MODX is what you make it

MODX Cloud is now SiphonLabs

Yesterday was an interesting day in the MODX Community as MODX Cloud announced new plans to become SiphonLabs. Some community members have raised concerns that this means core developers will be focusing less on MODX Revolution. Truth be told, that’s been happening the last 8 months to get Cloud to become what it is today. Sure work on Cloud will be ongoing but with Cloud now launched, and obviously evolving, I can assure you the core team’s focus on Revolution 2.2.x and MODX 3 is in fact rising for the first time in at least 8 months.

8 Months

In the last 8 months I’ve been busy too:

It’s been a lot of work and I’m certain the next 8 months are going to be even more. I work on the things I do because I know that what we have to lose is the greatest site-building tool out there. You cannot expect the future of MODX Revolution and MODX 3 to be solely on the backs of core developers. That said, below are the three main areas of improvement I’ll be working on over the next 8 months. What will you be working on?

Hook up a Cart

At MODXpo Netherlands there was much discussion about finally accomplishing a MODX E-Commerce solution that is worth writing home about. It was overwhelmingly the topic of conversation. I live blogged the keynotes and I don’t recall anyone asking for anything to do with Wordpress or Magento. MODX users want, rather need, a better way to sell their products. Is the SyponLab team going to be working on something like this? I doubt it. MODX core devs? Doubt it.

One thing Kevin Marvin mentioned in the keynote that I completely agree with is that it’s not feasible to create a standalone E-Commerce solution for MODX. Rather the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow is going to be several solid APIs that allow MODX to consume and integrate with existing, proven e-commerce platforms. For me, that platform is Shopify and I’m working on abstracting an API I built for heartroasters.com/shop which aims to make it very simple to use MODX for a marketing layer capable of displaying up to date product information from Shopify, but let Shopify do the rest of the E-Commerce leg work.

Improve User Experience

The MODX Revolution Manager makes ample use of the large ExtJS JavaScript framework. While I’d never say ExtJS wasn’t the right tool for the job at the time (honestly I think it was), with MODX 3 I’m not alone in the feeling that the time for ExtJS in the Manager has past. Even with all the bells and whistles and ability to extend existing components, ExtJS is far from providing creative freedom to its users. In fact it aims to do the exact opposite, make it really easy for you to hook components together but if you want to improve upon the User Experience it provides, good luck. Since I feel that MODX should value creative freedom not only in how you build sites but how you can use and customize the user experience of manager I’ve decided to collaborate with Mark Hamstra on an OpenSource project that aims to show the community a new look at what could be the MODX 3 Manager. Mark has chosen to start of with the Zurb Foundation 4 Framework, and I completely agree with him because the framework is awesome and doesn’t get in my way. More importantly, it won’t get in yours either. Are Mark and I underestimating the amount of efforts needed to make up for everything ExtJS provides? Absolutely, but frankly who cares. It’s time to move on and make awesome.

Sell your Extras

Do you love building MODX Extras but also have bills to pay? Do you have several Extras that are 85% complete but don’t have the resources for that last 15% (that takes 10x longer than the first 85%)? What if there was a way for you to get paid for your Premium Extras? The MODX Marketplace feature of MODX Cloud was very exciting to me, what I’d heard about it anyways. I don’t know what SiphonLabs’s plans are with the Marketplace, and I don’t really care anymore either because I’m tired of waiting. Apparently they see more value in supporting competition than giving the MODX community a Marketplace to thrive in.

That said, I’m working on a few premium Extras that I hope you’ll see appear on modmore within the next few months.

Alright it’s been fun, but it’s time to get back to work!

Comments (7)

  1. James Rotering:
    Mar 28, 2013 at 01:07 PM

    Some great thoughts J.P. I am honestly so excited right now, seeing everyone in the community rallying around the future of MODX. There is a lot of concern, a lot of disappointment with the SiphonLabs decision. (To say the least!) But the response from those who love MODX the most has been reassuring and exhilarating. I'm making my own response plan, and will post something as soon as I can. I can't wait to see what happens next.

  2. JP DeVries:
    Mar 28, 2013 at 01:12 PM

    Notice the footer of my website credits being hosted with MODX Cloud? I'm still on the fence about whether or not to credit SiphonLabs ;)

  3. Anne:
    Mar 28, 2013 at 04:24 PM

    You have to wonder about the marketing savvy of people who will name their company something that literally means "We suck." Vampires. Leeches. It just wasn't wise. Did anyone else think that? I'm a branding girl. Visual. It's how I think. My first image of it was... mooching gas.

    We're buried. I mean buried. But I will give as much as I can to help you and Mark. email me.

  4. JP DeVries:
    Mar 28, 2013 at 04:32 PM

    It's funny Anne I was just sitting here thinking the same thing to myself. I read that they put a lot of thought into their name, and I think they put too much thought into it. Off the top of my head I think something like SnapLabs or SnappyLabs could be better (short for snapshots) but also implying the general speed and "snappiness" from nginx.

  5. Chris Fickling:
    Mar 29, 2013 at 04:50 AM

    I'm very pleased (relieved) with what's happening here. As a web designer and not a coder, Modx has been my saviour but I've had a sinking feeling for some time. I started using Foundation by Zurb alongside Modx last year and found it to be a perfect fit and so I can't tell you how pleased I am that you guys are adopting this approach, especially as I've now decided to start building in Revo and not Evo. I have no interest in Cloud (it doesn't fit my business model). I've not been able to contribute much to the community apart from a little finance for an e-coomerce add-on and the odd bit of advice here and there but I do feel that Modx could now be coming home and so look forward to getting more involved even if that just means talking about Modx a little more. In terms of e-commerce, I'm a Magento fan but would love to see a Modx approach that is 'e-commerce first' - I believe that's the key to survival and revenue.

  6. JP DeVries:
    Mar 30, 2013 at 01:54 PM


    I'm glad this post brought you some relief. You mentioned you are a Web Designer familiar with Zurb. Mark and I could definitely use some help (both in actual design as well as critique) on the work we are doing to show the community what a new Manager could be. Whether or not MODX and the community will follow is yet to be decided, but Mark and I think it's worth a try to make some big changes.

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