Jonathan Dart

Module: Spex: An asset and template management module

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Hi Guys,

I'd like to share a module the development team at metric marketing and I came up with. I have a lot of experience with the Symfony framework, and when working with PW I came to miss some of the practices I grew accustomed to when working with PW. This module is aimed at bridging my previous experience with doing things to PW way.

I have a big readme on the github project so be sure to check that out to get all the details: https://github.com/jdart/Spex

From the readme "The project makes use of lessphp, less.js, jQuery, modernizr, Minify and the ProcessWire Minify Module."

There's an example site in the github repo that illustrates how Spex works:

https://github.com/jdart/Spex/tree/master/example-site

In short your template file isn't responsible for including the head and foot etc... and instead is injected into a layout. In addition to this is adds some conventions for adding css/less/js to the page so that it can be combined and minified.

Have a look through it and let me know if you have any feedback.

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Looks cool Jonathan! I look forward to taking a closer look soon. In reading the notes, I noticed what you said of head.inc/foot.inc and just wanted to mention that most of us don't actually use that method. It's just what it is in the default profile purely because it's the simplest for newbies to understand (and most similar to the WordPress approach). So the use of head.inc/foot.inc is really more about making things easy to understand and a gentle introduction, but it's probably not the way to go as your needs grow. 

I also noticed that you use _init.php – is this related to ProcessWire's _init.php using the $config->prependTemplateFile and $config->appendTemplateFile options, or is this something different? I also see in your API methods addStyles/addScripts -- do these use the $config->styles and $config->scripts or is this something different? Maybe I will find my answers when I get more time to explore the module. Thanks for your work and sharing this with us. 

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That's fair enough regarding the head.inc etc...

I used the convention of a file named _init.php based on the way you use prependTemplateFile in your example site profiles, but spex just automatically calls is before the page render event.

addStyles/etc... are in fact using $config->styles internally. They're just there as a bit of syntactical sugar and to handle the compiling of .less files.

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I've updated Spex to include support for "slots" and image preloading.

Check out the details below: 

https://github.com/jdart/Spex#slot--hasslot

https://github.com/jdart/Spex#addimage

I'd also like to add that there are equivalent procedural helpers available that don't require the $spex variable:

https://github.com/jdart/Spex#procedural-helpers

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Jonathan, when ready, would you mind adding this to the modules directory? Not everyone sees the modules here in the forums and we want to make sure those interested are able to find it. 

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Hi Jonathan, it's really nice & fun to use Spex!
 
Now as I have played around with it when switching debug mode to false I run into an issue that breaks the minify process and end up with a page without styles.
 
In the modules method compileStyle a link to a stylesheet appended by a ?v=100 isn't recognized correctly. A vardump of the pathinfo outputs something like:

array(4) { 
    ["dirname"]   => string(34) "/site/modules/AdminTemplateColumns" 
    ["basename"]  => string(30) "AdminTemplateColumns.css?v=100" 
    ["extension"] => string(9) "css?v=100" 
    ["filename"]  => string(20) "AdminTemplateColumns" 
} 

The extension isn't recognized. As the $stylesheet is a URL at first and not a filesystem link I come up to pass it through parse_url() first and use that path. Also needed is to keep the extracted path and return it back if it isn't a less-file:

	$sheetInfo1 = parse_url($stylesheet);
	$sheetInfo2 = pathinfo($sheetInfo1['path']);

	if ($sheetInfo2['extension'] != 'less')
		return $sheetInfo1['path'];

This solved the issue with breaking the Minify.

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Hi Guys,

Based on some feedback I decided to favour the AIOM+ module over the Minify module, which means I no longer need the less compiler in Spex, I also removed all other 3rd party libraries to make it less opinionated. Starting with v0.8.0 the Spex module no longer bundles less.js, less.php, modernizr and jquery. Spex is actually a lot less code now which is fine by me.

Check out the base template now: https://github.com/jdart/Spex/blob/master/example-site/layouts/_base.php

vs before:

https://github.com/jdart/Spex/blob/0dd56629232d68be4f6248555caf47f6972dad87/example-site/layouts/_base.php

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I have one question that becomes a problem for me. I have pages with children as something like content blocks. One should render a image, another a text and so on. When i loop through the children and render it, then i became the whole page... Maybe i overlooked something but is there a way to render only the template file without the _base.php markup?

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How do you do the loop? Some code would be useful, also which template (file/s?) do they use and which one(s) uses the parent (where the loop happens)?

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I have set up the _base.php file with the markup for header and footer. Then i have a default layout file with only one line:

echo $spex->slot('content')

Now i have a page, lets say a feature page of an application. As childrens of these page i have pages with feature 1, feature 2 and so on. Feature 1 should render a headline, feature 2 an image and maybe feature 3 a table.

In the parent page i loop over the childrens:

foreach ($page->children() as $c) {
  echo $c->render();
}

The result is, that i became the whole page markup with header and footer with each call of the render method. This is probably the expected result. But maybe there a way to render only the content of the template file without the html from the _base.php file.

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EDIT:

now I'm on desktop.

You can simply set a temporary $config var to force the output of the $layout_body without the content of the _base.php.

Simply define $config->onlybodycontent = true before starting the loop and in top of your _base.php check for it:

<?php
if($config->onlybodycontent) {
	echo $layout_body;
	return;
}
?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
   ...

This is same like you can use it with content loading via ajax into a page:

if($config->ajax || $config->onlybodycontent) {
Edited by horst

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Regarding the below, you can also $spex->setLayout(false) to disable the layout.

EDIT:

now I'm on desktop.

You can simply set a temporary $config var to force the output of the $layout_body without the content of the _base.php.

Simply define $config->onlybodycontent = true before starting the loop and in top of your _base.php check for it:

<?php
if($config->onlybodycontent) {
	echo $layout_body;
	return;
}
?>
<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
   ...

This is same like you can use it with content loading via ajax into a page:

if($config->ajax || $config->onlybodycontent) {
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This is tricky, maybe I should only enable the layout stuff if the page being rendered is the current $page and bail otherwise... I'll try some stuff out.

I have set up the _base.php file with the markup for header and footer. Then i have a default layout file with only one line:

echo $spex->slot('content')

Now i have a page, lets say a feature page of an application. As childrens of these page i have pages with feature 1, feature 2 and so on. Feature 1 should render a headline, feature 2 an image and maybe feature 3 a table.

In the parent page i loop over the childrens:

foreach ($page->children() as $c) {
  echo $c->render();
}

The result is, that i became the whole page markup with header and footer with each call of the render method. This is probably the expected result. But maybe there a way to render only the content of the template file without the html from the _base.php file.

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@geniestreiche 

I've updated the master branch of the github repo with a change that might solve the problem for you, let me know what you find.

This is tricky, maybe I should only enable the layout stuff if the page being rendered is the current $page and bail otherwise... I'll try some stuff out.

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This is tricky, maybe I should only enable the layout stuff if the page being rendered is the current $page and bail otherwise... I'll try some stuff out.

But then, is it possible to force rendering _with_ layout from a (let's say kind of) controller page?

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But then, is it possible to force rendering _with_ layout from a (let's say kind of) controller page?

Can you give me a bit more detail of an example when you'd want that?

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Thanks guys.

With Horsts suggestion and with $spex->setLayout(false) i became a blank site where only the child templates are rendered, no header, no footer in my case. With the update from Jonathan it seems we are on the right road again  :blink:. I have the _base markup and within the child templates. But now in the child templates the $page variable contains not the fields from the child template but from the parent page.

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Can you give me a bit more detail of an example when you'd want that?

For example if you have a hidden tree with children containing different downloadable content and one public page with url /download/ that get information which downloadable page is requested by session or some input. The current page is /download/ but I want to render and display another page. Does this make sense?

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Thanks guys.

With Horsts suggestion and with $spex->setLayout(false) i became a blank site where only the child templates are rendered, no header, no footer in my case. With the update from Jonathan it seems we are on the right road again  :blink:. I have the _base markup and within the child templates. But now in the child templates the $page variable contains not the fields from the child template but from the parent page.

I was overriding the $page variable naively, I've pushed a change that should address the issue. Let me know if it addresses your issue. 

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For example if you have a hidden tree with children containing different downloadable content and one public page with url /download/ that get information which downloadable page is requested by session or some input. The current page is /download/ but I want to render and display another page. Does this make sense?

Hi Horst,

I added a function to the Spex class that hopefully solves that use case: renderPage

So in the template for the page at the url "/download/" you might do something like... 

echo $spex->renderPage($the_real_page);

That changes the page that Spex treats as the request page, i.e. it's as if the request was for $the_real_page rather than wire('page').

It's a bit ugly but seems to be a edge case, so maybe it's ok. What do you think?

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I had a dream last night that Jonathan updated the module. When i woke up i realize that was not a dream  :grin: . It works now for me. Thanks for your work...

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@Jonathan: looks good! Thanks.

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