Add a Content Block Type

In this guide, I outline the steps for creating a content block type and provide an example for each.

Create Storefront Component

In most cases, a new block type will be represented by a new UI component in the Storefront. I like to create the component first, before implementing the block type. In some cases, a JavaScript module is coupled with the component to provide its behavior.

In the following examples, I create a Captioned Image Content Block component in the Storefront, and I add the boilerplate for a JavaScript module with the same name that hooks onto the component. The image below shows the finished component in the Storefront.

Captioned image content block Storefront component style guide

Add Assets

If your component requires assets, add them to your application at any path included in Rails.configuration.assets.paths. My example requires an image, which I add at the following path.

app/assets/images/workarea/storefront/widget.png

Add Style Guide Partial

You need a style guide to develop your component abstractly. To add a Storefront style guide, create a partial under app/views/workarea/storefront/style_guides/components/. Copy the style guide boilerplate from an existing Storefront style guide partial. Alternatively, use the workarea:style_guide Rails generator to create the file and the boilerplate.

Add static content within the partial to represent your component. My example requires an image and a caption. Below is my partial.

/ app/views/workarea/storefront/style_guides/components/_captioned_image_content_block.html.haml

#captioned-image-content-block.style-guide__subsection

  %h3= link_to_style_guide('components', 'captioned_image_content_block')

  %p A content block that displays an image with a caption. Used for figures in technical documentation.

  .style-guide__example-block
    .captioned-image-content-block
      %figure.captioned-image-content-block__figure
        = image_tag('workarea/storefront/widget.png', alt: 'An ACME widget in all its glory', class: 'captioned-image-content-block__image')
        %figcaption.captioned-image-content-block__caption An ACME widget in all its glory

If your component is stateful, add additional example blocks to document and test each state.

Add Stylesheet

Next, add a stylesheet to style the component. My stylesheet follows.

// app/assets/stylesheets/workarea/storefront/components/_captioned_image_content_block.scss

/*------------------------------------*\
    #CAPTIONED-IMAGE-CONTENT-BLOCK
\*------------------------------------*/

.captioned-image-content-block {
    text-align: center;
}

    .captioned-image-content-block__figure {}

    .captioned-image-content-block__image {}

    .captioned-image-content-block__caption {
        font-style: italic;
        font-size: 0.75em;
    }

To include this Stylesheet, you must override or append to the Storefront stylesheet manifest. I create the following initializer to append my stylesheet.

# config/initializers/appends.rb

Workarea.append_stylesheets(
  'storefront.components',
  'workarea/storefront/components/_captioned_image_content_block.scss'
)

Add JavaScript Module

If necessary, create a JavaScript module to attach behavior to your component. Create the module file and copy the boilerplate from an existing Storefront JavaScript module. Alternatively, use the workarea:js_module Rails generator to create the file and boilerplate.

In my example, I add a minimal JavaScript module for demonstration purposes.

// app/assets/javascripts/workarea/storefront/modules/captioned_image_content_blocks.js

/**
 * @namespace WORKAREA.captionedImageContentBlocks
 */
WORKAREA.registerModule('captionedImageContentBlocks', (function () {
    'use strict';

    var handleClick = function () {
        // TODO implement click handler
        window.alert('TODO');
    },

    /**
     * @method
     * @name init
     * @memberof WORKAREA.captionedImageContentBlocks
     */
    init = function ($scope) {
        $('.captioned-image-content-block', $scope).on('click', handleClick);
    };

    return {
        init: init
    };
}()));

Similarly to the stylesheet, the JavaScript module must be added to the Storefront JavaScript manifest via override or append. I add to my appends.rb initializer.

# config/initializers/appends.rb

Workarea.append_stylesheets(
  'storefront.components',
  'workarea/storefront/components/_captioned_image_content_block.scss'
)

Workarea.append_javascripts(
  'storefront.modules',
  'workarea/storefront/modules/captioned_image_content_blocks.js'
)

Test Component

Now start your server and navigate to your component in your browser to test it. For example, my component is available at the following path.

/style_guides/components/captioned_image_content_block

Create Block Type

Creating the block type requires adding a block type definition via the content block DSL and adding a partial to render blocks of that type in the Storefront. You can optionally run the workarea:content_block_type Rails generator to create the boilerplate for these steps.

Add Block Type Definition

Define your block type in an initializer. I like to start with a static block (no dynamic data) to confirm everything is working. My initializer is below.

# config/initializers/content_block_types.rb

Workarea::Content.define_block_types do
  block_type 'Captioned Image' do
    description 'An image with a caption, used for figures in technical documentation.'
  end
end

Add Storefront Partial

Create your Storefront partial under the directory app/views/workarea/storefront/content_blocks/. The file name must match the block type name for the partial to be found when rendering blocks of this type. For now, I copy the static example from my component style guide into the partial.

/ app/views/workarea/storefront/content_blocks/_captioned_image.html.haml

.captioned-image-content-block
  %figure.captioned-image-content-block__figure
    = image_tag('workarea/storefront/widget.png', alt: 'An ACME widget in all its glory', class: 'captioned-image-content-block__image')
    %figcaption.captioned-image-content-block__caption An ACME widget in all its glory

Test Block Type

Start your server and navigate to a content edit screen to add a new block. Your new block type is listed.

Adding captioned image block with default icon

Choosing that type renders your static content in the preview and offers the default display options for editing.

Editing a static captioned image block with default icon

Saving and navigating to that content in the Storefront renders your static content.

Captioned image block in the Storefront

Optionally Add Custom Admin Icon

To provide a custom Admin icon for your block type, create an SVG icon file that mimics the presentation and properties of those used by the default block types in the Admin. Save the icon under the directory app/assets/images/workarea/admin/content_block_types/. The file name must match your block type name.

For my example, I add an icon[1] at the following path.

app/assets/images/workarea/admin/content_block_types/captioned_image.svg

Within the Admin, add a new block to confirm the icon is displaying correctly.

Adding captioned image block with custom icon

Editing a static captioned image block with custom icon

Replace Static Content with Dynamic Data

To finish the block type, you must replace the static content with dynamic data. This requires adding fields to the block type definition, providing default data for those fields, and outputting the field data in the Storefront partial (often using a Storefront view model to manipulate the data first).

My example uses Image and Caption fields, as shown below.

Editing a dynamic captioned image block

Update Block Type Definition

Revisit your initializer to add content fields. I add the Image and Caption fields to my example below. To set the default Image value, I copy a useful code block from the Workarea Core content block types initializer. [2]

# config/initializers/content_block_types.rb

Workarea::Content.define_block_types do
  # copied from workarea-core/config/initializers/14_content_block_types.rb
  find_asset_id = lambda do |name|
    proc do
      asset = Workarea::Content::Asset.where(file_name: name).first ||
                Workarea::Content::Asset.placeholder

      asset.try(:id)
    end
  end

  block_type 'Captioned Image' do
    description 'An image with a caption, used for figures in technical documentation.'
    field 'Image', :asset, required: true, file_types: 'image', default: find_asset_id.call('widget.png')
    field 'Caption', :string, default: 'An ACME widget in all its glory'
  end
end

Add Default Data

If the default values for your fields require data (products, assets, etc), add seeds for that data. My example requires a content asset, so I add the following seeds file.

# app/seeds/workarea/content_seeds.rb

module Workarea
  class ContentSeeds
    def perform
      puts 'Adding content...'

      image_path = Rails.root.join(
        'app/assets/images/workarea/storefront/widget.png'
      )
      Content::Asset.create!(file: File.new(image_path))
    end
  end
end

And I add an initializer to update the list of seeds.

# config/initializers/seeds.rb

Workarea.config.seeds << "Workarea::ContentSeeds"

Add Storefront View Model

If you need to manipulate data values before displaying them, add a Storefront view model for your block type. Create the view model under the directory app/view_models/workarea/storefront/content_blocks/. The file name must match your block type name.

For my example, I need to convert the content asset instance stored in data[:image] into an image path. I therefore create the following view model. As a convenience, I also add the caption method which simply passes through the value of data[:caption].

# app/view_models/workarea/storefront/content_blocks/captioned_image_view_model.rb

module Workarea
  module Storefront
    module ContentBlocks
      class CaptionedImageViewModel < ContentBlockViewModel
        def image
          find_asset(data[:image])
        end

        def caption
          data[:caption]
        end
      end
    end
  end
end

Update Storefront Partial

Finally, update your Storefront partial, replacing static content with data from the view model. My updated partial follows.

/ app/views/workarea/storefront/content_blocks/_captioned_image.html.haml

.captioned-image-content-block
  %figure.captioned-image-content-block__figure
    = image_tag(view_model.image.url, alt: view_model.caption, class: 'captioned-image-content-block__image')
    - if view_model.caption.present?
      %figcaption.captioned-image-content-block__caption= view_model.caption

Test

You can confirm your block type is working by creating a new block of this type in the Admin and viewing the result in the Storefront. I did not write any automated tests for my example because its functionality is covered by existing platform tests. However, you may need to write a view model test and a system test if your block type includes logic or UI features that are more complex than my example.

Notes

[1] I designed my icon to stand out in screenshots. Your icon should more closely match the existing icons.

[2] Workarea 3.1 adds Workarea::Content::AssetLookup::find_asset_id_by_file_name, so if you are targeting this version of Workarea, you can use find_asset_id_by_file_name and avoid the need to implement find_asset_id as shown in my examples.