MODX Notes

Form Customisation & Right Template Roadmap

MODX Form Customization is a powerful tool for customizing the display of MODX Resource forms. You can separately customize the form display for creating new Resources and updating existing Resources. However, since the FC rules are based on the Resource's Template, by default the FC experience for creating new Resources is limited. You have to create the new Resource, then select the Template you want to use, before you get the "FC experience" associated with that Template.

By combining the "Right Template" plugin with FC rules, your users will see the correct Form Customization set immediately when they create a new Resource. In my opinion this can be a huge advance in leading users toward creating the right kind of content in the right place. Look for a future tutorial on combining FC "Create" rules with Right Template.

As I said above, this version of "Right Template" is a baby step toward the kind of granular control over "what-goes-where" content rules that Limited Resources is based on. Combining with FC rules (which can do things like, for example, automatically set the Content Type to PDF) is another baby step. But ultimately, I envision an expansion of this concept, beyond the simple 1-to-1 parent-child relationships that Right Template allows. I see Limited Resources doing things like:

  • Allowing the specification of multiple 'childTemplate' values in a Parent Template, to let users pick from a controlled list of "child" Resource Templates when creating child Resources.
  • Allowing individual "parent" Resources to narrow the list of "childTemplate" values inherited from the template; i.e., the Parent Template allows child resources to use Templates X, Y, or Z, but in this particular Parent Resource, I want to only allow Child Resources to use Template Y.
  • Modifying the "right-click" options for creating a Child Resource under a given Parent Resource, based on the 'childTemplate' property and/or the customizations in the Parent Resource.

I have proofs-of-concept in place for the first two bullets; the third one is the "big leap". That's where I'm thinking it might require an entire new UI to achieve this level of customization - and where I came up with the concept of a separate, context-based UI for Limited Resources.
(But now I'm getting ahead of myself).

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