Content Module Principles

In the Content Module, we directly render the frontend of the website, and then augment it with the Neos Content Editing User Interface.

Because of this, we do not control all CSS or javaScript which is included on the page; so we need some special guidelines to deal with that. These are listed on this page.

Naming of main UI parts

The following image shows the main UI parts of the content module and the names we use for them.

UI parts of the content module

UI parts of the content module

Content Module Architecture

The whole Content Module is built around the Aloha Blocks. Blocks are un-editable elements of a website, which are managed by Aloha. They can appear inside or outside editables, can be nested, and can appear either as inline element (<span>) or as block-level element(<div>).

Only one block is active at any given time. When a block is active, then all its parent blocks are selected. The block selection contains the active block as first element and all other selected blocks from innermost to outermost.

Most of the UI changes depending on the current block selection.

User Interface Updates on Selection Change

The following diagram shows how the UI is changing when the block selection changes:

UI Updates on selection change

UI Updates on selection change

  1. The neosintegration Aloha Plugin (located in alohaplugins/neosintegration/lib/neosintegration-plugin.js) hooks into the Aloha event which is triggered whenever the block selection changes. Whenever this event is triggered, it calls T3.Content.Model.BlockSelection.updateSelection().
  2. We need to wrap each Aloha Block with a Ember.js Block (later only called Block), so we can attach event listeners to it. This wrapping is done by the BlockManager
  3. The BlockManager either returns existing Ember.js Blocks (if the given Aloha Block has already been wrapped), or creates a new one.
  4. Then, the BlockSelection sets its content property, which the UI is bound to. Thus, all UI elements which depend on the current block selection are refreshed.

User Interface Updates updates on property change

When an attribute is modified through the property panel, the following happens:

How attributes are modified

How attributes are modified

WARNING: TODO: Document what happens when an editable is modified

Node Property Naming Conventions

TODO write some intro text

  1. Normal properties

    Those properties contain normal values like a title, date or other value. Serverside setting of the property is done using Neos ContentRepository Node::setProperty()

  2. Visibility / lifecycle properties

    These properties are prefixed using an underscore, like ‘_hidden’. Serverside setting of the property is done using Neos ContentRepository Node::set<UpperCamelCasePropertyname>()

  3. Neos internal properties

    These properties are prefixed with a double underscore, like __workspacename TODO: internal

Saving content

Saving is triggered using T3.Content.Model.Changes.save() and is very straight-forward. For now, we use ExtDirect to send things back to the server.

Displaying Modal Dialogs

WARNING: TODO - write this

  • REST architectural style
  • HTML snippets loaded via fixed URLs from server side
  • Return Commands (<a rel="typo3-...." />)

REST Server Side API

Most backend services which are currently used in the user interface are not RESTful. The goal is to migrate them, step by step, to a clean REST architecture.

Two services have been – partially – migrated: Nodes and ContentDimensions. We provide an HTML and a JSON based interface, roughly following HATEOAS concepts. Both formats a not yet part of the public API and we expect them to change as we gain more experience with the pros and cons of their structure.

URL /neos/service/nodes URL /neos/service/contentdimensions

Inspect the HTML output and the controller / template code for more information about the currently supported operations and arguments.