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July 21, 2012

New features in DAM 1.3 and the future of DAM

Category: DAM

By: Lorenz Ulrich

DAM 1.3 and its helper extensions were released today as the probably last feature release.

Most of you will have a love-hate relationship with DAM: It can do a lot more than the TYPO3-internal file handling but it's neither pretty nor easy to use. With the File Abstraction Layer (FAL) coming with TYPO3 6.0, the most needed functions of DAM will be covered by core functions. But since we still have a long-term support release with 4.5, we will need to have DAM working until April 2014.

I have been working with DAM for some time and used it heavily for one of my employers, the Pädagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz. After contributing to it for quite some time and taking over the leadership in May, I am happy to announce the probably last feature release of DAM.

The DAM team tackled 37 issues for DAM 1.3 and I'd like to take the opportunity to present some little features and tweaks in this new version:

A prettier DAM
The design of DAM was adjusted to look similar to TYPO3 4.5 and above. The user experience is still the s(h)ame, but maybe the users forget about it while being distracted by the brand new icons.

Thanks to Ingo Renner for providing the new icons and exchanging them all over DAM.

DAM references for header link and image link
For unknown reasons, DAM didn't support references for header link and image link. This is now fixed with a solution similar to the extension linkhandler. A link with format "media:[UID]" is processed as a DAM reference.

DAM references for Media content element
With the same technique mentioned above, DAM references are now also supported for the Media content element.

Module settings are stored in user configuration
The list views of DAM offer the possibility of choosing fields, the number of results and the sorting. This configuration now is stored in the user configuration so a user is "back where he or she was" after a re-login.

Files from subfolders can be hidden
In the Media > List module, files from subfolders are always recursively displayed in the parent folder. This can cause some confusion to users familiar with hierarchical file systems.

You can now configure whether files from subfolders should be displayed or not:

mod.txdamM1_SHARED.listFilesFromSubfolders = 0/1 (default: 1)

Keeping file name and metadata on replacing files
In DAM it's possible to replace a file with a new version while all references to the file are kept. To prevent direct links or search engine entries from breaking, you now can configure DAM to keep the file name of the file being replaced.

tx_dam.indexing.replaceFile.keepFileName = 1

Furthermore, you can configure DAM to keep certain metadata fields on replacing the file.

tx_dam.indexing.replaceFile.keepMetaFields = title, caption, description 

Besides that a lot of bugs have been fixed and calls to depreacted or removed methods were replaced. As mentioned above, we will continue maintaining DAM for TYPO3 4.5-4.7, so if you encounter any problems, please report them in our legacy bugtracker.

The future of DAM
As you might have heard by now, the File Abstraction Layer (FAL) will eventually be part of TYPO3 6.0. While the core will offer the possibility to index files, reference files and save some basic metadata, we aim to have an extension called "Media management" in TER that will cover the rest of DAM's usable features, such as categorization, additional metadata fields and maybe an improved list view for managing the metadata. Besides that we need a migration path from an installation with DAM to an installation with FAL/Media management.

This project and also the protocol of our last meeting can be found on TYPO3 Forge. If you have time and interest to help out with these tasks, get in touch with the Media management team.

If you're starting with a new TYPO3 project involving a lot of files or file management in general, we highly encourage you to use the Preview Releases of TYPO3 6.0.

Thanks a lot to all contributors of DAM 1.3: Ingo Renner, François Suter, Martin Holtz, Björn Pedersen, Jochen Rieger and Dan Osipov. And another thank you to my employer Pädagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz who let me work on DAM issues related to our own websites.


comment #1
Gravatar: Michael Stucki Michael Stucki July 25, 2012 01:12
Hey Lorenz,

many thanks for this report! It's a shame that nobody else commented on it yet.

Is probably the commenting feature broken? (Testing now...)

Regards, Michael

comment #2
Gravatar: Jonas Felix Jonas Felix July 25, 2012 09:09
Hi Lorenz,

thank you for your great work!

If you'r in Basel some day I'm happy to invite you for a DAM-Thank-You-Lunch :-)

Best regards and Greetings from Basel
Jonas Felix

comment #3
Gravatar: Jochen Weiland Jochen Weiland July 25, 2012 14:15
Hi Lorenz,

great work and a great writeup!


comment #4
Gravatar: ben van 't ende ben van 't ende July 25, 2012 16:26
heyla, tHNx for the buzz. it is a nice read. the interface changes really look cool and make it a much more consistent experience. great work!! gRTz ben

comment #5
Gravatar: Ben Ben August 1, 2012 11:50
Great work, thx!

But there is a bug in 1.3: The meta fields (alt-text, etc.) won't save the data and leaves blank (tested on fresh 4.7.2. with dam 1.3). Downgrading an 1.2.4 solves the problem.

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