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This page describes how you can use and define a prototype variant in Magnolia CLI v3 to create a new block, component, light module, page and virtual URI definition. 

Prototypes and prototype variants

Magnolia CLI v3 comes with the following prototypes:

  • Block
  • Component
  • Light module
  • Page
  • Virtual URI

Each of these prototypes comes in two or three pre-configured variants one of which is applied when executing a create command. The variants speed up the creation of a light module or its components. You can tweak each of the variants according to your needs or even create your own variants. They are stored in the mgnl-cli-prototypes folder of your Magnolia CLI installation. Please be aware that the installation can reflect either a local or a global configuration, see Global and local configurations for more information.

Upon a clean installation of CLI v3 the folder has the following structure:

 Click here to expand...
v3 mgnl-cli-prototypes folder structure
mgnl-cli-prototypes 
├── block
│   ├── _default
│   └── empty
├── component
│   ├── _default
│   ├── empty
│   └── with-js-model
├── light-module
│   ├── comprehensive
│   └── _default
├── page
│   ├── _default
│   ├── empty
│   └── with-js-model
└── virtual-uri
    ├── _default
    ├── empty
    └── regexp


The level 2 directory names in the prototypes folder correspond with the following prototypes variants. You can refer to a variant by the name attached to the -P option in the create commands:

  • _default – To create a default structure for the given element. Same as not specifying a prototype variant at all. If you use this variant to create a virtual URI mapping configuration, the URI mapping is based on the DefaultVirtualUriMapping class.
  • empty – To create a minimalistic structure of the element. If you use this variant to create a virtual URI mapping configuration, no URI mapping class is specified in the configuration.
  • with-js-model – To create a page or a component utilizing the JavaScript Models class. See also How to work with JavaScript models.
  • regexp – To create a virtual URI mapping configuration based on the RegexpVirtualUriMapping class.

  • comprehensive – To create a light module with the most complete (=comprehensive) structure. The following structure is created when issuing the mgnl create-light-module fooModule -P comprehensive  command:

     Click here to expand...
    comprehensive (prototype variant for creating light modules)
    fooModule
    ├── apps
    ├── blocks
    ├── decorations
    ├── dialogs
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    ├── i18n
    │   └── fooModule-messages_en.properties
    ├── includes
    │   └── README.txt
    ├── messageViews
    ├── README.md
    ├── restEndpoints
    ├── templates
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    ├── themes
    ├── virtualUriMappings
    └── webresources

    Without specifying the prototype or, alternatively, by adding -P _default, the structure looks like this:

     Click here to expand...
    default (prototype variant for creating light modules)
    fooModule
    ├── decorations
    ├── dialogs
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    ├── i18n
    │   └── fooModule-messages_en.properties
    ├── includes
    │   └── README.txt
    ├── README.md
    ├── templates
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    └── webresources

    For comparison, see the light module structure created with the mgnl create-light-module fooModule command in Magnolia CLI v2:

     Click here to expand...
    fooModule
    ├── decorations
    ├── dialogs
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    ├── i18n
    │   └── fooModule-messages_en.properties
    ├── README.md
    ├── templates
    │   ├── components
    │   └── pages
    └── webresources

Prototype variant root folder

The root folder of a prototype variant is like the root folder of a light module folder. Whatever is added into the root of a prototype variant folder is added also to the corresponding level(s) of the light module folder when you execute a specific create command. You can add custom files to prototype variants according to your needs (see the example below).

Placeholder variables in prototype files

In a prototype variant and even in its filename you can use the following placeholder variables:  

  • __lightDevModuleFolder__ Replaced with the name of the current light module.
  • __dialog__ Replaced with the dialog definition ID (see referencing dialogs).
  • __fromUri__ Replaced with the name of the fromUri configuration in a virtual URI mapping.
  • __toUri__ Replaced with the name of the toUri configuration in a virtual URI mapping.
  • __template__ Replaced with the template definition ID in block, page and component prototypes (see referencing templates). 
  • __templateScript__ Replaced with the name and path of a template script.
  • __name__ Replaced with the name of the item being generated, for instance the name of a page template.
  • __modelName__ Same as __name__ but converted into UpperCamelCase to be a valid object name in a JavaScript model.

    Example

    The stock Magnolia page template prototype variant called with-js-model contains also a pre-configured prototype file __name__.js . The prototype file has the following content (the multiline comment at the beginning was removed intentionally):

    Prototype JS file
    var __modelName__ = function () {
    
        var System = Java.type("java.lang.System");
    
        /**
         * Outputs 'Hello, world!' greeting into Tomcat catalina logfile.
         */
        this.greet = function () {
            System.out.println("Hello, world!");
        }
    
        /**
         * Returns random number.
         */
        this.getRandomNumber = function () {
            return Math.random();
        }
    };
    
    new __modelName__();

    After executing, for example, the command mgnl create-page visitor-counter -P with-js-model, the prototype file is used to create a new file called visitor-counter.js in the page template folder of your light module. The newly created file has the following content:

    Created JS file
    var VisitorCounter = function () {
    
        var System = Java.type("java.lang.System");
    
        /**
         * Outputs 'Hello, world!' greeting into Tomcat catalina logfile.
         */
        this.greet = function () {
            System.out.println("Hello, world!");
        }
    
        /**
         * Returns random number.
         */
        this.getRandomNumber = function () {
            return Math.random();
        }
    };
    
    new VisitorCounter();

    Notice the change happening at lines 1 and 20: using the __modelName__ variable in the prototype file takes the name visitor-counter from the create command and turns it to UpperCamelCase when creating the target file.

Using prototype variants

A prototype variant is applied any time you use one of the following CLI commands:

Listing the available variants

The variants that are available for use with a create command can be listed via the help command, for example:

mgnl help create-page

In the stock installation of Magnolia CLI v3, the command lists these three variants:  _defaultempty, and with-js-model. If you create a new variant and attach it to a given prototype, the new variant also appears in the output of the help command.

Applying a variant

To create a new item from a prototype variant, use a create comand and append -P (or --prototype) followed by the name of a variant. For example:

mgnl create-page fooPage -P empty 

This command wil create a page template from the empty page prototype variant.

(warning) Be careful not to confuse -P and -p in the create commands. The first one is used to specify a prototype, the second is used to specify the path.

If unsure, use the long versions: --prototype and --path. They are easier to remember.

If you do not specify a prototype variant, or, alternatively, if you append -P _default to a create command, Magnolia CLI applies the _default prototype variant and creates the item from the _default subdirectory of the given item in the mgnl-cli-prototypes folder. The output of the following two example commands is then the same.

Commands:

mgnl create-light-module fooModule
mgnl create-light-module fooModule -P _default

Output: 

 Click here to expand...
fooModule
├── decorations
├── dialogs
│   ├── components
│   └── pages
├── i18n
│   └── fooModule-messages_en.properties
├── includes
│   └── README.txt
├── README.md
├── templates
│   ├── components
│   └── pages
└── webresources

Creating a custom variant

You can  create a custom prototype variant and add it to one of the five prototypes to create a new block, component, light module, page or a virtual URI configuration. The short tutorial below shows how to create a new page prototype variant called Front-Page that: 

  • Is based on the empty variant provided by Magnolia.
  • Uses the word Welcome as a h1 header on the page.
  • Has the header styled by a stylesheet (CSS) file and the stylesheet linked to the template script via two CLI variables.

Remember that the root folder of a prototype variant is like the root folder of a light-module folder. Whatever is added into the root a prototype variant folder is added to the corresponding levels of the light module folder when you execute the specific create command.

Tip: Do not edit or add prototypes in the global configuration. Create it in a local configuration which you can set up with the customize-local-config command.

Example: Front-Page variant

To create the Front-Page prototype variant:

  1. In the mgnl-cli-prototypes folder, go to the page folder and make a copy of the existing empty subfolder in it.

  2. Rename the copy to Front-Page and cd to it.

  3. Create the webresources/css subdirectory in it. Switch to the css subdirectory and create a new file called __name__.css there. 
    In bash shell you can use the following command for this step:

    mkdir -p webresources/css; touch $_/__name__.css
  4.  Edit the __name__.css file to have the following content:

    h1 { font-family: Helvetica; color: #689600 }
  5. Save the stylesheet file. The content of the page folder now looks like this:

     Click here to expand...
    New content of the page folder
    ├── _default
    │   ├── dialogs
    │   │   └── pages
    │   │       └── __name__.yaml
    │   └── templates
    │       └── pages
    │           ├── __name__.ftl
    │           └── __name__.yaml
    ├── empty
    │   └── templates
    │       └── pages
    │           ├── __name__.ftl
    │           └── __name__.yaml
    ├── Front-Page
    │   ├── templates
    │   │   └── pages
    │   │       ├── __name__.ftl
    │   │       └── __name__.yaml
    │   └── webresources
    │       └── css
    │           └── __name__.css
    └── with-js-model
        ├── dialogs
        │   └── pages
        │       └── __name__.yaml
        └── templates
            └── pages
                ├── __name__.ftl
                ├── __name__.js
                └── __name__.yaml
    
  6. Open the ../Front-Page/templates/pages/__name__.ftl file for editing and save it with the following content:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
      <head>
       <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="${ctx.contextPath}/.resources/__lightDevModuleFolder__/webresources/css/__name__.css" media="all" />
      </head>
      <body>
       <h1>Welcome</h1>
      </body>
    </html>

    Notes:
    Line 4: The link to the style definition of your Front-Page template. There are two CLI variables in the link that make sure the style definition is linked correctly with your page:

    • The __lightDevModuleFolder__ variable in the path generates a part of the path to the light module in which you create the page.

    • The __name__ variable generates a matching name for the stylesheet file.

    Line 7: The element that displays the h1 header on your page.

Now, the next series of steps shows how to create a new page tempate based on the Front-Page prototype variant.

  1. Go to the light module in which you want to create a page from the new Front-Page prototype variant. You may create it in a new light module, see the  create-light-module  command for creating light module templates.
  2. You may also check that the Front-Page variant is available for the create-page command. Do that by entering:

    mgnl help create-page

    In the output of the command you should find a line showing the availability of the Front-Page variant:

    Available prototypes are: [Front-Page, _default, empty, with-js-model].
  3. Finally, create a page template by entering the following command:

    mgnl create-page index -P Front-Page

    The templates/pages and webresources/css folders of the light module now have new template files created from the Front-Page prototype variant:

    ├── templates
    │   └── pages
    │       ├── index.ftl
    │       └── index.yaml
    └── webresources
        └── css
            └── index.css

    If you keep your light module in the directory observed by the magnolia.resources.dir property, the new page template and any subseqent changes to it are picked up by Magnolia instantly. The template is available under the name index in the Pages app. A new page based on the this template should look as follows in the app:

    You may now modify the page template by specifying areas in it and allowing components in them.

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