Page Fragments

You can use Page Fragments to take your design vision and accurately realize it on a web page. You start with a “blank slate.” You then have three tools at your disposal to accomplish your vision:

HTML: The markup of the fragment. Fragments use standard HTML with special tags to add dynamic behavior.

CSS: Styles and positions the fragment’s markup.

JavaScript: Provides dynamic behavior to the fragment.

The HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are all completely standard, but can be enhanced with Liferay-specific features. You can specify text, images, and links as editable and provide for “rich” text with formatting.

You can also access the FreeMarker templates engine from your HTML using the alternative (square bracket) syntax. Learn more about available FreeMarker objects in Front-end Reference.

Liferay portlets can also be embedded in Fragments as widgets, making pages with Fragments more dynamic than regular web content.

Now you’ll step through some Page Fragment basics.

Developing Page Fragments

There are two types of Page Fragments: Sections and Components. A Section defines columns, padding, and spacing on the page. A Component contains content that is added to a Section.

Fragments are created inside of Collections. Collections provide an easy way to manage and share groups of related Fragments. Users navigate Collections when selecting Fragments to add to a page. To see examples, the admin page shows all the out-of-the-box Fragments (and their code).

You can create and manage Fragments and Collections without using any external tools, but you can also use your preferred web development tools. For an explanation of Fragment creation using Liferay’s built in tools, see Creating a Fragment.

Making a Fragment Configurable

Page Fragments are also configurable: defining configuration options for your fragment eliminates having to maintain multiple other fragments similar in style. For example, if you want a dark background banner and a light background banner, you can create one banner with a configuration option for background type.

The following field types are supported for Fragment configurations:

  • checkbox
  • colorPalette
  • itemSelector
  • select
  • text

This is available for all Fragment types (e.g., Fragment Renderer, etc.).

For more information, see Making a Fragment Configurable.

Fragments CLI

To streamline fragment development, Liferay DXP 7.2 provides command line tools for generating, importing, and exporting fragments and fragment collections. For more information about the CLI, see the official Liferay Fragments CLI project reference. Using this CLI is also covered in Developing a Fragment using Desktop Tools.

Contributed Collections

Most of the time, Page Fragments are created and imported through the Page Fragments interface or created directly using the built-in tools. Any user with the right permissions can update or edit Page Fragments created like this. You may have certain situations, however, where you want 100% static fragments that cannot be modified. In this case you can create a Contributed Fragment Collection.

Contributed Fragment Collections are deployable modules containing Page Fragments. Those fragments can be used just like regular fragments, but are not contained in the database, and cannot be modified except by updating the module they came from. Use the Creating Contributed Collections guide to learn to create your own Contributed Collections.

Fragment Specific Tags

In addition to standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript you can use Liferay-specific tags to make editable sections or embed widgets in your Fragment.

Editable elements can be modified before publication. This means that web developers can create simple, reusable fragments that have identical formatting, but contain elements that are adaptable to the specific context.

You can make text, images, and links in a fragment editable by using an <lfr-editable> tag. The <lfr-editable> tag requires a unique id, a type, and some content of the specified type inside.

The following four type options are available in an lfr-editable tag:

text: Creates a space for editable plain text.

image: Must contain a valid <img> tag which can then be replaced with an image before publishing—including those from Documents and Media.

rich-text: Provides rich text formatting, such as bold, italics, underline, links, and predefined styles.

link: Must contain a valid anchor tag for which the style, target URL, and link text can be edited before publishing.

The text or images you provide here are the default values for the fields. You may want to display them in the final version of the page, or you may want filler text that should be replaced before the page is published.

All of these work together to help you create dynamic, reusable elements for building a site. For example, if you need a small text box with an image and link to provide a product description, you can create a fragment containing editable filler text, space for an editable image, the appropriate formatting, and an editable link. That fragment can be added to multiple pages, and marketers can define the image, text, and link for each product they need to describe.

You can make a Fragment even more dynamic by including a widget. Currently, portlets are the only embeddable types of widgets, but other options are planned.

You can find a complete list and usage examples of these in the Page Fragments Reference.

Recommendations and Best Practices

In general all your code should be semantic and highly reusable. A main concern is making sure that everything is namespaced properly so it won’t interfere with other elements on the page outside of the Fragment.

CSS

While you can write any CSS in a fragment, it’s recommended to prefix it with a class specific to the fragment to avoid impacting other fragments. To facilitate this, when creating a new fragment, the HTML includes a div with an automatically generated class name and the CSS shows a sample selector using that class. Use it as the basis for all selectors you add.

JavaScript

Avoid adding a lot of JavaScript code, since it isn’t easily reusable. Instead, reference external JS libraries.

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