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What's new in the MODX World (#1)

New Extras are released all the time, MODX LLC is always working on the next big thing and the Community is growing exponentially. In this series I'm going to try and keep you posted on interesting initiatives and stuff coming up. Welcome to Episode 1!

In this episode:

  1. [Extras] Interesting new TV Input Types
  2. [Extras] All things Analytics
  3. [MODX] Mostly Cloudy, with a 100% chance of MODX™
  4. [Evolution] Security fix for 1.0.5 now available

1. Interesting new TV Input Types

Many consider Template Variables the number 1 reason they like MODX, which is definitely something I can relate to. However, did you know you can also develop new input types to bring it all to the next level? Well, you can!

A lot of people know about MIGX, short for Multi Items Grid TV (for MODX?), which allows you to work with a grid, or table, enabling you to add an unlimited list of items. I think it could use a cleanup, but it does what it promises on the tin and I use it quite often. 

In the last few weeks, a couple more interesting TV Input Types have been released. ColorPickerImagePlus TV Input and SuperBoxSelect.

ColorPicker is not exactly new, the first version was released back in November, but it gives you a pretty nice colorpicker with different output types (such as HEX, RGB or JSON). If you allow users to change the color of certain template aspects, ColorPicker sounds perfect for the job.

ImagePlus TV Input is for those times where the default image cropping of PhpThumb(Of) is not enough, and you need to define exactly what is shown yourself to prevent weird results (like seeing only half of a face). While there's still a few bugs and I wouldn't recommend production use yet, this is definitely something to keep an eye out for as it gets further developed.

SuperBoxSelect, by the same author as ColorPicker and also first released in November, is a variation to the default ResourceList input type which allows you to select multiple resources through a combo (dropdown/select) box. 

2. All things Analytics

We all like Google Analytics (and making sure manager users don't show in the stats!), and over the past period a number of addons specifically for Google Analytics have been released.

First we have the Google Analytics Dashboard (for 2.1), its MODX 2.2 spin off using a Dashboard Widget and Big Brother, all of which request the Analytics data through its API (after authorization of course) and shows it to you the moment you login to your Manager. I've been using both the GA Dashboard Widget and Big Brother, and I have to admit I prefer Big Brother. Its authorization process was smoother (and looks super fancy, too!), and more matched the information I expected on the dashboard.

We also have two extras to put the analytics code into your templates, which are Analytics and Google Analytics (the naming isn't as original as Big Brother!). 

3. Mostly Cloudy, with a 100% chance of MODX™

.. or at least that's what the MODX team is telling us!

MODX Cloud, which is currently in private beta, will (again) revolutionize the MODX world by offering a cloud based platform where you get a fully configured installation of MODX Revolution in the Cloud. This new infrastructure, which is powered by MODX Sponsor Softlayer, will likely come with all the flexibility and benefits of cloud hosting: super fast and easy deployments, easy migration between servers and of course scaling with a click of a button (if that!) when you most need it. Rumours tell me there are some specific MODX benefits attached to Cloud as well (no specifics here though!), and from the looks of it you will also be able of getting access to MODX Cloud through the all new "coming soon" MODX College.

Seeing how the Revo development on Github has been a tad slower lately compared to the past weeks, I'm going to bet the team is working hard to get this out there! ;)

4. Security fix for MODX Evolution 1.0.5 available

Last week a critical security issue in Evolution 1.0.5 was discovered, which allows certain (Extra) configurations to be exploited, resulting in executing of snippet tags. Some people have indicated added files in the assets/cache folder which did not belong there and may have provided an entry point for further exploitation. More details in the Security Notice on the forums

The fix be applied manually by replacing the contents of your manager/includes/ file with the version on Github. Alternatively MODX Evolution 1.0.6 should be available soon with this fix and possibly more.

In the next episode...

I've got some ideas for the next in this series, but do let me know what you would like to hear about! The next episode will probably arrive in a few weeks.