Writing Widgets for NodeBB

See the original blog post for a high level overview and screenshots of the widget system.

Embedding HTML and JavaScript

You don't need to be a developer to figure this out. Head over to the Themes control panel and click on the Widgets tab. Create a new HTML widget by dragging and dropping the widget onto whatever template you want.

Copy and paste HTML or JavaScript into the widget and hit save - you're done!

You can optionally give your widget a container by dragging and dropping from the containers section onto your selected widget.

If you're looking for some sample scripts, head over to our plugins section and look for any topic labelled nodebb-script-xyz. Don't forget to submit your scripts and ideas as well!

Creating Widgets

You can define widgets in both plugins and themes. If you're building a plugin which simply delivers a widget (or collection of widgets), we strongly suggest you follow the nodebb-widget-xyz nomenclature instead when publishing.

Registering your widget

Listen to this hook to register your widget:

"hook": "filter:widgets.getWidgets", "method": "defineWidgets", "callbacked": true

Pass this back in the array:

 {
     widget: "widget_namespace",
     name: "My Widget",
     description: "Short description of what it does.",
     content: "<input type=\"text\" name=\"myKey\" class=\"form-control\" />"
 }

Content defines the form that is displayed to customize your widget in the admin panel.

Listening to your widget

NodeBB core will call your widget on the appropriate page load by way of the hooks system. The hook will be named after your widget's namespace (see previous example) - like so: filter:widget.render:widget_namespace

This will pass in an object with the following useful properties:

Defining Widget Areas in Themes

A Widget Area is characterized by a template and a location. Themes can share widgets if they define the same Widget Areas. If an admin switches themes, widgets that were previously defined in a Widget Area incompatible with the new theme are saved.

Listen to this hook to register your Widget Area:

"hook": "filter:widgets.getAreas", "method": "defineWidgetAreas"

Pass this back in the array:

{
    widget: "categorysidebar",
    name: "Category Sidebar",
    template: "category.tpl",
    location: "sidebar"
}

And that's all. You can define as many Widget Areas in your theme as you wish. If you're still stuck, have a look at this commit which upgraded the Cerulean theme to use the widget system.