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ProcessWire Recipes

As you may have noticed, the rare articles on this blog here tend to have an emphasis on a system called ProcessWire.

I'll try not to overly evangelize here - but at least for me PW is a Content Management System (or Framework) that is often times a smart, extendable, maintainable and in the end reasonable choice as website-engine. Unfortunately because of its sheer popularity, many colleagues chose WordPress in some kind of knee-jerk reaction - whether it's suitable for that particular project, or not. "Nah, it has plugins to solve that" But that's actually a kind of other story.

Current web development industry lacks many things - but too few Content Management Systems isn't one of them. It's hard to stand out from the 23%. Not intending to position ProcessWire as direct competitor to WP, but feeling the urge to help realize and work against said WordPress reflex I wondered how to do so (and since I'm having no favorite soccer club to cheer to, there's plenty of rooting energy left ;-).

So, together with the superb help of Christian, there's a little website available for more than a month now - Process Wire Recipes. What is PWR exactly? In my opinion a little building block that lacked in the ProcessWire universe until now: a directory aiming to collect mini-tutorials for common and not-so-common tasks and problems, presented in concise and spot-on format.

In the midst of a project I looked for a mini-tutorial of how to implement one special feature (using CKEditor in the front end - ironically, I still have to write this recipe), ideally short and concise, not starting from the beginning of (PW) creation, and not introducing things that I already know (essential parts of API). Jealously I looked over to the Laravel universe, and especially laravel-recipes.com.

Therefore, I started a thread in the forum, asking whether a comparable project already existed in the ProcessWire world and I'm not aware, or if such a site would have potential, if demand would be there. In that topic I tried to outline the target group - developers, not essentially beginners (with ProcessWire) but in general relatively seasoned PW devs who just need a boost in the right direction with a hint to the right approach or, for example, API call.

PWR Screenshot

"ProcessWire Recipes" should be structured with a index and most importantly, tagging, thereby bypassing the not-so-ideal ProcessWire forum search. Intention was not to create a parallel structure to, but complement to the already established knowledge hubs - official documentation and Forums. But with leaving the discussion part away, and giving it a situation-based (problem-solution) approach, instead of the more architectural one of the docs.

But as already mentioned in the forum post - the crucial thing is recipes and therefore contribution from the community. This consists of two things imho, Awareness and Process. Fortunately, awareness for the project is there - PWR is mentioned frequently in Teppo's ProcessWire Weekly and even in the footer of the processwire.com!

But the process, the way of contributing was also hard to tackle. Since aiming at developers, contribution via Pull Requests would be ideal - but (in this case) unfortunately, ProcessWire is database driven. A system like Kirby would have been perfect - but how would that look, to build a ProcessWire recipe site on a non-ProcessWire CMS? ;-)

Luckily, the awesome conference Beyond Tellerrand arrived in Berlin at the right time. And that effect of wanting to build things afterwards as well. While hanging out with Christian he had the idea an importer of markdown files into "real" ProcessWire pages. He was eager to join this little project, to build the feature, and did instantaneously. In the meantime we messaged with (and met) Nico Knoll, agreeing on that design will come from him eventually.

Beyond Tellerrand was kindling things again. Unfortunately (hobby-wise), but fortunately (business-wise) that last two months of 2014 were full of client work and delayed the project a bit. But in the beginning of December, the little reicpe site finally launched - processwire-recipes.com - with an interim design, and also very few recipes, but, I hope, also with a lot of potential.

So, once again, many thanks to my accomplice Christian, all the contributors so far and not to forget all the positive feedback during PWRs inception. All in all, it was neither the re-invention of the wheel nor a totally new idea - but maybe us, the ProcessWire community, can help to make the site sustainable by eagerly sharing their tiny bits of ProcessWire wisdom - in order to promote ProcessWire and all of its advantages. And maybe to help convince some fellow developers to build a particular site in a real powerful Content Management Framework.