For the third edition of the MODX SnowUp, we were once again in the iconic Gasthaus Grünenwald, Engelberg, Switzerland. After a first social night to get (re-)acquainted with the people in the community, where plenty of beer flowed from bottles and kegs, coupled with a delicious chili as is the tradition... it really kicked off on Friday morning after breakfast.
- Gauke Pieter Sietzema from Sterc started talking about using MODX3 in production. Those at the meetup in Nijmegen only two weeks earlier may recognise the talk - though it was in English this time. He talked about the MODX3 development and how they're using a version of it (tho not the official alpha2 out at this time) in production for their clients. The key benefit of their version is that it lacks the backwards incompatible changes, so they can use all extras. He also showcased ImageCropper as an extra that really improves the user experience (based on the cropper built into ContentBlocks) and previewed the upcoming SEOSuite 2.0 with new interfaces and social media integrations to generate the right opengraph tags.
- Steven James McLean and Joshua Lückers from Springbok Agency talked about building component-based sites with Fred. They shared some examples of sites they have in production and how to create an element. Springbok also extended and restyled Fred for a project, managing content workflows with a headless system built in Vue as well.
- Menno Pietersen gave a quick preview of his upcoming Fred theme, looking for feedback on the level of options to offer people on the various elements.
After these first talks, some people went out for a walk while others started working on soup for lunch or other projects. At the end of the afternoon, we went for a visit to the local monastery and got a tour from one of the benedictine monks. There was a traditional cheese fondue for dinner and the rest of the evening was filled with freshly mixed beverages, wine from France, local craft beer, a bonfire, and lots of discussions and collaboration on core and extras.
A couple of MODX3 alpha issues were also fixed, so a new nightly release was made available. And upgrades for a bunch of extras, too, like pdoTools, FirstChildRedirect, VersionX, and ContentBlocks.
As I slept in a little bit, I may have missed some earlier discussions... but when I arrived Dimitri Hilverda from Adwise was discussing and showing how they use MIGX and integrate it with systems like Commerce as well.
Philippe Delberghe and Matthieu Cartier from AmaZili/Tecalys came forward to talk about a few extras. First: Dependencies, a new extra that will document your elements and resources. It parses your entire site to see where elements are used, and makes that available in a CMP as well as a front-end documentation page. A package will be made available to test soon. They also showed their custom site building solution built on top of MODX to quickly build multilingual sites with blocks.
In a brief demo I showed how the new MODX documentation works and how people can suggest documentation fixes. I was really glad to see 2 people making their first excellent contributions on the same day!
Vasily Naumkin from modx.pro showed a project that uses his VESP framework to build applications with Vue, Eloquent ORM, Slim, and Phinx. Really exciting and fast applications, and he has since made a new dev version of MODX.pro available that uses it as well. Vasily also made lunch: solyanka, a Russian meat soup, and brought bread, butter, red caviar and vodka for in the evening.
In the afternoon some people went for a walk, into the village, or spent their time hacking on projects and the documentation. There was vodka and caviar courtesy of Vasily, and dinner consisted of solyanka and macaroni & cheese. Plus modmore sponsored some pizza in the evening, so everyone was certainly well-fed!
This recap is, honestly, lacking.
It's impossible to properly recap a SnowUp with just text and a picture or two. While I can recap the talks and discussions, I can't capture the vibe and energy. It's a one-of-a-kind event, in a unique guesthouse in the middle of a breathtaking mountain region. With a unique mix of people (including 5 core developers!). The whole event has a bit of a homey feel about it, with excellent hosts, home-cooked meals and all the room in the world for deep conversation, shared activities, and impromptu discussions and collaboration.
Not as much of a meetup or conference, as it is hanging out with friends -- some of which you may just not have met yet.
Thank you once again Fabian & Reto for hosting a fantastic get-together. Also special thank you to Philippe for the taxi service, and everyone else for being part of what makes this event so unique. Can't wait until the next time we meet!