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Name Format Children


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As described in this post (https://processwire.com/talk/topic/8551-custom-urls-for-pages/?p=82742) the option 'Name Format Children' under the tab 'Family' in template settings doesn't work properly and also not as expected. I had a look inside the code and made some changes which are working properly, which offers much more options, more consistency and less code too.

The result is the following. You have 3 Options for generating name and title, which could be combined in endless variations.
Name is always derived from title, same like creating pages manually.

  • type date: if function detects # character anywhere in the string, conversion will be: deletion of # and string will be used as format parameter for PHP date() function
  • type field: if string is a fieldname of the parent page the value of this field will be used
  • type string: if string doesn't fit to the 2 preceeding it will be taken as it is

All parts (separated by comma) will be composed in the order of setting. You can use unlimited numbers of parts

I made a pull request on github: https://github.com/ryancramerdesign/ProcessWire/pull/831

Example screenshots

Setting ...

will result in


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Yes, the title is generated and the name too, as a derivation from the title. (have a look at the system notice on top of the screenshot) Derivation works completely in the same way, if you add a page manually and type in the page title. I think thats what most user would expect.

You have read the post, where I described, how it is working actually (link in the first post of this topic). This way seems to be unlogical to me.

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Yes, I took part in that conversation too. But it seems to me that the way it was supposed to work is to autogenerate name for a page on a pattern at creation time but not from the title. As there is no title on creation yet we could:

  • either generate name from parent fields, dates, custon text + numbers, or
  • apply the pattern on the first save (but not generate the title field by that pattern).

If using your solution we have to:

  • either not use title field for output as you probably would not want to use something like "prefix Wednezday...", or
  • save the page to generate name field value and then change the title once again.

I could misunderstand you as I did not apply you patch to the core.

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@ Ivan

Thats not true. Now you cannot use any field of the parent page to generate the name. Only the generation from date function is possible now. Try it out!
But with my solution you could use all the parent page fields + date + some string in the order you want it. This is obviously more + inclusion what we have.

About title:
Now you get, whatever you defined in the setting the title 'untitled' or a title generated from date which you maybe want to overwrite anyway! No other possibilities until now!

Maybe I understoud you completely wrong, or you my solution. :rolleyes:  Have a look in github.

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Since there are a lot of topics about the same theme, I decided to write a small module which overwrites the core function ___SetupPageName().
The module allows now to populate the page name

  1. using proprietary date() function. Works like PHP date() with follwing exceptions: 
    Everything between the brackets is detected as format string, meaning no 2nd parameter possible. No need to use quotes around the format string. Spaces not allowed.
  2. from any page property, page field including subfields, parent property, parent field etc. Meaning everything what you get with $page->get(); including dot syntax.

The function will give error and warnings in case of unproper settings, but creates the page with name 'untitled' anyway.

Download here: http://modules.processwire.com/modules/process-setup-page-name/
Some Examples
The following settings in parent template 'Name Format Children' will

assign name immediately.

  • date(Y)
  • date('Y-m-d')
  • parent.title
  • parent.parent.title
  • parent.id
  • template.id

assign name after page saving and/or population of depending field. Overwrites 'untitled' after all fields which are defined in parent template are populated.

  • id (any other page property)
  • pagefieldname, multiple pagefieldnames

show a warning.

  • pagefieldname (value not populated)

show an error.

  • date() // empty, no format assigned
  • date(Y // missing closing bracket
  • date(Y md) // unallowed space
  • notexistingfieldname
  • notexistingproperty
  • existingfield.notexistingsubfield

The function in the module  ___SetupPageName() could be completely copied as is to the core class $pages.

Would be nice to see this in core. :)

Related topics:


Any recommandations after testing welcome. Download here:

Download here: http://modules.processwire.com/modules/process-setup-page-name/

Edit: small enhancement to prevent display of warning twice.
23.12.15 multiple values possible now
24.12.15 made compatible with PW 3.x
27.12.15 Update Version 1.0.8
09.01.16 Update Version 1.1.0

Edited by kixe
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From now you can use multiple values separated by space. Example: "parent.title date(Y) myfield". Page name will remain 'untitled' until last required field is populated.
You will get informed about this by a warning.

Merry Christmas.

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Hey kixe,

Thank you - this is awesome and solves one of my biggest issues with PageTable fields - getting meaningful page names without the possibility of conflicting names which I don't think the user should ever have to consider.

One minor thing (but critical) - when installing with PW 3.x I get this error:

Catchable fatal error: Argument 1 passed to ProcessWire\Pages::__construct() must be an instance of ProcessWire\ProcessWire, none given, called in /wire/core/Modules.php on line 481 and defined in /wire/core/Pages.php on line 128

It is easily fixed by adding an empty construct method to your module, like this:

public function __construct() {
    // intentionally empty

I am definitely looking forward to using this with all my PageTable fields!

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Ive just installed this module but get the following error. Any Ideas?

Error: Call to undefined function _() (line 56 of F:\Programs\wamp\www\tml\site\modules\ProcessSetupPageName\ProcessSetupPageName.module) 

This error message was shown because you are logged in as a Superuser. Error has been logged.
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hi kixe,

thank you for your work, i can use this in my current project :)

but i found two bugs:

  • date('d.m.Y H:i:s') forename surname
    gives an error due to the space in date()
  • date('dmY',created) forename surname

i don't need date('Ymd',val), but just tried it and think it would be good to handle this one as well. didn't look at your code but i think the regex should get some fine tuning :)

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Hi Bernhard,
thanks for the effort you have made testing my module. I think my regex is ok. Maybe I have to modify the detection of multiple fields, which happens before. For now it is a single space character. Since spaces are not allowed in page names you don't need to use spaces in the date function this will be anyway translated later (space -> dash).

Does it make sense to provide a timestamp from a page property or datetime field, since you could handle this in another way?
s a bit painful to use the date() function, contrary to the correct PHP syntax
. Meaning I didn't define any timestamp constants like 'val' or 'created' in the module. To prevent confusion I want to stay using correct date() syntax.

For your second example you can easily use: "created forename surname" and you will get the same result.

I don't understand date('dmY',val). If val is a pagefield, which returns a timestamp please use: 'val forename username' after configuring the output of field 'val' to 'dmY' in the field settings.
If you then need other output formats in the templates you can do:

echo date('Y-m-d h:i',$page->getUnformatted('val'));
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hi kixe,

sorry - i was unclear.

"think it would be good to handle this one as well" was meant as "would be good to handle this as a wrong input" and maybe give an appropriate error message that helps the user find a correct string. "val" was just a placeholder for any value. as i said i don't need this because i switched to standard name for children + creating title field on page save per custom module.

i agree that there is room for improvement in the core at this special step of naming children automatically :)

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I dont know if this is a problem of the module or from PW in general.

The path names on a multilingual site are only changed for the default language and not for the other languages. In my case I use parent title and date. In German (default) it shows me both, but in English I only get the parent title without the date.

Best regards

It is not a big problem because you can change the pathname afterwards via a hook for the other languages.

Edited by Juergen
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Thanks for reporting this. If I find a little time I will have a deeper look. Multilanguage support isn't tested very well until now.

There are still some other situations where the module doesn't work:

  • If you want to generate name from a file field (selector like 'myimagefield.description') you will get an error.
  • Name generation from a ProfieldsTable column is also not possible.

I agree multilanguage name generation should be supported.

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You can do it in the module. Here is the code of an module which changes the path names for multilingual site.

 * ProcessWire 2.x 
 * Copyright (C) 2014 by Ryan Cramer 
 * Licensed under GNU/GPL v2, see LICENSE.TXT
 * http://processwire.com
class CorrectPagenames extends WireData implements Module
    public static function getModuleInfo()
        return array(
            'title' => 'CorrectPagenames',
            'version' => 1,
            'summary' => 'Output custom path names multilingual',
            'singular' => true, // Limit the module to a single instance
            'autoload' => true // Load the module with every call to ProcessWire 
    public function init()
        // init() is called when the module is loaded.
        // saveReady is a hook after processing the previous changes of the page,
        // but just before those changes are saved to the database.
        // It's called for each page that's being saved, no matter if it's in
        // the backend or in your templates via the api.

        $this->addHookBefore('Pages::saveReady', $this, 'beforeSaveReady');

    public function beforeSaveReady($event)
        $page = $event->arguments[0];
        //create custom path name for children events
            $datestart  = $page->publish_from;  // I use the publish from date for the path name
            $datestart  = date('Y-m-d', $datestart);
            $eventtitle = $page->parent->title; // I also use the parent title for the path name
            $page->name = $eventtitle . '-' . $datestart; //putting it all together for the default language
            foreach ($this->languages as $lang) { //multilanguage starts here
                if ($lang->isDefault())
                $lname               = $lang->id;
                $pageName            = $page->title->getLanguageValue($lang);
                $pageName            = $pageName . '-' . $datestart;// create custom path for other languages
                $pagelanguage        = "name" . $lang;
                $page->$pagelanguage = $pageName; //this sets the path name for each language 

You can take a look on how to achive it (as an inspiration ;) )

Best regards

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I have install this module on PW 3.0.12 and when I try to edit a template, this error popup..​

Fatal error: Using $this when not in object context in /site/modules/ProcessSetupPageName-master/ProcessSetupPageName.module on line 68

Do you have any idea why I have this error?

Thank you

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