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CMS Made Simple

June 2012

On the web

New & Improved!
HTML5 Ahead!
As we roll into Summer, CMS Made Simple is moving toward the biggest feature release in years, CMSMS 1.11. Along with this new release we are redesigning the website, releasing some HTML5 themes, and updating our tag line to better reflect our strengths. The new USP will be "CMS Made Simple: Power for Professionals, Simple for End Users." To top it off, CMS Made Simple has now passed 1.5 million downloads!
CMSMS 1.11 Update
CMSMS 1.11 has been progressing steadily. It will be perhaps the biggest single functionality release in CMSMS history. We are also tackling some internals, and doing a lot of cleanup. There is new functionality, and some “under the hood” work. There should be a little bit for everybody in this release. Read the article on-line to get all the details.


A Word from Our Sponsor
3rd Party Module News
While the Dev Team has been busily rebuilding the CMSMS Core for Smarty3, our community of 3rd party developers have had a productive Spring as well.

Since the 1.10 release last Fall required upgrades for most modules, we have seen 1.10+ compatible releases of many of the tried and true mods like FormBuilder, AceEditor, AdvancedContent and Calguy's Commerce Suite.

Jocelyn Lusseau has released a much-improved version of TemplateExternalizer which is covered in greater detail in one of the articles below.

For module-making modules, MC Factory has been released with major improvements.

There are more new and upgraded modules than I can cover here, but you can browse the release list at the link below:


How to Compress Your CSS With {cms_stylesheet}
CMS Made Simple attaches stylesheets to a page template with the {cms_stylesheet} tag. Since CMSMS version 1.10, this tag will automatically concatenate all of the stylesheets for a given media type into one CSS file.

You may not be aware that since version 1.10, you can use SMARTY tags inside of CMS Made Simple stylesheets. With a couple of small tricks, you can use this to compress your stylesheets.

Using [[strip]] Tags

In CMS Made Simple stylesheets, we use [[double braces]] instead of {curly brackets} as the SMARTY delimiter. This saves using a ridiculous number of "literal" tags.

On the first line of your stylesheet, put this tag: [[strip]], and on the last line put [[/strip]].

If you look at the resulting output, you will see that it has removed any line breaks tabs and double spaces. This compresses your stylesheet significantly, but there is still room for improvement.

To learn more, read the rest of this article online:


Editor's Choice: Best New CMS Made Simple Site
We like to highlight some of the new high quality sites built with CMS Made Simple that have been posted in the CMS Show Off section of the forum.

This month, we have several impressive sites, starting with bcfarmfresh.com built by Orange. This site helps a cooperative of organic farms to market their products to the public. The primary functionality is provided by the CompanyDirectory and FormBuilder modules.

Home Office Express is a catalog site built with the Products module and Foxycart. For more information on how the developer created this site and integrated it with Foxycart you can click here.

This issue's Editor Pick for "best new CMS Made Simple site" goes to the UK design firm, Shoes for Industry, for the e-book site they designed for a client which can be viewed here. This site is a fine example of how mobile-friendly, responsive design can be implemented in CMS Made Simple. This site relies on the Products module for its primary functionality and you can learn more how they did it here.

To submit your CMS Made Simple site for Editor's Choice, please post a link the "CMS Show Off" thread in the forum and tell us how you did it:


TemplateExternalizer - An Excellent Front-End Development Tool
TemplateExternalizer is a 3rd party module that can save CMS Made Simple developers many hours of cutting and pasting.

It allows you to work much more rapidly on projects, particularly if they are large and complex. Template Externalizer is a 3rd party module maintained by Jocelyn Lusseau that is an indispensable tool for CMS Made Simple developers. This module makes it possible to keep all of your templates as neatly organized files for your favorite editing program, such as Dreamweaver or Aptana Studio 3.

When you edit the source file and then upload it to the Template Externalizer directory on your development server, the template in CMS Made Simple will be automatically updated.

For front-end developers this saves a lot of copying and pasting templates, and it also ensures that you have a backup of all of your templates on your work pc.

For more details on how to install and use TemplateExternalizer, read this tutorial online.


Creating a Multi-Lingual CMSMS Site with MLE CMS
Once upon a time there was an unauthorized multilingual CMS Made Simple fork called "MLE Edition." There were many fans and users of this project, but as the official CMSMS continued to develop the MLE fork just could not keep up, making it difficult or impossible to get modules from one to work on the other.

Eventually, the DEV Team nixed the MLE fork, and removed it from the Forge. Now we are actively encouraging the CMSMS module development community to develop new modules to provide the kind of multi-language functionality that was in the old MLE Fork.

By developing modules that conform to the Forge rules, we ensure that the sites people build with CMS Made Simple will continue to be maintainable into the future.

One of the first developers to rise to this challenge was Zdeno Kuzmany, who released the Multilanguage CMS Module.

Using this module is not intuitively obvious the first time, so Goran Ilic has written an excellent tutorial on how to build a multi-language site using this module. If you need to build a multi-language site you may want to give it a read.


Learn to Become a CMS Made Simple Module Developer
If you have been developing CMS Made Simple websites for a while now and you would like to gain the power to create your own modules, here are some practical steps you can take to learn how.

Learn PHP if you have not done so already. The classic resource for learning PHP5, SMARTY and MySql is Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional by W. Jason Gilmore.

Once you have a basic handle on PHP, grab a copy of The CMS Made Simple Development Cookbook from Packt Publishing. Author Sam Goldstein makes it easy to understand how to write User Defined Tags, Plugins and Modules for CMS Made Simple.


Under the Hood - How CMSMS Processes Page Templates
Most people know that CMS Made Simple processes the BODY of a template before the HEAD, but did you know that there is a third section of the template that is processed before anything else?

CMS Made Simple processes page templates in four zones:

Zone 1: From the beginning of the file (the very top) to the end of the HTML tag
Zone 2: From the BODY tag to the End of File
Zone 3: From HEAD to /HEAD

There are a few things that you can do to make practical application of this. Read the full article at Goran Ilic's website to find out:


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