Last week, 52 people made their way to Maastricht, the southernmost corner of the Netherlands, for a MODX meetup organised by Sterc. Lots of people came from Belgium and Germany as well as from across the Netherlands.

The meetup took place at the Van Der Valk Hotel and featured 3 talks:

  • MODX in 2019 and Beyond
  • Using MODX to create valid PDF/X-1a for CMYK offset printers
  • Commerce in 30 minutes

The evening started in the restaurant, with about 20 people enjoying dinner ahead of time.

MODX in 2019 and Beyond

Flying in from Texas, Ryan Thrash, MODX co-founder, kicked off the meetup talking about the past few years in MODX and plans for the future. Ryan talked openly about some of the challenges from the past few years and how things are improving with the business, years of technical debt being resolved, and the launch of Fred.

Ryan Thrash showing off Fred
Ryan Thrash showing off Fred

With a new site on the way, MODX LLC is expecting to turn itself into less of a service provider, acting more as a lead generator for MODX Professionals. Of course MODX 2.7 and 3.0 were also discussed, and Ryan gave a demo of Fred as well.

Using MODX to create valid PDF/X-1a for CMYK offset printers

Cologne-based MODX ambassador Oliver Haase-Lobinger gave an in-depth talk on generating PDFs that are suitable for printing on professional offset printers. The data, such as gym schedules, is managed in MODX, which combined with some custom code ended up generating beautiful PDFs.

Oliver Haase-Lobinger showing magically generated PDFs 
Oliver Haase-Lobinger showing magically generated PDFs 

Getting into the nitty-gritty of color profiles, bleed marks and the mPDF library, Oliver showed how several of his clients use the tools to replace dozens of hours of manual designer labour with just two clicks to generate various brochures and posters.

Commerce in 30 minutes

As last speaker of the day, I had the honour of introducing Commerce in 30 27 minutes. In my talk, I tried to briefly explain what's different about Commerce, as I couldn't possibly explain everything it can do in one evening. Topics included how products are separate from the catalog, delivery types, the status workflow, and more. If you're interested to learn more, a copy of my slides can be found here.

Part of the crowd at the meetup, with me presenting Commerce.
Part of the crowd at the meetup, with me presenting Commerce.

I also had the pleasure of showcasing some cool projects that launched in the last year, some of which built by people in the audience that I hadn't met yet. There were also a few announcements, including an upcoming FedEx shipping integration (with thanks to GreySkyMedia) and an updated roadmap with v0.12 coming before the end of the year with a new Product Matrix TV, sale pricing and PDF invoices; and v1.0 finally arriving in Q1 2019.

Finally, attendees were given instructions on how to claim €106 worth of premium licenses for free (special thanks to Sterc!), as well as a chance of winning a free Commerce license. (If you attended and haven't claimed your licenses yet, please see the November 19th email that was sent to you via Meetup!)

After Party

The hotel bar was where the after party started. Mingling and discussing MODX for some time, until taxis were ordered to take the remaining 15-ish people into the city center for more drinks. On a cold November night, the after party took us from the oldest bar in the Netherlands, to a bar with around 250 different types of beer, and then into the last place that was open: a tiny club. Rumour has it a few true party people kept the party going until the early morning hours..

Big shoutout to Sterc and everyone that helped with organising a fantastic meetup. I'm looking forward to next year!

Pictures in this article by Henk Everts.