Contextual links backport - more or less

Drupal 7 now comes with the contextual module which makes it very easy to edit your site as there are inline action links available on your content, blocks and so on. There are a few modules out there available for D6 - block edit and admin:hover come to mind - which offer the same functionality but are different when it comes to interface and/or extendability.

We decided to write a new module from scratch with the UI in mind of the D7 version, also taking care of performance and the need for easy extendability including hooks (duh) and static actions which allows us to have a static variable during the page request which can collect stuff from all over the place. You can test it out at with demo/demo. Surf to the 'articles' page which has contextual links for views, nodes & blocks.

What happens next ?

  • I could contrib this back and ignore all other efforts out there.
  • Merge this with block edit (or another) but with another branch (and also another name).
  • Commit this as a complete new project but with a good comparison to other modules.
  • Simply do nothing, saves me another project I need to maintain .. :)

So, let me know what you think, add comments, mail or ping me on IRC if you want to have a talk about this.

Update 17/03: code is available 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  • we are dropping support on the 6--1 branches of ND and ND contrib which are outdated and simply lack the power which DS has now.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!

#D7CX sprint in Belgium

Update 06/01/2010
We have a date and location! See

With Drupal 7.0 Alpha 1 coming up soon, we as responsible module maintainers should start worrying a bit. How many of us have already a 7--1 branch or even commited code for modules to work with the latest Drupal ? I for one am pretty guilty and since I made the #D7CX pledge on all of my project pages, I should really start porting. However, this can be quite boring sometimes, sitting along at your desk (or in your couch, wherever ..), so why not organise a sprint, maybe 2 with the Belgium and Dutch community ? Everyone can join, either porting, testing, helping or just catching up with friends.

What do we need ? Not a lot I think:

  • a good internet connection, wifi and/or wired.
  • close connection to food: french fries, quick, pizza or a bio shop ;)
  • drinks: a few beers can't hurt right ?
  • other distractions like a Wii or Xbox

We have all those things available at One Agency in Drongen (near Gent). So that's a first spot were we can happily hack time away if anyone's interested. A complete weekend might be possible if there's a lot of enthousiasm and commitment. I'll post some dates soon on the website. So who's in and has also a spot to share with us ?

And since this will be also my last post in 2009: happy new year everyone!

Addendum to the D7CX movement

I just spent the entire morning fixing notices and adding patches in the issue queue for a couple of contributed modules we're currently using in a project. On my development box, I always set error_reporting to 'E_ALL' and display_errors to 'On' in php.ini so I can see how good or bad the code is. Drupal core is pretty much free from such notices, but in the contrib world there's a lot of undefined variables and indexes out there. Fixing them sounds boring but is actually pretty fun and you learn a lot about the internals of Drupal core too, so it's really worth spending time on this.

A few months ago Moshe started the D7CX movement encouraging module developers to release a D7 version of their modules the day Drupal 7 is out. Excellent initiative and a lot of module maintainers already made that pledge. That's really wonderfull, but let's hope module maintainers always run with full error reporting and make their modules notice free, so why not change that pledge a bit:

I pledge that mymodule will have a full Drupal 7 release and will be PHP notice free on the day that Drupal 7 is released.

Of course, this still applies to D6 and D5 too, who's in on this too ?


drupal, modules, planet

Display suite slides from DrupalCamp Gent

First day of DrupalCamp Gent is over and it was really nice to see many new people attending this time, the Belgium community is really growing baby! And the regular bunch was present too, always nice to see old faces back for a nice chat. I also gave a presentation about the Display suite module and the first reactions were positive, got some good feedback and a few interesting feature requests, so I think we're on a good track here. If anyone's interested in my slides, they are attached at the end of this post.

A few people also asked me if it was safe to start using the module(s) in production. The simple answer is yes, the API is frozen and stable. Node displays and contributions are also stable to use on your website and we're busy working to finish the user and comments part. Our goal is to roll out a first official release on new years eve, a nice present to start a new decennium.


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