In this Magento extension round-up, we quickly review some of the extensions that were released in September.
Stores that have large numbers of out-of-stock products may not want these appearing before in-stock products. This straightforward extension allows sorting out-of-stock products to the end of category pages. Stock-based sorting is enabled or disabled per-store, and can't be configured for individual categories.
The extension uses an observer to add an extra sort clause to product collections. This will happen for every frontend collection load, not just the ones for category and search result pages, so be aware of this if product collections are used for any custom functionality.View on Magento Connect
By default, Magento doesn't allow newsletter subscriptions from the checkout. This extension adds this frequently requested feature. A 'Subscribe to Newsletter' checkbox is added to the checkout, which can be used by both guests and logged-in customers. The checkbox title and initial state (checked or unchecked) can be configured, and the extension can be enabled or disabled for each store individually.
The extension adds the checkbox by modifying the checkout agreements block and template. If these have been customised, then some additional work may be required to use this extension.View on Magento Connect
This extension shows a popup when users appear to be leaving the page, detected by the user moving their mouse cursor to the top of the browser window. The extension is able to generate unique coupon codes for customers that sign up to the newsletter.
A custom controller is used to accept sign-ups, and an observer is used to generate coupon codes. The extension's demo page shows the popup every time the mouse is moved off the top of the page, but this appears to be because a 'developer mode' setting is enabled - it wouldn't normally do this. The extension does not appear to have any support for touch devices.View on Magento Connect
The media files for a Magento site can take up a lot of space. Developing with large sets of media files requires copying them around, which is time-consuming and requires development environments with lots of storage space. This extension generates very small mock media files for use in development, allowing the same filenames and paths to be used while not requiring a copy of the actual media files.
The extension requires the Mediamock tool, available as a separate binary. This both generates a list of media files from the source Magento installation and serves them in the development environment. The Magento extension itself is responsible for making sure the development environment doesn't generate any product media files.View on GitHub
This module allows setting MySQL PDO options on Magento's database connection. This means SSL parameters that can't normally be set via Magento's configuration system can be provided. The module is very simple, and basically converts XML node names into PHP PDO constant values.
The author points out that this is only a proof of concept, and shouldn't be used on live sites without thorough testing. This extension could also be used to set non-SSL-related options for Magento's database connection, though this would probably only be useful for specialised applications.View on GitHub