Fields in jDownloads


jDownloads 4, and 3.9, support Joomla! Fields and Field Groups.  They may of course be multilingual but the default is for a single language. 

Historically version jD3.2 and earlier provided a limited number of what were called 'jDownloads Custom Fields'.
When upgrading from the jD3.2 series to the 3.9 series the old style jD Custom fields are automatically converted to Joomla Fields.

The Fields and Field Groups discussed here are those that have been created in jDownloads.

Field titles and contents are displayed in the frontend  using placeholder variables {jd_field_title id} and {jd_field id} where id is the relevant id of the required Field created in jDownloads.

Fields do not have to be in a Field Group, in effect when not in an explicit group they then belong in the 'ungrouped' group!
In this example we will first create a Field Group as placing Fields in a group simplifies using them when subsequently creating or editing Downloads.
One instance is that when creating a Field then the permissions are taken from those set in its Field Group. Another is that when editting in the frontend all the Fields in a Field Group are shown in a single tab.

 Creating Field Groups

Select button fieldgroup in the jDownloads Control Panel and then click on button new.  The Field Group Create panel will appear.
This has four tabs V4 field group tabs.

The relevant setting will, by default, be inherited by any Field that is a member of the Field Group.

General tab

In the General tab ensure the Field Group is Published.

As the site is not multilingual there is no language option.

Also set the Access as required, which would usually be Public so everyone will see the group.

Give the group a Description as that will guide users in the Frontend who are able to edit fields.

Also add a comment in the Note as that will appear in the Backend.

field group01

Publishing tab

The settings in the Publishing tab are self explanatory.

The only setting that can be changed is the 'Created Date'.

The other options are filled automatically.

field publish tab

Options tab

The Options tab has just one setting 'Display When Read-Only'.

This is best left at the default value 'Yes'. 
V4 tab group options

Permissions tab

On the Permissions Tab set up the relevant permissions for those User Groups that are to be allowed to create/edit in the Front End.

The default permission for front end users is button not allowed so if you want Frontend users in a specific user-group to be able to manage Field Groups then you need to setup the permissions appropriately as illustrated opposite for User Group 'Uploader-UG'.

One of the significant features of Field Groups is that these permissions will then be inherited by all the Fields that belong to the Field Group.

For Fields that do not belong to a Field Group then you have to set  Permissions for each Field individually!
fields permissions02

Creating Fields

The next step is to create the relevant Fields.  In this example there are three Fields, a simple 'Text' field, a 'Colour' field and a 'Radio' field.

So select  button field and then click on button new which will open the Fields create/edit form.  Here we initially show details of creating a Text  type as that covers most required fields.  Field types like Text and Colour only have one Text and one Value to enter.  Later we also show creating a Radio field as it has multiple text/value possibilities.

General tab

On the General tab, as shown opposite, give a suitable title. In this article we have used 'Text Field 1'.  Note that this will also automatically fill the 'Label' option.

When the Field is Saved then the Name option, which is like the 'alias', will be generated from the title.

The Type pulldown sets the type of the Field from the pulldown list of those available. Once saved it cannot be changed.

It is strongly suggested that you leave the Default Value option empty.

When there is no Default Value then the Field will not be shown until it is editted and given a value in the relevant Download.

If you do specify a Default Value then this value will appear in all Downloads that have not had an explicit value entered.

Ensure you set the Field Group by using the pull down.
field text01

Options Tab

The Options tab basically deals with how the Field text and value are to be shown in the Front End.  It is in two sections: Form Options and Display Options.

The items in the 'Form Options' section allow styling how the text and value will appear in the Edit Form.

The settings in the 'Render Options' section mainly style the look of the Text and Value as they are to appear in the frontend view.

However the Automatic Display setting controls where the text and value will appear in the Front End.  This is discussed in more detail later.

As a starting point it is strongly suggested the 'Automatic Display' option is set to 'Do not Automatically Display' as indicated..

V4 tab options form optionsV4 tab options display options

Publishing Tab

The Publishing Tab allows setting or changing the created Date.

The Created By, Modified Date and Modified By entries  are auto filled.

field03-Publish Tab'

Permissions Tab

The default setting for permissions is that they are inherited from the Permissions set in the Field Group.  But they do need to be set separately if the Field is not in a Field Group.

Radio Field Example

Setting up the Options, Publishing and Permissions tabs is similar for all Field types.
Give the Field a suitable title. When you V4 button save, the Name and Label options will be filled automatically from the title.

To add the Radio Text and Values click on the button-add button for each radio button you wish to have.  Enter in the  Text  column the 'question' that the user will see, and in the Value column specify the vaue, which is actually text, that will be returned to the code when the button is selected in the front end.

Ensure you select the relevant Field Group from the pulldown

Field types like Text and Colour only have one Text and one Value to enter.

V4 radio field tab general

Editing in Frontend

Diferent views occur for non-multilingual sites, where all content has ALL for the Download Language, and Multilingual sites which use language specifiers such as {de-DE}

Multilingual sites

Example views of the tabs that are present when editing/creating a Download in the frontend for a multilingual  site are shown below.

The first one is where the Download was set to English.

The second one is where the Download was set to the German language.


Each tab in the edit form for the Field Groups is shown opposite. 

The 'English' and 'German' are logically identical to the others.  This was not done by Joomla! or jDownloads but by the author for consistency.

One is free to set completely different 'questions' and response values.

Whilst the response values would be different in different Downloads, it is clearly good practice to make the 'question' text logically identical across languages.

edit en01edit de01

Viewing Fields in Frontend

There are three situations for showing jDownloads fields in the front end:
(i)   in a Download or Download Details layout information block;
(ii)  in a Description;
(iiI) in an article.
The Downloads use the place holders {jd_field_title id} and {jd_field id} where id is  the relevant id of the required field.

In Layouts

In this example the Fields are shown as part of the Information section of the Compact layout. 
The image opposite is the frontend view.

In the first Download the Field Titles and the Field Values are shown.

In the second image only the Field Titles are shown.  This is because no value has been set.

One may of course set a Default Value so that a value is always shown.

The image opposite shows the code included in the information block section of the layout.  It follows the regular style of the layouts.

The 'macros'{jdfield_title id} and {jdfield id} are highlighted.

field all01edit all02
Setting up Fields and Field Groups in a multilingual site is just the same except  to work properly you need to use the jDownloads multilingual placeholders like {en-Gb}, {de-DE} and so on.

The image opposite shows part of a Compact Layout that has been modified to support two Fields in mutiple languages.

With this method there are no 'blank spaces' shown in the front-end for the other languages.
field multilang03
The image opposite shows an fr-FR information block in a multilingual site

field FR01

In a Download Description

Opposite is an example of the view in the Frontend of a Download with Fields in the Description.

In this example the same fields are shown in the 'Information' section.
V4 fields in description

The actual text in the  Description is shown opposite.
V4 fields in decription code

In an Article

The Joomla! Content-Fields plugin has two placeholders for use in articles
(i) shows an individual field and (ii) to show the whole field group, that is all the fields in that group.
For example shows the field title and the field value with id 13;
lists all the fields in the field group with id 2 .

In the example shown opposite each field had the 'Automatic Display' option set to 'Do not automatically display'.
content field03

The effect of changing the 'Automatic Display' option to one of the other settings, such as 'Before Display' is shown opposite.

The 'Automatic Display' setting 'Show Before' will also show the fields in Downloads but this is rarely useful.

content field04
Colin M  March 2022, April 2023,July 2023

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