MODXpo 2015: What's next?

We received some fantastic comments and feedback at MODXpo, more than we could have expected, so thank you to everyone.

Attendees not only shared an interest or immediate intention to use Preview and Workflow in their own projects, but also a passion for advancing the extras further with some really great ideas, making it even more valuable to MODX, it's users, and you the developers.

Photograph by chsmedien, Christian Seel.

In summary the two things that we’re going to focus on before working through our roadmap further is...


Disabling Preview by template/class/context

Currently, once Workflow is installed, it’s no longer possible to turn off Preview on a resource-by-resource basis. The reason we made this decision was to prevent authors bypassing Workflow and publishing content without approval when it's required. Therefore, Preview and the revision model had to be enforced no matter what, even if the revisions themselves could be immediately published without restriction.

However some of the MODXpo delegates we spoke to described scenarios (that were true for their clients) where the Preview and Workflow features were very applicable to certain areas of the site, whilst other sections didn’t need it at all (not even revisions). So, not only should it be possible to publish content immediately (which Workflow already allows by creating a simple ruleset) but it also needs to be possible to disable the revision model entirely for certain templates, class keys or contexts.

It’s important to users of the MODX manager (and therefore it's important to us) that features and functionality facilitate and enhance a great user experience; so we have some design aspects to think about in order to deliver this functionality in an intuitive, usable and extremely learnable way.

So keep your eyes out for this addition in an upcoming version. We can’t confirm yet when it’ll be incorporated, but we’ll begin exploring and developing this concept straight away.

Photograph by chsmedien, Christian Seel.


Revision Cleanup

One of the first things we were asked after our presentation at MODXpo was “how does Preview for MODX perform if there are thousands of resources, each with their own revisions accumulated over a number of years?”.

MODX performs no differently with or without Preview installed when there are thousands of resources in MODX. As you probably know MODX Revolution performs much better than Evolution when it has a large number of resources. Site performance under these conditions is no longer the concern it used to be when accessing and using the website.

However, the questions extends to how backups of the MODX database are affected. Of the delegates we spoke to at MODXpo about Preview, many people wanted to have the option to purge or permanently delete archived revisions that no longer had any value, reducing the amount of storage required to make a full database backup or migrate an installation of MODX to another server.

We agree this is an important thing to consider, so we’ve taken this feedback on board and will be adding a “clean-up” feature to Preview. The ability to truncate archived revisions will enable administrators to empty the database of any unwanted resources, reducing backup time and the overall storage required to safely migrate MODX. We’ll roll this useful feature into Preview over the coming weeks.

As always, anyone who purchases Preview or Workflow will get free updates, plus 12 months of support from the date of purchase. If you make our extras part of your MODX site today you’ll always get our enhancements as soon as they’re available, keeping your CMS ahead of the game when it comes to creating great author experiences within the manager, for you and your client.

We look forward to sharing these enhancements with you.

Photograph by chsmedien, Christian Seel.

For updates and announcements follow on Twitter, or the team themselves; Chris CherrettMark Willis and Thomas StradlingThis story was also covered by on November 25th 2015. Presentation slides available on SpeakerDeck and download.