A belated year 2013 in review for ExpressionEnigne
The second EEUK conference was held in Manchester, UK in May. The original conference in 2011 was held with the founders not being able attend the American based EECI to the happy delight of many Northern European EE developers. This conference didn’t disappoint either. With Low holding an workshop on the first day focused on add-on development and with the proceeding day holding the conference itself.
Grid and Relationships
There was a bit of falling out between one of the main add-on makers – Pixel and Tonic and EllisLab. I believe what has happened is for the better of the EE community. Now we have 2 very powerful and useful add-ons which we used to pay for. Many were calling out for them to be included in core for a long time and their wishes were to come true. With relationships reworked to include many of Pixel and Tonic's Playas features. Whether or not these additions would have been included if there was no 'relationship' break down is something that I couldn’t comment on. EE however is a better product with the reworked relationships and completely new Grid, now doesn’t really warrant purchases of Playa and Matrix respectively. Whilst the UI is a little sleeker in the third party add ons, I don't think its worth paying an extra £70 for.
Whilst I and we weren’t lucky enough to attend EECI it looked like a great conference. Taken over by Giles Parscale for the first year feedback from Twitter was upbeat and they looked very happy with what went on. There were numerous high pedigree speakers from the EE community including Mitchell Kimbrough, Michael Boyink, Eric Reagen, Eric Lamb, Ryan Irelan and Ellis Lab CEO himself Derek Jones. Hoping to attend in 2014!
Add ons, Add ons
As you would expect from a thriving development community there were numerous add-on releases in 2013. Far too many to rigorously go through but here a few of the best:
- Charge – To the joy of many UK developers Stripe was launched here. This add on allows you to take payments with ease.
- VMG nested – Allows for nested tags, channel entries within channel entries for instance, Very handy.
- Expresso store – whilst relaunched and not created in 2013 it's a very popular e-commerce platform within ExpressionEngine.
- Mustash – Billed as the perfect companion for the hugely powerful Stash, Mustash allows you to manage cached Stash variables.
- Entry Mapper – is a useful add on which allows you to overlay markers on any image. Great example of use would be a house plot in which the editor could edit the sold and bought houses very easily.
- Photo Frame – This add on allows powers EE to crop images,add effects and a lot more.
- Escort – Small yet useful add on which sends mail from something like the MailChimp API – Mandrill. Sending lots of email through php isn't good practice.