Wim Leers: XB week 4: annotated data model test

My Monday started with a pleasant surprise that is only possible in cross-timezone collaborations: Ted “tedbow” 1 had made a huge leap forward on #3450957: Prevent modules from being uninstalled if they provide field types used in an Experience Builder (XB) field, where he’s working on the first aspect where XB’s JSON blobs in the database must be queried.
Drupal 11 requires versions of databases that support JSON querying. Ted rather quickly discovered that JSON querying support is not consistent across different databases … but fortunately Brad “bradjones1 is working on #3343634 to add explicit JSON support to Drupal’s database abstraction layer, which is one of the endeavors sponsored by Pitch-Burgh! So: database nerds, unite!

(That means reviewing Brad’s work in that issue is yet another way of contributing to XB — in addition to helping Single Directory Components (SDC) move forward.)

To ensure we are aware of what works on which database from day one, I updated XB’s CI pipeline to run the test suite against MariaDB+MySQL+PostgreSQL+SQLite.

Missed a prior week? See all posts tagged Experience Builder.

Goal: make it possible to follow high-level progress by reading ~5 minutes/week. I hope this empowers more people to contribute when their unique skills can best be put to use!

For more detail, join the #experience-builder Slack channel. Check out the pinned items at the top!

Later on Monday, Ben “bnjmnm” and Jesse landed an MR that starts to connect the UI that you saw two weeks ago to the back end, and brought it alive: there’s now a tree view to provide a sense of place on the canvas, and much more:

Image removed. Try it yourself locally if you like, but there’s not much you can do yet.
Install the 0.x branch — the “Experience Builder PoC” toolbar item takes you there!

A day later, the first set of unit tests landed: those for StructuredDataPropExpressions (these express where to retrieve values mapped for SDC props).

On Thursday, Harumi “hooromoo”’s MR to provide the foundations for undo/redo support landed, after the most enthusiastic approval I think I’ve ever seen Lee “larowlan” give! :D

That same day, his colleague Griffyn “griffynh” ran the second asynchronous XB meeting in Drupal Slack (archive on d.o: #3453097), this time with 21 participants of the ~250 people in the #experience-builder channel (~100 more compared to 2 weeks ago).
The most heavily debated topics were the data model/persistence layer and Cypress vs vitest for tests.

By Friday, I managed to finish up the work that I already shared a video of a week prior (see week 3), where a PropSource (which itself uses a PropExpression) can be chosen for each component prop and edited using Drupal’s existing Field Widgets. Crucially, it now includes a fully annotated end-to-end test that verifies the demo in detail:

  • an article using an XB field can be created
  • expected data is stored for the XB field, with a handful of placed components, and all prop source types: static, dynamic and adapter
  • each of these prop sources can be evaluated/resolved to a concrete value to pass into the corresponding SDC prop
  • each of the placed components renders into the expected HTML

In other words: it’s making the concrete implementation of #3440578: JSON-based data storage proposal for component-based page building tangible and debuggable in a way that required reading dozens of files previously! 2

Thanks to Ted & Lauri for reviewing this!

  1. Forever infamous for his shining sunglasses moment on stage during DrupalCon Pittsburgh — captured it in exquisite detail by Mike “mherchel”! ↩︎

  2. Hence it’ll serve as a canary for the data model/storage back-end infrastructure in the short–medium term. ↩︎