In this Magento extension round-up, we quickly review some of the free extensions that were released in November, including developer tools, Magento 2 code migration, and an expanded flat rate shipping method.
Working on any reasonably complex Magento site, you may have run into issues where templates have been incorrectly referenced, symlink support hasn't been enabled, the files haven't been added yet or had some other issue which prevents them being found. Magento gracefully handles these errors by stubbing the missing template with an empty string, which allowing templates to silently go missing but can mean the errors don't get picked up.
In order to make these issues more prominent Fabian Schmengler has created the DebugErrors extension, which will either throw an exception or trigger a PHP error, depending on configuration options. In production, the developer can elect to log the missing files to the exception log instead.
The extension is relatively straightforward and would be useful to developers looking to avoid issues with missing template files.View on GitHub
The Magento Developer Toolbar extension makes the generation of a page more transparent to developers and shows blocks, queries, layout handles and page rendering statistics to help developers understand and modify Magento.
There is already a similar extension by mgtcommerce, which offers more features but is also more complex.
If you're looking for a way to capture a snapshot of how a page is rendered this tool might be worth considering.View on GitHub
Magento's flat rate shipping provides a single rate for all incoming orders, and doesn't factor in any aspects of that order when calculating the rate. The Table Rate shipping method expands on this, allowing the shipping price to scale according to the order weight, country or postcode. However, it still has the limitation that it presents a single rate per order. The Ultimate Flat Rate Shipping extension overcomes this limitation, allowing you to specify multiple flat rates based on different conditions.Shipping methods are defined in an admin grid, with some global configuration options affecting all Ultimate Flat Rate Shipping methods. The extension is well written, following accepted design and code guidelines. Definitely worth considering if you need more than one flat rate shipping method on your site. View on Magento Connect
Magento 2 is now generally available and extension developers will need to start thinking about upgrades to existing extensions, however, the large number of architectural changes in Magento 2 can mean that upgrading is a time consuming undertaking. To reduce this overhead, Magento have released a code migration toolkit that takes an existing Magento 1.x extension and attempts to make the necessary modification to get it working in Magento 2.
It is an interesting tool and certainly appears useful in reducing the overhead of converting extensions, although it is not a complete solution so you will still have to review the extension following the conversion and resolve any remaining issues. Even so, it's a good starting point to reduce the boilerplate code that you need to add, especially if you need to convert a large number of extensions.View on GitHub