text color is white, so don't choose too light of a color. (The hex color code is of course removed from the item labels.) 

The PageAutosave and LivePreview module also got several updates this week, bringing it that much closer to being production ready:

  • Added support for automatic detection of best placement for live preview window position based on available space. It will choose the correct location and size either to the right, left, above or below your page editor window. 
  • Added support for remembering live preview window position in a cookie. So if you setup your preferred layout for editor window and live preview window, ProcessWire will continue to use it.
  • Added a new option to support automatic replacement of individual page field values without having to add your own `pw-value-*` classes. Meaning, you can now gain the benefit of field-value updates in your live preview without PW having to re-render the page. This applies primarily to text-based fields (title, body, etc.) that are part of the page being viewed. 
  • LivePreview editor and preview windows now talk to each other with JS rather than use SSE/streaming. I found that it just works more reliably that way, puts less load on the server, and [to my surprise] also seems to be faster. The SSE option is still there in the module config, but it's no longer the default. The only time where I think SSE might be preferable is if you want to monitor changes made to the page from outside of the page editor (like from the API) in a live preview fashion, as the SSE option will pick those up too.

In addition to the above, numerous minor bug fixes, improvements and optimizations were added. If you want to grab this new version (which is still a development/testing version), it's posted in the ProDrafts, ProDevTools and ProFields boards. 

There's more to cover with this module still. I've been so focused on it that I haven't yet started working with htmx. Though I did spend quite a bit of time in the docs and it looks amazing. From what I understand as it relates to this module, htmx could bring a lot of greatness to the front-end preview window, so I'm anxious to get into that, and even more excited to explore the possibilities it opens elsewhere in ProcessWire. Also, how awesome is it that the author of htmx stopped by to say hello and answer questions here in the forums, that made my day — big thanks to @totally not an htmx shill for joining the discussion, I hope I'll have some good questions before long too. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
 

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