Howdy! Welcome to my humble web presence. I'm Mark Hamstra, the CEA at my latest venture modmore, where I spend most of my time developing and providing support for awesome tools and extras for MODX Revolution.

This website is where I share my thoughts, cool projects and other oddities related to MODX, xPDO and ExtJS. Sometimes I post three blogs in a day, sometimes there's no update in a year. Read a random article.

Get ready for MODXpo 2013 in Cologne!

It's that time of the year again. Working on projects and, oh look at the time fly by! I recall telling myself I wouldn't host MODXpo 2013 so I could just attend a conference instead of stressing myself out... yet here I am again. Along with a bunch of German MODX ambassadors and of course the MODX team, I'm on the organising committee for MODXpo Europe 2013.

Here's the facts you need right now:

  • November 1st (Friday) and November 2nd (Saturday) 2013.
  • 2 days, 1 track, 15 or so sessions, breakout rooms available for work/workshops/hackathons.
  • Lunch and drinks are included on both days.
  • KOMED Meeting-Centre at the Köln (Cologne) Media Park
  • Tickets are on sale now, with advance tickets available until August 15th at € 99. Tickets are bumped up to €149 after the 15th, and will be bumped to €199 in October. The earlier you get your tickets, the better!
  • NH Hotel Cologne Media Park is located pretty much next door. I stayed there a few months ago while visiting a Cologne MODX Meetup and am planning to for MODXpo too.
  • We're looking for speakers!

This year, MODXpo will be slightly different. It will be better. With more people involved in the organisation, a larger budget and a really, really cool conference venue it will be awesome.

Cologne is pretty too. There are talks of a Sunday touristy thing for people who are in town the day after as well, and of course there'll be plenty of opportunity to meet and greet MODXers.

Oh, and I'm bringing modmore swag and discounts, so you really have no excuse to miss this event.

Get your tickets | More information | Speak at MODXpo


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Meet modmore!

Oh man, has it been over a month already? Please allow me to finally introduce to you modmore - More for MODX.

modmore is what I've been working on since resigning from my job at MODX. It launched for the general public on June 16th. My goal with modmore is to build a brand (which is bigger than just me) that makes working with MODX easier, better or just plain awesomer. Right now there's some really cool premium extras that provide designers and developers better tools for their clients, but in the future there will be other things, too, that I'm not yet going to talk about, hehe.

10% of all revenue of modmore is directly donated to MODX, too, which is just one of the ways I try to contribute to the future of the MODX core.

Thanks to modmore, I also get the chance to revamp some of the open source extras I've developed in the past, something I've only had limited time for in the past year. I just updated HandyMan to 1.0.0-pl for example (basically it works again after being broken for.. I don't know how long), I've started working on an all-new ImportX 2.0 that will blow your socks off and VersionX is next on the list with some nice new features to keep your content secured.

So.. what can you get at modmore? Besides €15 free credit for your first purchase when you sign up now, I mean.

At time of writing, three premium add-ons are available.

Redactor

Currently the #1 selling add-on, Redactor is a really sweet rich text editor. It is based on years of work from Imperavi, and JP DeVries and myself have been spending a lot of time on making a really smooth integration. Since the first few beta releases I've been using it to write a lot of content myself and I really love the clean editing experience. Oh, but don't take my word for it - check out what others said about Redactor.

Redactor is available for €25 (that's give or take USD 33 / GBP 21,50 at current exchange rates) and you can read more and purchase it here.

SimpleAB

If you're working with a larger client that wants to optimise conversions, SimpleAB is for you. It's a tool that lets you natively do A/B aka Split testing within MODX. Because it's all native, there's no performance hit from talking to external services and the user has no way of knowing if they're seeing a certain variation of your design or content. SimpleAB is available for € 49 (~ USD 65 / GBP 42) with everything you need to know here.

MoreGallery

The latest addition to modmore is still in beta, but it already is catching up with Redactor in terms of sales! It's almost like people were waiting for a super user friendly, fast and flexible Gallery add-on that puts their galleries in the resources tree. Cause that's what MoreGallery is! Of course with drag and drop uploads and sorting of images and pretty much infinite possibility for front-end theming. Sign up for the beta.

All in all, modmore is just getting started and the first month definitely shows the potential premium extras have in the MODX world. I can't wait to bring you more great stuff and you can count on exactly that to happen.

Read the blog post at modmore introducing the concept in a bit more detail.


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Advanced xPDO Relationship Criteria

Sometimes you need to define multiple criteria in xPDO schemas to make sure your relations are properly defined. I came across this while working on a project that needed some existing databases integrated. This specific case had one "fl_translations" table that contained the translations for thousands of objects. To get the translations for a specific object, you would need to filter that table on the "originaltable" field. For example, one row might have originaltable=fl_colors and contains the translation for the color in a specific language.

In order to properly define this relation, I went browsing the MODX core schema for some ideas, and I stumbled across a pretty much undocumented feature of xPDO Schemas: relation criteria!

Here's a snippet of the final schema:

Basically, while with a normal relation you would immediately close the <composite> (or <aggregate>) element, but if you want additional filters (criteria) on the relation, you can define that. A simple <criteria> object with a target (I presume but haven't tested that you can add an additional <criteria> object with a target of local), and inside it a JSON object with the fieldname (of the foreign object) and the value it should have (in this case, fl_colors, as that's how it was set up).

This way of defining relations is very powerful and I imagine some really complicated relations could be defined once (in the schema) and reused without knowing all the details by simply calling getMany('RelationAlias').

The core uses this type of relationship for defining the PropertySets relations on elements and also in the modAccess definition. For example, here is a snippet from the core schema for modChunk:

xPDO is quite nifty eh?


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