node displays

New Display Suite toys: Views displays and ND Location

We've been quite busy with Display Suite since the first release. A lot of issues have been fixed and fieldgroups integration, the number one feature request by anyone out there, is almost done. We also created two new, rather small - but cool - modules which integrate perfectly with DS.

  • ND location: integrates with the location and Gmap modules. All location properties will be exposed as separate fields and you get an extra field which opens the marker info window on google maps, ideal for an overview page. We'll add a few other cool goodies to make this module rock even harder than it already does.
  • Views displays: all variables in the views.tpl.php are now 'fields' which you can put in the default set of regions. Extra fields/data are now very ease to add to your views displays.

You can see the power when combining these 2 modules in this short screencast. You can also click around on our demo site, still on the same URL, at

Display suite - 1.0

I am so proud to announce the first release of the Display suite module. It took us a bit longer than expected, a few API changes still got in the last month, even days - despite my promise, mea culpa - but finally it's there: Display Suite, Node displays, Node displays contributions (including cck, fivestar, search and ubercart support) and Comment displays are tagged as DRUPAL-6--1-0. We polished the build modes, added basic features support, made a few changes so we can basically add more field types and made it possible to export, import or revert (default) settings and fields.

To celebrate all this exciting news, we've created a new screencast and setup a demonstration site on which you can login to play around with the settings. We've added tons of documentation on d.o where you can find the API, snippets, info about all modules and last but not least, our roadmap, which you can consult to see where we're at and what the next steps will be.

Important to know is:

  • we are dropping support on the 6--1 branches of ND and ND contrib which are outdated and simply lack the power which DS has now. I guess we're in a bit of luck here since we didn't release an official package of that branch in the first place.
  • User displays is not finished and has no official 1.0 release yet. Take a look at the roadmap or the issue queue to see what's left todo for this to get out. Of course, helping along with other issues is also good.

Thanks to a lot of people, but most notably Zuuperman and Stalski, my fellow Drupal code monkeys at work, Jyve, Mzenner and Wimmmmm for their ideas, feedback, testing and bug reports and last, but not least, Deciphered, maintainer of the custom formatters module which integrates perfectly with DS now.

And now off for some well deserved rest - the next time I'll look at DS code again will be at the #D7CX sprint in two weeks at the Krimson offices to start porting all this fine stuff to D7. Till then, ditch your templates, simply CSS and drag 'n drop away!

Node displays and Display suite now agile driven

For a few months now, every project at work is handled in an agile way with the SCRUM principle and our development team gets a free day every two weeks to work on their own projects using the same technique. This gives us a good overview where we are and what we want to do in the future. Most projects during our free time is done on modules we're using in projects which we're contributing back to the Drupal community. Most of my time went into Node displays and Display suite and after a few iterations we're pleased to announce some good news!

The original version of ND and ND contrib is now available in the 6--1 branch and will be maintained only for bug fixes. We've not yet released an official version, but the API is finally frozen, so you can start testing without fearing to upgrade in the future. New features will go in the 6--2 branch which is dependant on DS. There is no real upgrade path between both branches, so make sure you make the right decision before starting on a project.

DS, short for Display suite, is an API which makes it possible to control the display of any data object (nodes, comments, users ..) in every context (full node, full user view, teaser, ...). The project page lists modules which are already available, some of which are pretty stable (nd) while others still need some love (ud and cd).

As you can see in the picture, we still have a lot of tasks we want to implement, but it's really keeping us focused and motivated :)

Launch of the new site

Today we relaunched the new website. With a tight deadline to bring this project online in only 3 weeks because tomorrow it's the start of 'Boekenbeurs', Belgian's famous annual book fair, we're more than happy of what we've achieved in that small period. Users can register and create their own collection of favorite books, add comments, rate and share them on facebook and/or twitter. There's more to come in the next few weeks, but it's a nice start.

I briefly want to highlight 2 main Drupal modules we use extensively in the site. The first one is Apache Solr. With over 250k of nodes (and growing), this was an obvious decision. We all know Drupal core search isn't the best in performance and decent searches. We used all hooks available to manipulate searches and as good Drupal citizens contributed some patches back to the community. There is still one left which we'd like to go in, so please review!

I'm biased for the second one, since I'm one of the maintainers, but the site (and also uses modules grouped in the Display suite concept. Our themers love it, no more fiddling with node, views, user, whatever templates, just CSS. Our account managers love it, they use the interface to manipulate each context if the client asks for a little change without asking us themers or developers. And we developers love it, we have hooks :)

We're working on a document which we'll post somewhere next week on d.o with a more detailed description on how the site was built, so stay tuned!

Node displays beta 2 out

We're proud to anounce beta 2 of Node displays, born out of a long code sprint which was called DrupalconParis :)
Main features in this release are:

  • Custom fields via de UI
  • Default node region css
  • More usability changes
  • Tests!

A full list of changes is available on the release page. We also created another screencast with a much nicer theme so you have a better visual of the module. In the meantime, we'll start working on beta 3!


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