On Wednesday, modmore hosted the largest MODX meetup ever* in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, with 38 MODXers in attendance. It took place at the 4 star Stenden Hotel, which is staffed by students of the Hospitality Management bachelor at the neighbouring NHL/Stenden university.

Photo by Gauke Pieter SIetzema.
Photo by Gauke Pieter SIetzema.

This was the first meetup to take place in the Netherlands since October 2015. While the Dutch community had a MODX Bug Hunt and a hackathon more recently, for some reason the meetups stopped happening at the end of 2015. Judging by the amazing turnout, people were looking forward to getting involved and to learn more about what's happening with MODX again. With 4 talks, there was plenty to learn about.

A Russian recap of the meetup, by Vasily Naumkin, is available on MODX.pro.

Mark Hamstra: "Short" Introduction

After welcoming everyone to Leeuwarden and the sponsor pitch, I gave a (not very) quick summary of some of the things that happened in the MODX world since the last meetup. This included a recap of some of the events that had taken place (including the bug hunts, the MODXpo in Minsk and the most recent SnowUp in Switzerland), a MODX release history with some of the highlights of each version, and a random collection of other interesting things (like MODX Evolution becoming Evolution CMS and the new Dutch MODX site being broken for 2 months without anyone noticing).

I also explained the idea behind the MODX user group for the northern part of the Netherlands, for which I'm hosting 4 meetups (March 7, June 6, September 5 & December 12) this year. The hope is that others will organise similar user groups across the country, so that more local people are able of attending meetups that way. Not everyone is willing to fly across the globe for a meetup, so having more local presences around the country can help get those people together too. The potential benefits to speakers and potential for those user groups to lead to more speakers and attendees on bigger National/European events is also interesting.

It looks like there is already at least one meetup being planned in another part of the country, so at the end of the year we'll see how this strategy has worked out. The slides for the introduction can be seen below and on SlideShare.

Gauke Pieter Sietzema: MODX.org & MODX 3

Gauke Pieter, CTO at Sterc, introduced the plans and progress for MODX.org and MODX 3. He explained why a separate project site (modx.org) is a good idea and what steps were taken recently in order to make them happen. This includes drafting the sitemap, content, and most recently at the SnowUp wireframing the most important pages. Next up is the design, which Buntebrause Agentur has agreed to work on, and integrating it with the clickable prototype at dev.modx.org.

MODX 3, the magical next version of MODX surrounded with vagueness, was also presented. Sterc has been working with a variety of partners (including MODX LLC and modmore) on drafting a plan, getting the right people, and securing funding to execute the plan. They've launched a new MODX3.org project website which holds detailed information about the planned features and improvements coming to MODX 3, weekly updates, as well as the ability to sponsor or donate to help make it happen.

Currently a lot of work is already being done, especially by Rinze van der Brug (UI/UX) and Vasily Naumkin (aka bezumkin, development), some of which was previewed during the presentation. The primary focus points for MODX 3 are:

  • Login screen
  • Dashboard
  • UX improvements for content managers
  • Extract dependencies

There are also additional features, but those will only be included if they can be completed before the deadline, which Gauke Pieter announced to be June 20th, 2018. This quick deadline is also why some of the bigger features and changes that have been suggested over the years are not included in this plan, like replacing ExtJS or integrating Slim.

Gauke Pieter's slides are available on SlideShare. See MODX3.org for information about the MODX3 plans.

Photo by Mark Hamstra
Photo by Mark Hamstra

Vasily Naumkin: more about MODX 3!

Originally Vasily was going to present how to build websites/applications in MODX without the manager. But instead he showed more work in progress on MODX 3. For people that still want to see his talk about building applications, it was recorded at the MODXpo in Minsk and is also available in article-form on MODX.pro.

In his live demo, Vasily showed some of the things he has been working on as part of the MODX 3 plans. The new manager login design was one of the things he showed, which also included a completely reworked password reset functionality that is GDPR compliant (by not sending plaintext passwords via email), and automatically uses the right language based on the browser language. The language now also sticks in the session, so users can have their own manager language without needing to change the settings.

The media manager was also reworked. That can now use the Flysystem library thanks to contributions from Josh Gulledge, and Vasily has extended it with (s)FTP and Swift media sources. Thumbnails in the media manager are also properly cached in the browser and use lazy loading to make it all much more performant.

Photo by Mark Hamstra
Photo by Mark Hamstra

Bert Oost: Introduction to Docker

Finally, Bert gave an introduction to Docker, explaining the different terminology like "images" and "containers", and how they can work together with tools like Traefic to configure a working development environment. In only 30 minutes he showed how his dev stack can be used to create a dev environment with different services (like nginx and mysql) and various versions of PHP that are dynamically masked to specific host names. After introducing the concepts, he showed it actually worked in a live demo as well.

Photo by Mark Hamstra
Photo by Mark Hamstra

Drinks & Snacks in the bar

After the talks we went over to the bar around the corner for some well-earned drinks and snacks. The last people left the bar at around 23:30, excited about what the future holds for MODX.

This meetup was brought to you by modmore.

* Some meetups may have had even more people attend, like Minsk in 2015 which was around the same number, but those were full-day events and not a short weekday-evening meetup.