On March 26, 2019 we launched new MODX Forums. Please join us at the new MODX Community Forums.
Subscribe: RSS
  • One of the things that bugs me a lot is how the resource tree items are styled.
    This is a very small thing and I assume very easy to change but I'm hoping others can chime in with their thoughts as well.

    When a resource is set to "Hide From Menus" it becomes greyed out. And when it is unpublished it simply goes italic. I feel this is backwards.

    The most common style for something being disabled or unpublished is to be greyed out. Not just unpublished, but often when a link is greyed out, it means you can't even click on it at all. Similar to how HTML behaves when something is set to disabled, it simple doesn't respond.

    I feel like knowing at a glance that something is set to not be in menus is really not that important. After all, if a resource is showing up in a menu and you don't want it to, then you would simply go find the resource and turn that off. It does not seem important to me to have any visual indication at all that something is hidden from a menu. Nor do I need to be constantly reminded of it every time I'm scanning through the resource tree.

    Secondly, it's not unreasonable to assume that on some websites, one might have dozens or even hundreds of resources that do not need to be in menus. This would make the bulk of the entire resource tree look "disabled" with greyed out links. I would personally find this very unpleasing to the eyes to see all my resources greyed out just because they aren't in a menu!

    I propose a simple change to these styles that better matches what is commonly found in the wild. And that is, when something is disabled (in this case unpublished), it should be greyed out. And when deleted, crossed out. And when hidden from menus, no visual indicator at all. I really don't feel it important to know at a glance what is in menus or not, that is easily discerned during the site design process and is not something I need to frequently be reminded of visually at all times.


    A second issue is with selection of resources. This has probably been discussed elsewhere or even in a Github ticket.
    When I want to delete a resource, there is no real way to "select" it and then go click the delete icon. In order to do this, I have to completely open the resource which does take an extra second or two.
    I realize I can right-click a resource and delete that way without opening it first, and that is my preferred method, but being able to "select" a resource without opening it might also have its benefits. For example I can't seem to "tab into" the resource tree at all or reach it by keyboard. I might just be missing the trick. But even if I could, the ability to use keyboard arrow keys or the tab key to move up and down my list and use ctrl-click or shift-click or hold shift key as I create a selection with arrow keys, that would all be useful.
    If I want to delete many resources at once. Move many resources into a folder at once. Publish/unpublish at once. Or even just open a handful of resources in the front end at the same time (open many tabs).

    Creating the ability to select and multi-select could be a difficult challenge, but for now I propose something simple for the delete issue. When I hover the mouse over a resource, a delete and perhaps a copy and view icon appears to the right of the menu.
    I know hover actions can get annoying with accidental clicks and what not, but hover actions are not an uncommon way of doing things. Attached is a screenshot of the idea.


    By making a small adjustment to the visual style of resources, and a way to perform a couple basic actions without having to open the resource first (or use right-click menu) would potentially make it more visually pleasing, and slightly easier to use.

    I'm looking at one of my sites now, and half the resource tree is greyed out simply because I don't need those resources or folders in a menu. It is not visually pleasing. The unpublished items are italicized which barely stand out.

    Just my opinion, but it has always bothered me.

    Your thoughts?
    • The tree has bothered me for quite a while too. The trouble is that there are too many conditions, since a resource can be published and hidden from menus and unpublished but not hidden in menus. Even after all this time, I often can't remember which condition signals hidden and which is published.

      Strikethrough it fine for deleted items, but what I'd like to see is a configuration screen where you select the font weight, size, and text-decoration (greyed-out, normal, bold, italic, strikethrough, underlined, font-size), and the color for each option. Being able to set a base font-size would also be nice. Ideally, you'd get to pick five attributes for each possibility (font-weight, font-size, text-decoration, color, background color). Being able to select a hover icon would be a bonus, but I'd rather be able to see what's what at a glance without having to hover over each one.

      Another idea I'd love to see is an icon at the top (and/or a right-click menu on the context folder) that let you hide/unhide resources hidden from menus and maybe another one for published status.

      As for the bulk selection, that would be nice also, though the Batcher extra is a good workaround.

      (BTW, your link doesn't work for me in Chrome). [ed. note: BobRay last edited this post 4 years, 2 months ago.]
        Did I help you? Buy me a beer
        Get my Book: MODX:The Official Guide
        MODX info for everyone: http://bobsguides.com/modx.html
        My MODX Extras
        Bob's Guides is now hosted at A2 MODX Hosting
      • And what is the point of an unpublished resource that is not hidden in menus? I'm not sure that's even a useful condition? If it's unpublished I would assume it would automatically disappear from the frontend.

        Your solution might be a bit complex, giving the user a custom style guide for all possible conditions! I personally don't need all that. Just greyed out when unpublished, or crossed out if deleted, that's it. But I can understand if some people need constantly visual queue about menu status.

        I think the other option you suggested is really just a filter. I thought of that too but didn't included it in my post.

        Basically some kind of dropdown or filter menu where one can choose to filter the resource tree by various attributes. If you want to see unpublished or published resources only. Or even filter by menu status, publish date, last updated date, author, or any number of filters.
        Even a filter that lets you show only resources in a particular folder. Thus "drilling down" into folders.
        Another way to filter might be to simply change sort by simply sorting alpha, or by ID, or by publish date, or by updated date.

        Another filter would be a keyword. Rather than using the main Manager search box, there could be a searchbox/keyword box directly in the resource tree that filters the items based on keyword instantly.

        Filter by some kind of tags or categories would help too, and contexts.

        The hover icon I mentioned was only for actions, not details. In other words, when hovering over a resource, you might see an icon for deleting, or viewing, or copying the resource.

        I don't know why my attachment didn't work. It attached and saved like any other thing, but I already deleted my sample before I found out the attachment was toast. I was just showing an idea of hover icons.
        • My use case is somewhat unusual. The site I work on most is a test site with about four dozen of my extras. I often hide pages from menus without bothering to unpublish them. When I work on permissions, I sometimes need to see which pages are unpublished, regardless of their hidemenu status. Colors would help a lot.

          You're right that the typical user would have no reason to see the hidemenu status of unpublished resources.
            Did I help you? Buy me a beer
            Get my Book: MODX:The Official Guide
            MODX info for everyone: http://bobsguides.com/modx.html
            My MODX Extras
            Bob's Guides is now hosted at A2 MODX Hosting
          • I can see this being a setting of some sort. Or just part of a filtering system.

            I can even see this is simple as a series of CSS classes. In the Resource listing itself, each individual text could have a set of classes like
            <li><span class="published hidden author-bobray deleted">Some Article</span></li>

            This way it would be little more than a couple lines of CSS in the Manager to set whatever styles work best.
            • They kind of already do:

              class="x-tree-node-el x-tree-node-leaf x-unselectable x-tree-node-leaf unpublished deleted hidemenu psave pview pedit pduplicate pnew pnew_modDocument pnew pnew_modSymLink pnew pnew_modWebLink pnew pnew_modStaticResource pqcreate pqupdate pdelete pundelete ppublish punpublish"
                Did I help you? Buy me a beer
                Get my Book: MODX:The Official Guide
                MODX info for everyone: http://bobsguides.com/modx.html
                My MODX Extras
                Bob's Guides is now hosted at A2 MODX Hosting