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lord_dupalski

How many modules are there in Processwire? Compare to MODX?

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I'm undecided whether I'm going to use modx or processwire as my CMS on my first ever project, it's a small business website about a scrap recycling company.

MODX is nice it gives the same creative freedom as PW but it has 551 modules/plugins which  they call extras, and that could help me add features on my site without coding.

I haven't found the total numbers of modules in PW yet after search on google and the main website.

Are the modules here in PW enough so that I could add cool features on my site? Or MODX still has the advantage when It comes to modules/extras? 

I like the simpler workflow and back end of PW that's why I'm considering PW and also because of the quick replies I get from the community and they are friendlier.

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You can't compare mudule count between MODX and ProcessWire. ProcessWire is in first place a framework, while MODX is in first place a CMS. (MODX is called a CMF content management framework, but after working with it for more than a year, I don't know why they call it that way)

With ProcessWire, we don't need gallery modules, modules to get the first child, modules to generate thumbnails, modules to find pages. These are all core in ProcessWire. This lack in the MODX core will automatically result in a much larger scale of modules. And if Module development was easier in MODX, I think the amount of modules in MODX was at least double in size.

So counting Modules is not a fair comparison. 

MODX is nice it gives the same creative freedom as PW 

The freedom in MODX is locked in chunks and snippets. These methods make it relative save for editors to use them in content fields. But it has huge drawbacks:

- Snippet can only receive variables of the type string for example.

- Logic in snippets etc is stored in database, this logic needs to be entered in the browser.

  (you could link in this snippet to an external file, but it still needs a page save to regenerate the cache. In MODX, it's the cache that get parsed by PHP, and if a parse error occurs, the line number of the error is not the same as the line number of the 'file' editted )

In the end the slogan 'creative freedom' fit's better for ProcessWire then for MODX.

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MODX is nice it gives the same creative freedom as PW

I never used MODX, but based on the talks we had here in the forum I'm strongly convinced that this is not true. We have some heavy MODX ex-users here that may confirm—or not—this.

As Martijn said, don't count the modules. I think one of the reasons PW doesn't have more modules is because people don't feel the need for them as much as in other system. You can do so much only with the core...

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I used modX heavily for 2-3 years and thought it was the bomb. When I found PW I realised modx was good but was not the holy grail I originally thought.

Modules in PW seem to be a lot tighter than in modX - they just seem to work. But to be honest, I hardly ever reach for a module in PW - the core and brilliant API provide so much functionality that modules are often completely unnecessary for lesser complex sites.

Community in both platforms is great, the difference is there is a core of extremely knowledgable people here at PW, and they are always willing to help. The willingness to provide assistance at the modX forum is also good and the users I found to be very friendly, but I found many users were not so knowledgeable and so the information provided was not of such a high standard. Sometimes actually just plain incorrect.

These are just my observations, I hope they help. For the record, I really rate modX and it's developers, it's leagues ahead of many similar CMS/CMFs, but having now experienced PW for about a year I would not go back. No way. It's be like going back to using a 56k modem, so sad!

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I really don't get the "modules are all in the core" thing?

I started using WP not too long ago ( 1 month )  and I download plugins to add additional features without coding.

You mean that's  all in the core? It's just plain alienating to me.

Sorry for my poor understanding, but my understanding of what it meant is:

1) All features (plugins,modules) is already installed in PW installation in default? which is obviously not the case or,

2) I have to code modules my self, sigh I only have decent html css skills but pretty basic PHP skills and I mean BASIC.

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#2 is correct. You do have to create modules (additional functionality) yourself. But you do not do it from ground up. ProcessWire provides you with capability to create custom content types, which consist of fields. Those fields are accessible via API. Those two features combined make possible the creation of functionalities usually provided by third-party modules elsewhere with a couple lines of code in the template file on the fly. You could build modules with admin interface, but it is not necessary in most cases.

If you never coded a line in PHP it may seem hard (though it is not), but if you have not, MODx is probably not a right choice for you anyway. Just give it a try, go through a tutorial or two and then make a decision. If you do not want to code at all, go for something like Wordpress or Joomla or any of the other million CMS' out there.

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I really don't get the "modules are all in the core" thing?

I started using WP not too long ago ( 1 month )  and I download plugins to add additional features without coding.

You mean that's  all in the core? It's just plain alienating to me.

Sorry for my poor understanding, but my understanding of what it meant is:

1) All features (plugins,modules) is already installed in PW installation in default? which is obviously not the case or,

2) I have to code modules my self, sigh I only have decent html css skills but pretty basic PHP skills and I mean BASIC.

Eheh, what a mess... I will try to answer anyway.

I think no one said that all the modules are in the core, what was said is that what is on the core (there are modules on the core, but that's not the point here) is more than enough to build a site easily. Besides that, the few modules that exist (not so few anymore) are in average of high quality and mostly useful, comparing to other systems that have lots of modules that are unusable or of poor quality.

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I really don't get the "modules are all in the core" thing?

Sorry, obviously did not explain that very well.

The PW API is extremely good - as as a result some cases where you would install a module in modX there is simply no need in PW.

It's been awhile since I used modx but from memory (as an example) there is a module "getField" to help get a page element from any page. In PW you would use a simple API call to get any element from any page, no added modules required. To me that just feels like the "right way" to do it.

Martijn probably explained it better in comment #2 above.

BTW, another thing to be aware of is that more modules is not always a good thing - lot of modules often resolves to more potential security issues.

PW is extremely secure as far as I can tell and Ryan (main developer) vets most publically available modules too I believe. This is a definite plus for me.

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MODX is nice it gives the same creative freedom as PW

Such a line just makes me wonder a few things: "have you been looking in this forum about modx" ?

"how long have you been on the modx forum" ?

"history of modx evo" - "modx revo compared to processwire" - how many cms'es have you worked with ?

You have not been working long enough with processwire.

But hey being an ex modx-er my self I`ve been there exactly as you and I know very well it takes

more time for a less experienced coder to grow into something like processwire.

There is only one way and that is work a lot more with processwire and you will see it all

for your self.

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tried wp, joomla, drupal ( bad experience ), modx, and now pw.

first week now on pw.

tried modx for a while did understand the concept

used my own html-css completely my own design.

that's why I said it gave me complete freedom over my design. never exp that on the first 3 cms

for the first  3 above, for a noob like me will definitely almost gonna be using a theme.

not my own design.

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I said:

With ProcessWire, we don't need gallery modules, modules to get the first child, modules to generate thumbnails, modules to find pages. These are all core in ProcessWire.

I formulated this wrong, sorry. What I really meant is that this is easy to accomplice with the ProcessWire API.

Examples:

'Redirect to the first child'. In MODX you need a module 'FirstChildRedirect', the ProcessWire way:

$session->redirect($page->child->url);

To get the highest parent of an page in the tree.

In MODX, you could make it yourself difficult with code or install UltimateParent. The processWire way:

$page->rootParent;

Create a Gallery of images:

In MODX you can install 'Gallery' and study the documentation.

The ProcessWire way:

echo "<ul>";
foreach ($page->images as $image) {
    $thumb = $image->size(100,100); // create thumbnail
    echo "<li>";
    echo "<a href='$image->url'>";
    echo "<img src='$thumb->url' alt='$thumb->description'>";
    echo "</a>";
    echo "</li>";
}
echo "</ul>";

The template language of MODX is MODX only, outside of MDX this knowledge is almost useless. You don't need to know much PHP to get the 'same' results in ProcessWire. But if you drop ProcessWire for some reason, you've build some experience with PHP. And that is valuable.
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googled stuffs for hours now , asked the community, read the documentation and finally understood what it meant.

PW makes more sense to me slowly now.

Thanks for the replies. Much appreciated. :)

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Hi dupalski

I think the problem is that whichever system you use, the minute you want to change the layout a bit you are still looking at code of one sort or another.

Whether you're editing a snippet that comes with a MODx module (I forget exactly how it works) or you're writing one of Martijn's simple examples above you will see some form of code at some point.

The thing is to not be afraid of the fact that in MODx it's abstracted away behind {{curly braces}} or [!other things]] whilst ProcessWire throws real PHP your way - they're both equally as simple to break, but it's infinitely easier in ProcessWire to do what you want out of the box (with a little learning - there's a learning curve with both so why not learn some actual PHP rather than abstract code ;)).

I would recommend downloading and installing ProcessWire, and then looking at some of the tutorials - this is probably the most concise example that gets you going quickly with a guides through templates, fields and pages and if you understand those basics by the end then you'll have begun to unlock some of the power of ProcessWire and hopefully be eager for more!

Some of the docs can look a little scary, but honestly if you know HTML and CSS then that's half of the battle - the tutorials can help you with a lot of the rest and doing it in ProcessWire you're not restricted to what the modules output for you in terms of HTML - as you can see in Martijn's example above of outputting images from a page that's pretty simple and you can apply whatever HTML and CSS you like around it without worrying about modules not getting update by their authors or things like that (disclaimer: they're all pretty up to date here, but I'd wager that not all of Wordpress' 1,355 gallery plugins are up to date - just an extreme example from another system there :)).

Following on from that disclaimer in the paragraph above, that example actually highlights how the number of modules doesn't necessarily mean much either if there are lots of the same thing or, as Martijn says, they are things that can be done in so little code in ProcessWire that they're not worth writing a whole module for. Every plugin/module in any system actually adds some overhead, whether it's parsing CMS-specific tags in other systems or getting basic information - it all adds a little to the server load or page load times. That said, using plain HTML will always be faster than using any CMS so there is always a trade-off no matter what you do.

I think I might need to take a breath now :D Anyway, my suggestion would be to follow a tutorial, have a play and ask on the forums if you still have questions after that.

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Hey dupalski

Just out of interest, what kind of features on your site do you think might need either Modules or Extras?

I'm a long time MODX user who has just started using ProcessWire so I understand your question. To be fair to both systems, they're both terrific and you really can't go wrong by choosing either. Particularly with a site as small as you mention. You're not going to make a bad decision so just get stuck in.

The only thing I would say is to eventually give each CMS a proper go. I know time restrictions mean you have to choose between either CMS right now and roll with it, but I've found each CMS works a little differently and has different strengths. Knowing both can only make you grow as a designer/developer and it makes no sense to me how some people choose *a* CMS and stick with it at the exclusion of everything else. I haven't replaced MODX as my CMS but am simply broadening my toolset.

What I will say about PW is that since "joining", I've found the community to be incredibly helpful. MODX community is very helpful too. But what I particularly like about PW is how communicative Ryan (main developer) is about roadmap, features, the upcoming release etc etc. Good luck with the site.

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The great thing about PW's reliance on real PHP for templating and everything else is that there are loads of really helpful resources to help learners and improvers -

  • This forum and the PW main site
  • PW-related resources by community members Teppo's FlamingRuby & Kongondo's site -  and others
  • And if you get really stuck/interested http://php.net/ and the myriad of other PHP resources out there.

I would go as far as to say that there isn't a templating language/system that is anywhere near as well supported.

<edit>Man, it's hard to post a link in here these days!</edit>

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