[development] No module-defined node types?
larry at garfieldtech.com
Fri Jan 5 06:49:47 UTC 2007
On Thursday 04 January 2007 2:31 pm, Morbus Iff wrote:
> With a few mouseclicks, I have taken a default core type (Page, though
> it could also have been any other node type, or one created by CCK,
> etc.) and increased its capacity two fold: it is now a Case and gets all
> the logic (and fields) of Case Tracker, but is also an Event and gets
> Start/End times, and shows up in the calendar and is filterable with
> Event's dropdown filter. Adding Event Repeat, a plugin to Event, isn't a
> problem either - now Page is a Event Repeat(ing) Event that is also a
> Page that is also a Case. Later on, I install your module, choose that I
> want "Emotion" to apply to Page, and now have a Page that is an Event
> Repeating Event, a Case, and Emotional.
> You can't do this under the "old" way, because the user is stuck using
> only your Emotional Story node type. Sure, "new" way modules could be
> used to expand upon Emotional Story (making them also an Event and also
> a Case Tracker Case), but when the flexibility exists to add fields +
> logic to /any/ node type, as opposed to shipping one, you should use it.
> It's quite rude to think that I have to use just YOUR node type when all
> 900 of my other nodes are "Story", and now I have to abandon them and
> use "Emotional Story" instead.
> This is the heart of what Jaza was getting to, and why it showed up in a
> discussion upon hook_nodeapi(), which is the central Drupal hook that
> allows us to pull all this off.
I fully agree that value-add nodes offer a great deal of flexibility and are,
in general, more powerful. I'm launching a site on Monday where we don't
have any nodes that aren't CCK-defined. Even page.module and story.module
are disabled, and then we value-add with event.module. That's been a huge
boon for us, especially because CCK auto-supports Views and Views runs half
the site. :-)
My question boils down to edge cases and HOW that value-add works. For
example, event.module. In the current system, AFAIK, event value-adds via
form_alter some select boxes and radio buttons to a node-edit form and then
via FAPI magic (or _nodeapi magic, I honestly don't know) validates those
select boxes to a valid date, ensures that the start date/time is before the
end date/time, etc., and then saves them to its own event table as unix
timestamps. Then on _nodeapi#load, it adds those fields back onto the node
object and all is well.
But, now there's this great date.module that offers a self-validating date
field for CCK nodes. A time.module or even datetime.module that offers
time/date-and-time validation is certainly feasible, and would allow even
greater flexibility in terms of how its rendered (select boxes, textfield, JS
popup, etc.) If event.module could value-add a rich field like that, that
simplifies its code considerably, simplifies the database, and opens up all
sorts of other fun options I can't even think of.
But how does one value-add a CCK field? Or would you have to tell the user to
add it and then select which field is the "start" and which is the "end"? I
don't know of a way right now. That could be because there isn't one, or
could be that I just don't know what it is. :-)
Or take my one contrib module of actual significance <g>, nodereview. Right
now it's a fully module-defined node that leverages votingapi.module. Each
node consists of a reference to a node being reviewed plus an admin-defined
number of "sets" of fields, where each set consists of a textual review plus
a votingapi rating. Yes, that makes a variable number of fields on a node,
depending on what the type of the node being referenced is. Kinda funky. :-)
For upgrading it to Drupal 5, I've been debating how if at all I can leverage
the semi-CCK in core now, or even full CCK. I could easily replace the
reviewed_nid field with a nodereference that gets form_altered. What about
the others, though? Define a custom field type that is an aggregate "axis"
with 2 internal widgets? And then how to do I piece those together without
requiring the user to then custom build each review node on their own
according to specific rules before it becomes useful?
(No, this isn't a plea for help on the module; it's just an example I'm very
That's one reason I said earlier that CCK import/export a la views was
important, and I plan to look into the content_copy.module Moshe mentioned
earlier sometime this weekend. But hopefully you see my point. I *want* to
be able to leverage rich field types from CCK and just plug-and-play content
types. I just don't see how that works for complex and
If there's some vision (no, I won't say roadmap <g>) for how that can happen
now or will happen in the future, please let me know. I like the direction
nodes are moving and want to stay with the curve; I just don't see how the
edge cases are going to work.
Larry Garfield AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com ICQ: 6817012
"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of
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of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it." -- Thomas
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