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Dragonfly CMS Development Tips

Dragonfly CMS Development Tips


While creating the new site from my swimming team (available here), we choose Dragonfly as our CMS (Contents Management System). After a phase of DragonFly exploration, fastly I realize I will need to create some new modules/blocks for our purpouse. In the main site and around the web I couldn't find any resource about extentions developement, so I'll try to put here everything I'll discover.

Follow, there will be a list of things, it won't be an organic paper, but a collection of tips.

  • I've start looking for infos with a post in Dragonfly forums; you can find some information there;
  • If you want to create a module called MyModule, create a directory under <dragonfly_dir>/modules/ with name MyModule; inside that directory, create a file called index.php: inside this file you can create the module as you please; if that module has to install something (for example some tables in the db), create under the same dir the file cpg_inst.php (follow the structure of other modules installation files). Once created the directory and the file(s), go to the Administration Page under General > Modules link and you'll find you new module, ready to be activated and installed (if needed).
  • if inside a module (maybe a block) yo need to call itself, for example to pass some parameters in the URL, do not call it explicitly, like echo "<a href='index.php?name=MyModule&param1=a&param2=b&...'>link</a>"; but use the function getlink(): the previous link will become echo "<a href='".getlink('MyModule')."&param1=a&param2=b&...>link</a>"; .
  • writing the code for a module/block, seems no need to close the <?php tag with a ?> at the end of the page;
  • use variable $pagetitle to set the title page for a module;
  • If you have to create a block, go under <dragonfly_dir>/blocks and create a file block-MyBlock.php (use underscore, _, in the file name to have a name with spaces: block-My_Block.php will create a block called "My Block"). Do not include header.php or footer.php and replace every echo with $content.= 
  • You're developing a new module, and when displaying it, you'd like to show even the left/right block, but they won't come up. Add this code to the module:


    // add $showblocks to global
    global ...,$showblocks,...;


    // include the header in the page generation


    Add $showblocks to global, than set its value to one of the following: 1 for left blocks, 2 for right blocks, 3 for both (more info about this is available inside includes/functions/display.php , in the function blocks_visible() ). If you not set that variable, your module will take all the page size...
    That was the hard way (and almost wrong); if you'd like to follow rules and use an easier one, do this (I suppose the module is already installed): go to admin section, Modules, click on "Edit" on the same line of your module; now choose in the drop-down-list for "Blocks" which one show: no-one, the ones on the left, on the right, or both.
    Please note that setting $showblocks in the page code has a higher priority then the one set in the modules admin page, i.e. set Blocks > Both in the admin page, but set $showblocks=1 , your page will only show left block. Moreover, you can show center or bottom blocks only through code inside the module.