Fred 1.1 Release Notes: Plug-ins, Themes & More

by Ryan Thrash

Published on August 21, 2019

We are happy to announce the immediate availability of Fred 1.1, our second release of the front-end visual content editor for MODX that lets you drag-and-drop your way to awesome websites with ease.

Way more than a point release

This release brings major improvements for both content creators and theme authors. With sidebar and Element plugins, a cleaner UI with better drag and drop UX, and general bug fixes, this is a much bigger release than a “.1” would otherwise imply.

Fred marries the creative freedom and flexibility of MODX with an intuitive and fun to use front-end content editing experience. The result is unmatched productivity and flexibility that empowers non-technical users to create amazing content, exactly as they envision.

Did we mention plugins?

Fred plugins are a big deal.

To demonstrate their capability, we also released Collections 3.7 today. When you upgrade or install Collections 3.7 or later you’ll see a new sidebar icon that lists all your Collections and any pages that are editable by Fred. You can use this to power a blog, testimonials, team bios, product catalog, or anything where a collection of similar pages makes sense.

If you’re an Extra author and would like to learn more, read about developing with Fred.

See it in action

Menno Pietersen with Any Screen Size is a long time MODXer with a keen eye for design and a great knack for UX. He is working on an awesome new Fred theme which will allow anyone to create stunning websites without having to code. Expected to be released soon as a premium theme, here’s a sneak peek of just some of what you can do with it:

Calling all theme authors

We think you’ll love creating themes with Fred and MODX. A Fred theme includes all the design Elements as you expect. But it also can include everything a site owner needs to build an amazing website including system settings, Snippets, Plugins, content Blueprints, Media Sources, and more.

The best part is that if you know the basics of HTML and CSS, and have a desire to start creating themes, you already have the skills it takes—you don’t have to be a coder or know the complexities of building a package. In fact, exporting a theme from Fred takes just a few minutes and it’s ready to upload to the MODX Extras store.

Get it today

You can get the latest release of Fred and associated Extras now either from the MODX Installer in your back-end Manager or from the MODX Extras website itself. Updated documentation is available, too. All the changes in Fred 1.1 are listed below.

 

New in Fred 1.1

  • If you have updated or started working on a page, Fred warns you before leaving without saving so you don’t accidentally lose your work (not that we ever needed that ourselves…).
  • Toolbar and Sidebar Plugins allow for custom functionality when creating or editing content with Fred. To demonstrate the awesomeness of this, Collections now supports creating or updating pages with Fred-enabled templates directly with Fred from the front-end.
  • Support for rendering Snippets to cache inside Fred Elements. This can be used, for example, to dynamically pull author information for a blog or other custom data source.
  • Custom events, FredOnBeforeFredResourceSave and FredOnFredResourceSave, are now triggered when Fred saves so MODX plugins can tap into them. We’re looking at you, VersionX…
  • When creating a new page from Fred, you can specify a Blueprint to use. Further, each Fred-enabled Template can now have a default Blueprint associated with it so that making new content can be streamlined.
  • A new Folder picker option setting is handy for things like simple galleries built from images on the file system.
  • Themes now can include Media Sources to help keep things tidy.
  • Documentation and an installer check for specific PHP extensions were added so people don't get frustrated when Fred mysteriously decided not to work.

Updates

  • Updated styles to make the overall UI more consistent with the upcoming MODX3 Manager.
  • Dragging Elements now shrinks them to a smaller size to make them easier to work with.
  • When editing Option Sets in the Manager, it warns you if there is a JSON syntax error so you can fix it and save your work. It’s even prettier when using the Fred Ace integration, too. 
  • Updated the build process to use the latest versions of Node and Gulp.
  • Removed build files from the repo in favor of using Github releases.
  • When pasting text from word processors and web browsers, a lot of messy markup sometimes tags along, making it hard to create clean content. Fred now forces text to be pasted as plain text to minimize tedious cleanup chores as much as possible.
  • A special  placeholder makes for more portable themes for Element Settings and Media fields.
  • The root <html> tag now gets a class when Fred is enabled to allow for custom styling when needed: <html class="fred--active">.
  • Option Set Overrides can now also be merged so that you can override just a single thing in the assigned Option Set.
  • A policy for deleting inadvertently added Elements on the front-end for the Fred Editor role was added.

Bugfixes

  • Image pickers no longer return the full URL to images, improving website portability.
  • Importing option set overrides functions again as intended.
  • Certain Elements refused to save from the front-end. The error in its ways has been rectified.
  • Firefox is special. So we made a special case for it to ensure that contenteditable would behave the same as every other modern browser.
  • Missing screenshots and the Media Source section in the documentation have been fixed.
  • Fred and its browser built on ElFinder did not respect the skipFiles setting. Now they do.
  • Checks for PHP dependencies didn’t happen during installation which could lead to failure. Now it checks and warns when the dependencies aren’t met.

 

 

P.S.

This article was lovingly crafted with Fred. ;)

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