I am the author and maintainer of ModelsBuilder, an essential tool for the Umbraco CMS. If you use it regularly, or any of my other Open Source tools, you may want to consider my GitHub Sponsorship Program and help ensure that the tools you depend on are maintained in a sustainable way. Thanks!

What Becomes Of Models Builder

Posted on April 15, 2020 in umbraco

Models Builder is an Umbraco extension that generates C# strongly-typed class models for Umbraco content item. It allows developers to write @Model.Title in views instead of the more verbose @Model.Value<string>("title"). Models can be enriched and tweaked to greatly simplify the developement of sites.

It was originally created in 2013 by me, Stephan, and distributed as an independent NuGet package named "Zbu.ModelsBuilder". Then, around 2016, it was considered sufficiently important to be bundled with the Umbraco CMS official distribution. On that occasion, it was renamed "Umbraco.ModelsBuilder". I kept maintaining it as part of my HQ activity.

When I left HQ in 2019, I proposed to donate the project to HQ, but for various reasons that did not happen. Instead, HQ embedded a simplified version of Models Builder straight into Core—the one that currently ships with 8.x.

I, on the other hand, planned to grow and maintain the complete version, as "ZpqrtBnk.ModelsBuilder", and release long overdue features and fixes. I did start some work... and then got involved in other non-Umbraco projects, and lost both time and motivation. And then, nothing happened.

Models Builder Reloaded

Some people grew concerned that one tool they depend on would go abandoned. They reached out to me to discuss the future of Models Builder. It took me a bit of time to digest and accept that, despite all my good intentions, I was not able to do much... but here we are. It is about time to do something.

As of today, I am officially donating the project to the Umbraco Community. The project is now named "Our.ModelsBuilder". Its repository has moved to Our.ModelsBuilder on GitHub.

Models Builder Team

And how exactly is this different from abandonning the project? Well, the general idea is to form a team of maintainers so that the project does not depend on one single person. We need people to:

The good news is that, despite what people like to think, the project is not horribly complex rocket-science. It may require a bit of time to grasp, but then it is rather simple. It is essentially C# with very little UI. This, and I will happily join the team and make myself available to transfer whatever knowledge is required, and answer questions.

And thus, this is an official call for members. The temporay team is currently composed of myself, Frans de Jong and Dave Woestenborghs, and we obviously need more people.

This is a unique chance to have an impact on one of the most-used Umbraco tool. A unique opportunity that you certainly do not want to miss. Of course you are interested, so please contact one of us now, either in the comments of this post, or on the Community Slack, or on Twitter, or by email at our.modelsbuilder@gmail.com or by whatever means you feel adequate.

Do not waste time, the application closes on the 5th of May, at 05:05am.

Talk to you soon!

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