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DEV-159 - Getting issue details... STATUS

DEV-178 - Getting issue details... STATUS



The PoCof setup tools has become a new Magnolia project. Here are its coordinates


GIT: (master [jetty+Magnolia web app ] and tomcat-bundle branches)




Inspired by Tomáš's presentation at Lunch&Learn about Node.js and its package manager npmjs based module called CLI


Since enabling support for resource loading and yaml based configuration, Magnolia has given front end developers extra tool for simple creation of templates and tool for providing end users with updates in design and templates without need for re-deployment. Combination of template definitions, templates and other resources created using this new offering is called Magnolia Light Modules (LM).
Recent introduction of NPM as a means for packaging and distribution of LMs additionally strengthens this offering by giving frontend developers tool for obtaining and distribution of such LMs encouraging sharing them within different projects or even different teams.
While the enablement of resource loading and configuration via yaml allowed frontend developers to use their favourite tools when working with Magnolia and together with NPM based tooling greatly simplified distribution of results of their work, problem remains (same as previously with JCR based configuration) with number of points at which even experienced user might make mistake by either placing configuration at wrong location, unintentionally omitting some mandatory structures or simply misspelling names of required structures in configuration files.
Aside from that, the wide range of configuration parameters offered by Magnolia makes it difficult for the frontend developers to remember all possibilities, forcing them to frequently having consult documentation in order to be able to proceed with template definition work.


Provide an npm package for front-end devs to get started fast and develop painlessly (hopefully) with Magnolia and light development.

More precisely, provide command line based tooling (CLI) for frontend developers that can be used to automate mundane and always necessary task in daily work of frontend developer to reduce number of possible points where one needs to search for errors as well as removing the repetition and allowing frontend developers to concentrate on their goals of building websites that are visually stunning and easy to use.


  • increased efficiency by automation of daily tasks (creation of page and component templates, assignment of components to pages, creation of dialogs associated with pages or components)
  • reduce amount of possible spaces for errors (by generating common structures automatically, thus limiting possible errors to misspellings of component names or dialog fields added by user, but ensuring that structure is correct)
  • lower entry barrier for becoming frontend developer using Magnolia (learning couple of commands to generate basic website structure vs. learning whole configuration structure for template definitions just to create first templates)
  • additional, secondary benefit are
    • further increases in effectivity of development due to reduced number of testing configuration cycles (due to lower number of errors)
    • making learning advanced configuration simpler (by allowing frontend developers to inspect generated structures)
    • ensuring better understanding of custom work within project teams (generated structures are always same no matter which developer generated them and encourage people to place additions at the same locations)


  • whatever structures and placements for the resulting artifacts are generated by scripts need to be aligned with the structures generated by npm magnolia-build & distribution scripts
  • scripts need to operate correctly also when one chooses to not use npm for distribution (for small and internal projects)

Delivery timeframe

  • Final version should be released with Magnolia 5.5 latest.
  • Alpha version for the 2016 conference in Basel.


Since Magnolia is already taking benefit of and supporting npm as a tool to build and distribute LMs, automated tasks can and should be provided by additional npm based scripts. 
Scripts for downloading distribution of Magnolia and starting it up are already in the jumpstart project.
Prototype of remaining functions (and scripts) already exists (taken from original contribution by Tomas) and is analyzed as part of jira@DEV-178.

Scripts described below can be either installed as global and executed without need for npm run prefix or just locally with it. In case of the local execution only, one need to have scripts defined in his package.json file.


Functions supported by jumpstart
  • npm start to download and start Magnolia initially
  • start-magnolia
  • stop-magnolia
  • restart-magnolia

As part of start operation, in downloaded and extracted instance are also adapted.

In case of existing installation of Magnolia it is possible to point scripts to it and start such existing installation (for users with custom locally-only available bundles).

Configuration of use of CE or EE instance of Magnolia is also possible by modification of package.json file.


Supported operations
  • creation of pages e.g. add-page myHome
  • creation of components e.g. add-component myImage
  • adding components availability to pages e.g. add-component myImage available@sampleModule:pages/myHome@main
  • adding autogenerated components to pages e.g. add-component footer autogenerate@sampleModule:pages/myHome@footer
Scripts allow to configure availability and autogeneration only for page templates defined inside of the current light module/project, however components made available can be coming from anywhere (other light modules or other classic modules). No validation of errors against live instance of Magnolia is performed.

Future ideas

  • A custom command might allow users to download additional Magnolia modules as they come in need and place them automatically in WEB-INF/lib (well resolving dependencies in that case could be tricky or we need to limit this to downloading bundles that have all dependencies already packed).

  • short version of parameters for experts:
    • availability: create-component textImage -a pages/myHome@main
    • autogenerate: create-component textImage -g pages/myHome@main


  • include jumpstart part of the project
  • do not use any other tools such as yeoman or gulp or others to avoid extra complexity
  • none of the proposed solutions for install are ideal, explore yet another posibility. The one used by Tomas is closer to how other tools install (e.g. gulp) and should be prefered in absence of better ideas
  • use create-page and create-component instead of add- 
  • add-availability will stay as is
  • syntax change for parameters - use --available and --autogenerate instead of available@
  • module name is optional (if not provided, current is assumed, when provided we look for other project on the same level where current project is (in the same folder), when not found, simply fail with reasonable message)
  • examples of updated syntax:
    • create-component image
      • Add/create component template (will create component yaml file, component ftl and component dialog) 
    • create-component textImage --available [sampleModule:]pages/myHome@main
      • Same as above plus will set this component available on 'myHome' page in 'main' area (if area or availability configuration doesn't exist's in 'myHome' page, will create it as well) 
    • create-component footer --autogenerate [sampleModule:]pages/myHome@footer
      • Same as above, just will do 'autogeneration' instead of availability
    • add-availability [mtk:components/]html [sampleModule:]pages/myHome@main
      • Make component 'html' available at 'myHome' in 'main' area
    • create-light-module [-p path/to/light-modules-root-folder] myModule
      • Create a new light module structure with the standard Magnolia light dev structure


Items below require additional research and experimentation or discussion or decision or all of those
  • Which bundle to use for jumpstart custom jetty or standard tomcat?

Next Steps

  • Exploratory task for better install of cli jira@DEV-193
  • Refactoring for new syntax jira@NPMCLI-8
  • Refactoring to remove need for use of "sudo" jira@NPMCLI-5
  • Refactoring to remove need for YAML->JSON->YAML conversion jira@NPMCLI-4


Experimenting with Node.js and npm


As I'm a newbie to Node.js I had first to get familiar with the new technology. The result of my trials and errors is the little module at

There are two flavours of the module on two different branches 

  • master: a module using Jetty + Magnolia community web app 
  • tomcat-bundle: a module using Magnolia's CE tomcat bundle

From the module's readme.txt

This is a PoC for a nodejs module (package) which installs and runs a Magnolia instance ready for light development.
- run "npm start". This will
-- connect to Magnolia's public repository on Nexus and download Magnolia (see package.json)
-- extract Magnolia
-- change some (again see package.json)
-- start up Magnolia

Custom commands:
- Apart from the standard npm commands corresponding to the phases of a package lifecycle, e.g. install, start, etc.
this module provides these additional commands 
-- start-magnolia, usage "npm run start-magnolia" 
-- stop-magnolia, usage "npm run stop-magnolia"  
-- restart-magnolia, usage "npm run restart-magnolia"


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