Feature: #91008 - Item grouping for TCA select items

See Issue #91008

Description

The TCA column type select now has a clean API to group items for dropdowns in FormEngine. This was previously handled via placeholder --div-- items, which then rendered as <optgroup> HTML elements in a dropdown.

In larger installations or TYPO3 instances with lots of extensions, Plugins (tt_content.list_type), Content Types (tt_content.CType) or custom Page Types (pages.doktype) drop down lists could grow large and adding item groups caused tedious work for developers or integrators. Grouping can now be configured on a per-item basis. Custom groups can be added via an API or when defining TCA for a new table.

Adding Custom Select Item Groups

Registration of a select item group takes place in Configuration/TCA/tx_mytable.php for new TCA tables, and in Configuration/TCA/Overrides/a_random_core_table.php for modifying an existing TCA definition.

The following two examples illustrate adding a new group to a field of type “select”:

ExtensionManagementUtility::addTcaSelectItemGroup(
    'tt_content',
    'CType',
    'sliders',
    'LLL:EXT:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_tca.xlf:tt_content.group.sliders',
    'after:lists'
);

The TCA for tt_content.CType column configuration looks like this now:

'items' => ...
'itemGroups' => [
    'default' => 'LLL:EXT:frontend/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_ttc.xlf:CType.div.standard',
    'lists' => 'LLL:EXT:frontend/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_ttc.xlf:CType.div.lists',
    'sliders' => 'LLL:EXT:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_tca.xlf:tt_content.group.sliders',
    'menu' => 'LLL:EXT:frontend/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_ttc.xlf:CType.div.menu',
    'forms' => 'LLL:EXT:frontend/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_ttc.xlf:CType.div.forms',
    'special' => 'LLL:EXT:frontend/Resources/Private/Language/locallang_ttc.xlf:CType.div.special',
 ],

When adding a new select field, itemGroups should be added directly in the original TCA definition without using the API method. Use the API within TCA/Configuration/Overrides/ files to extend an existing TCA select field with grouping.

Attaching Select Items to Item Groups

A select item now has a fourth array key to define a “Group ID” which group it belongs to. In the example above, the group ID is named “sliders” and used in the examples below to attach items to this group.

Grouping for select items can be used via API or in TCA configuration directly.

This is the example for a custom Content Type “slickslider” belonging to the group from above:

'items' => [
    ...,
    [
        // Label
        'LLL:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Private/Locallang/locallang_tca.xlf:tt_content.CType.slickslider',
        // Value written to the database
        'slickslider',
        // Icon for the dropdown
        'EXT:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Public/Icons/slickslider.png',
        // The group ID, if not given, falls back to "none" or the last used --div-- in the item array
        'sliders'
    ],
]

The item can be added via API like this:

ExtensionManagementUtility::addTcaSelectItem(
    'tt_content',
    'CType',
    [
        'LLL:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Private/Locallang/locallang_tca.xlf:tt_content.CType.slickslider',
        'slickslider',
        'EXT:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Public/Icons/slickslider.png',
        'sliders'
    ]
);

The same approach applies to ExtensionManagementUtility::addPlugin() when adding pi-based plugins.

When adding Extbase plugins, the API method now allows to specify a group ID directly as additional parameter. This falls back to the “default” group ID, which is available in tt_content.CType and tt_content.list_type.

ExtensionUtility::registerPlugin(
    // Extension key
    'my_slider_mixtape',
    // Plugin value
    'slider_from_records',
    // Plugin label
    'LLL:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Private/Locallang/locallang_tca.xlf:tt_content.plugin.slider_from_records',
    // Icon for plugin
    'EXT:my_slider_mixtape/Resources/Public/Icons/slickslider.png',
    // Group ID
    'sliders'
);

Impact

By default, Page Types (pages.doktype), Content Types (tt_content.CType) and Plugins (tt_content.list_type) now have native grouping enabled.

The order of the itemGroups value is important when using groups, as this is the order of the groups rendered in the dropdown of FormEngine.

The API methods can be used to build more groups without juggling with TCA arrays.

It is possible now, and encouraged to remove the --div-- items in custom selects and use itemGroups instead. TYPO3 Core keeps the --div-- for backwards-compatible reasons in TYPO3 v10, but all items of the fields mentioned above the grouping parameter has been added already.

Please note that this --div-- is related to select items, and not the “showItem” definition which fields should be shown.

Currently Item Groups are used in FormEngine DropDowns / single-select items from TYPO3 Core, but can be used in multi-select fields as well.