Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ctools: custom relationships plugin

Relationships plugins are "bridge" between existing context (that is already set up in a panel) and a context which you want to get from existing one. Let's say your panel contains "Node" context and you want to get a node author (user from node:uid property). To do that you can just set up "Node author" relationship in a panel (under a "contexts" tab) and that's all. That's why relationships plugins are so important - they provide easy way for getting context from existing contexts. Please have a look at this post before continue reading - there is described how to create module integrated with ctools API which allows us to define own plugins.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ctools: custom argument plugin

This time we will consider an argument plugin. Arguments are pretty similar to contexts. Actually arguments are context objects loaded from url. By default ctools provides a full set of needed arguments such as "Node: ID", "User: ID", "User: name" etc. But what if you've created a custom context? You might need to create a custom argument for your context (if you want to use your context as an argument of course). I advise you to read previous articles from "Ctools custom plugin" series such as "Ctools: custom access plugin" and "Ctools: custom context plugin". It's also required to read "Ctools: custom content type plugin" before reading this post because there I've described how to create a module integrated with ctools API which can contain ctools plugins.

Ctools: custom context plugin

In previous post we created an access ctools plugin which can be used as a selection or visibility rule in panels. It's time to learn how to create another important custom plugin - a context. It provides additional information for a panel page. For example if you've put a node context to the page you will be able to use node properties as substitutions for a page title. Moreover you will be able to put node fields as panes to a page. By default ctools module provides useful contexts (node, user, taxonomy_term, entity etc) but you can define your own. Please, read first post of "Ctools custom plugins" series before continue reading this. There we've created a module integrated with ctools.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ctools: custom access plugin

Last time we've learned how to create custom ctools content type plugin. In that post we've already created a module example_module where we defined the plugin. This time we will learn how to create custom ctools access plugin. This type of ctools plugins can be used as a selection rule for a panel variant or as a visibility rule for a panel pane. Please, read previous post before continue reading this. There is described how to create a module and integrate it with ctools.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ctools: custom content type plugin

Ctools content types are an alternative to standard Drupal blocks. They are more comfortable and powerfull than blocks. Ctools content type plugins also known as panel panes. In this post you will learn how to create a configurable ctools content pane plugin.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Drush commands for every day usage

Drush stands for "Drupal shell" which means a powerful tool for managing Drupal installation from command line interface. Drush provides a lot of useful commands for dealing with a cache, modules, cron, database etc. But some of contrib modules also provide some extra drush commands for specific functionality (like features module comes with commands for managing features). Here's a bunch of a useful drush commands which I use every day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Form API #states: dependent fields

Drupal provides a powerfull API for building different kind of forms. One of the most cool thing in this API, I think, it's a #states feature. It allows developers to create form elements that can change their state depending on some conditions. For instance you can create a text input which will be visible only if checkbox is checked. Or even make multiple conditions for an element.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Caching: static cache and database cache

You have to cache results of heavy functions, sql queries and markup if it's possible because it reduces load on a system in general. If you have a block which renders a lot of items shiped from a database - cache it. If you have a function that performs heavy calculations and this function is called many times during a script execution - cache a result of this function.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Menu callback both for ajax and GET requests

I've already written about how to use native Drupal ajax mechanism on front-end side in this post. There I've described how to send requests immediately or by clicking (or by any other event) on any DOM element. It works when javascript is enabled in user's browser. But how to make your menu callback work both with ajax and GET (when js is disabled) requests?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Detect entity type

Default entities (node, user, term etc) in Drupal 7 are instances of a stdClass class. It means you can't determine entity type directly. Let's say you have an object and you want to ensure that it's a node and only then do something node specific. Entity API doesn't provide such possibility out of the box.