devot:ee's 2008 AcademEE Awards

2008 Extension of the Year: Playa


Tom Jaeger (EE Harbor)

EE packs a powerful mechanism for relating entries to one another. But when the built-in implementation shows its seams, Playa takes it to the next level.

Winning Summary:

Yeah, it’s that good. It’s that useful. ExpressionEngine is a very powerful CMS for one reason (among many): relating entries. But it only goes so far. There is no native one-to-many custom field type. Epic FAIL! That’s where Playa (get it? Playa, multiple relationships…) comes in and saves the day, and with a very easy to use field type to boot. Move your entries from left to right, and then move them up and down to re-order them. If you haven’t used Playa on a site build up to now, we can probably guess a couple things: Your sites aren’t very complex; or you simply do some things the HARD way. Clients love it. You’ll love it too, you playa, you.

Great job, Brandon.

Runners Up:

Gypsy, Brandon Kelly — A much needed extension that just came on the scene last week. Allows custom fields to be free of their field groups. This is extremely cool, but hasn’t been in use long enough to be a winner.
LG Better Meta, Leevi Graham — Improve your sites’ SEO with custom page titles, descriptions, and more. Also has a sitemap generator. This is a very well thought-out module that is very flexible on the template side.
LG Live Look, Leevi Graham — Allows you to get proper entry previews in the EE Control Panel.

2008 Module of the Year: User


Tom Jaeger (EE Harbor)

Create powerful and flexible member management areas using regular EE templates.

Winning Summary:

Anyone who has ever tried to use the native EE member templates knows they can be a headache. Although User is on the high-end of all EE add-ons price-wise, we think this one is worth it in the time you will save being able to use standard templates for member-related things. Do we wish EE did this natively? Absolutely, but that’s another article. For now, Solspace has filled a corner niche with User that has saved much time and hair-pulling.

Runners Up:

Tag, Solspace— Like the name says: Tag your weblog entries with keywords, create “Clouds”, and show entries by shared tags. Very polished. Probably Solspace’s best offering.
Favorites, Solspace — Allow users to save entries as Favorites (both public and private).
Linklocker, Brad Street — Protect and track file downloads and much, much more.

2008 Plugin of the Year: Image Sizer

Image Sizer

David Rencher (Lumis)

This ExpressionEngine plugin will resize any JPG GIF or PNG image to the desired size specified in your EE tag and cache the resized image to the cache folder. If you update the original image a new resized version will be created. If the image is not on the server the tag will not return anything. The general architecture of this plug-in is setup in a way that it only processes images when needed.

Winning Summary:

Had there been AcademEE awards last year, this probably would have won this category then as well. This is an enormously useful plugin that works very well when clients have a single image that needs to appear in different sizes in different places on different templates. Either that or for strict damage control for those clients who always seem to upload images that are too large. This plugin can be used in conjunction with just about any extension or field that allows the client to upload an image.

Runners Up:

LG Replace, Leevi Graham — A very robust, and in our opinion underrated plugin that allows you to insert highly complex dynamic data right in the middle of static content.
Paginatee, Victor Gutierrez — Offers a very flexible way to paginate entries.
TruncHTML, Silenz — Creating excerpts can be a major pain, but this plugin does a fantastic job, and makes sure to close open tags as well.

2008 Developer of the Year

Leevi Graham

Leevi is a prolific EE developer who is quick answering support questions through the EE forums. He also has, hands down, the best documentation of any developer who makes add-ons for ExpressionEngine. If you can’t get one of Leevi’s add-ons working after having read the docs or the official EE forum threads, you probably don’t know up from down anyway. Leevi always has something new up his sleeve and frequently leaks screenshot son flickr or QuickSnapper through his Twitter account. Great job, Leevi!

Runners Up: