devot:ee's 2009 AcademEE Awards

2009 Extension of the Year: FieldFrame


Pixel & Tonic (Brandon Kelly)

Develop fieldtype add-ons in EE1 with as little effort as a plugin.

Winning Summary:

Brandon won this category last year with Playa (which appears this year as a runner-up) but FieldFrame took the cake this year because of how much it meant to ExpressionEngine development as a whole. FieldFrame is a framework for rapid development of fieldtype extensions in ExpressionEngine - meaning it’s a meta add-on. It makes it easier to make other add-ons, and therein lies its secret power. You almost can’t develop a site without installing this (well, you could, but you must like to do things the hard way). FieldFrame is so awesome, the API is built into EE2.

Runners Up:
  1. nGen File (Fred Boyle, nGen Works) - Adds a file upload custom field type. Useful for creating galleries, download libraries, and much more. At this point, why would you use anything else for file uploads?
  2. Playa (Brandon Kelly) - This is simply how multiple relationships should be done. There have been many nice enhancements added over the past year, including different UI modes and other improvements.
  3. Wygwam (Brandon Kelly) - This add-on is the premier WYSIWYG editor for ExpressionEngine. Powered by CKEditor 3. Highly recommended if you’re using any WYSIWYG fields in your control panel.

2009 Module of the Year: Structure


Tom Jaeger (EE Harbor)

Structure is a powerful add-on that lets you create pages, generate navigation, manage content through a simple interface and build robust sites faster than ever. It forgoes the current template_group/template setup and creates “static” and “listing” pages that are all editable through a tree sitemap view. Now, traditional page style content and multiple entry pages can live within the same area. Your clients & authors will rejoice.

Winning Summary:

The Module winner in 2008 was Solspace’s User, which makes an appearance this year as a runner-up. This year, there was absolutely no question that people thought Structure was where it’s at. Structure forgoes the template_group/template setup and creates “static” and “listing” pages that are all editable through a tree sitemap view, allowing traditional page style content and multiple entry pages to live within the same area. For extensive info about using Structure, visit Build With Structure.

Runners Up:
  1. Freeform (Solspace) - A great module that lets you track and export submitted form info.
  2. User (Solspace) - Avoid having to mess with native EE member templates and gain much greater control over member-related templates. User is employed on devot:ee. We couldn’t imagine having made the member pages without it.
  3. Deeploy Helper (Hop Studios) - Collects many of the configuration parameters we most frequently modify on one page, where power users can modify them all at once.

2009 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:

For the second year in a row, David Rencher’s Image Sizer wins this award - and it wasn’t even close. As stated last year, this add-on works very well when clients have a single image that needs to appear in different sizes in different places on different templates - or for strict damage control for those clients who always seem to upload images that are too large.

Runners Up:
  1. TruncHTML (Oliver Heine (silenz)) - This was a runner-up last year as well. Creates excerpts and closes any open tags. Very useful.
  2. FLV Player (John Henry Donovan (vinnyio)) - Simple plugin so you can insert flash video (FLV) into your templates or posts.
  3. EE Gravatar (Philip Zaengle) - Allows you to easily insert a “globally recognized avatar” image from Gravatar.

2009 Developer of the Year

Pixel & Tonic

This is our equivalent of “Best Director”, and perhaps “Best Picture” all rolled into one. If nothing else, Brandon can holler “I’m King of the World!” for the next year. Leevi Graham won last year, but within the last twelve months, Brandon had amped up his production - and his support - and has become an exceptional member of the ExpressionEngine community. Jamie Pittock may have said it best earlier this month on Twitter when he wrote “While I love all EE developers, I think I may have stopped using EE by now if it were not for @brandonkelly.”

Runners Up:
  1. Leevi Graham (Newism, - Last year’s winner is still very much at the top. Leevi doesn’t sleep, and that allows him to put out great add-ons like LG Better Meta, LG Live Look, and many more.
  2. Stephen Lewis (Experience Internet) - Stephen has a number of fantastic add-ons including Speakeasy, SL Google Map, SL Developer Info, and many more.
  3. Solspace (Paul Burdick, Mitchell Kimbrough, et al. - - The grandaddy of ExpressionEngine add-on development. Many offerings, most of which you’re probably familiar with. We look forward to great things from Solspace in 2010, due to the addition of Paul Burdick as lead developer there.