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The latest from the Christchurch SilverStripe community

The SilverStripe community recently met in Christchurch where we heard about GitLab continuous integration and a new module providing a step-by-step guide for users. A call was also put out for developers to collaborate on a number of modules.

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The Christchurch SilverStripe Meetup on 1 August brought over 20 people together to share their knowledge through informal presentations and networking.

Four developers got up to speak on the night. First up, we had Matt Lang from Media Suite speaking about step-by-step guides. Then Hayden Shaw and Tim Oliver of E2 Digital spoke about GitLab continuous integration (CI). Last up was Gorrie Coe whose upcoming shift from Plato Creative to Media Suite has prompted him to seek collaborators for his SilverStripe modules.

You can view the full slide deck from Hayden Shaw and Tim Oliver of E2 Digital here

Step-by-step guides for data.govt.nz

Matt Lang presented the user form quasi-module created by Media Suite for data.govt.nz. As a user moves through the step-by-step guide, they’re asked at each step if they have done X. If they choose no or not sure, a descriptive explanation of what they need to do pops up. If they choose yes, they go straight through to the next step.

In greater detail, Media Suite extended the UserForms module to streamline the creation of step-by-step guides that take users through some common open data related work-flows, surfacing the relevant guidance along the way.

This included adding some custom fields (e.g. Yes/No question), hiding irrelevant fields, and adding a “Guidance Section” which pulls the current content from any page on the site and shows it in-line within the guide/form. The guide also saves the submission with a revisitable unique URL and shows a summary page as a printable checklist. Media Suite hope to extract the extension as an open source module in the near future.

Extension of the UserForms module on data.govt.nz

Extension of the UserForms module on data.govt.nz

GitLab CI

E2 Digital’s Hayden Shaw and Tim Oliver both spoke about continuous integration (CI). They defined continuous integration then dived into how they’re using GitLab CI with an aside about SilverStripe Platform.

Continuous integration is a software development practice in which you automatically build and test software every time a developer pushes code to a project.

See Hayden and Tim’s full slidedeck on SlideShare.

Seeking module contributors

Gorrie Coe is anticipating that once he joins Matt at Media Suite, he’ll have less time to devote to his modules. So, he’s looking for contributors for the following modules.

atom-silverstripe
This provides a large selection including SS2.4, SS3, and SS4 snippets for atom. The package reads your composer file to determine what snippets should be available. In addition, it automatically adds ‘use namespacing’ to the top of the document if it’s required by the snippet.

Ideally, Gorrie would like contributors to help maintain snippets, provide good insights to standards, and potentially build a port to VScode.

silverstripe-editkey
This module enables you to access cms page edit by simply using key press ctrl+e or alt+e. This is extremely handy for large site structures because it takes you directly from a frontend page to its cms edit page. However, Gorrie is concerned that there may be security issues with this so it would be great to get insight and potential improvements to this module.

silverstripe-link
This is essentially a linkables link dataobject with a bunch of other features such as phone-friendly, linking mode, id’s for tracking, and more. Check out Gorrie’s readme for more info. This is also extended by Gorrie’s alternative menu structure.

silverstripe-menu
This module wasn’t discussed at the meetup but it is another module that Gorrie is seeking contributors for. It provides an alternative menu structure manager which in turn provides nested (i.e. allows children menu items) or flat menu structures. In particular, Gorrie would like help integrating the react sortable tree to replace the current grib fields.

silverstripe-embed
Gorrie also added this after the meetup — it’s essentially a linkables embed dataobject but with more features such as limiting embed types to ‘video’ like YouTube or Vimeo. Also, if an image is returned from embed, it will be stored on the server so it can be manipulated via the template.

silverstripe-dbstringextras
This adds extra methods to SilverStripe DBStrings to help manipulate them. For example, SplitLines, Explode, and Highlight. This is would be an ideal place to add new string manipulations and maybe — just maybe — get them filtered into the SilverStripe core.

Score an invite

Join a New Zealand SilverStripe Meetup group to get invited to upcoming meetups in your area. We have active groups in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch.

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Get in touch with us. We’ll let you know what’s involved with hosting and answer any questions you may have.

About the author
Jessica Hill

Jessica leads SilverStripe's marketing team and works closely with the sales, product, and design teams. She is very interested in customer experience (CX) and is excited to be managing an Agile marketing team after years of watching Agile development teams from the sidelines! 
 

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