[development] Rename *_load and friends

Metzler, David metzlerd at evergreen.edu
Sat Jan 6 17:44:25 UTC 2007

I agree with James on this.  There's something elegantly simple about
hook_something turns into module_something.   How many times something
gets fired and for how many modules is something that part of the
definition of an api subject to change. I don't see value in tying too
much weight to what's called a hook and what's not called a hook. And I
don't want to change my intro to teaching module development from
"Writing drupal modules is as easy implementing the desired functions in
the drupal api that begin with 'hook_'".  

I also want to see us set the example of having contributed apis start
inventing new ways to describe hooks. 

I'd rather see us all channel the energy into updating the docs for the
hooks to be more clear about when those events fire, and for what
purpose they are for. 

Something like:

hook_load - use this hook to define the database load event for
implementing a new content type in a module. See hook_node_api if you're
looking to extend an existing content type. 

hook_node_api - used to add value to a node implemented by another
module.  See hook_load ($op='load') if you're looking to define a new
content type. 

We'd modify these docs by submitting core patches, yes? The docs for
hook_nodeapi are really good about describing when they should be used.
Perhaps we just need to clarify in hook_load* when they should be used. 

I'm done on this topic....


-----Original Message-----
From: development-bounces at drupal.org
[mailto:development-bounces at drupal.org] On Behalf Of James Walker
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 8:08 AM
To: development at drupal.org
Subject: Re: [development] Rename *_load and friends

On 1/6/07 1:22 AM, Karoly Negyesi wrote:
> Hi,
> We have had a discussion about this already under a different subject.
> My opinion here is that hook_foo is something that gets implemented by
> modules and at call time these are called, one after the other. 
> hook_menu , hook_form_alter etc etc Note that 'hook' is always
> by the module name.
> Despite hook_load is called a hook, it's a different animal: at call 
> time, only one implementation is called. Not to mention that since we 
> have a node information hook, 'hook' is not necessarily replaced by
> module name.
> Larry Garfield suggested calling these method_load, method_view and so

> on. This I find a good idea and now would like to get opinions on this

> name.

I'm not sure I know why they need different names, and I'm not sure 
where you draw the line. While I absolutely am +1 for keeping hook_load,

etc in addition to hook_nodeapi - I don't know that calling some 
method_* vs. hook_* really brings all that much clarity.

We use "hooks" for *lots* of different things - sometimes pass by 
reference sometimes by value, with all kinds of different expected 
return values and behaviours. I don't know how much this single 
distinction helps. Not to mention, I think we can disappear into a dark 
hole arguing the semantics (i.e. in OO & AO programming, they're all 
just called "methods" anyway).

The nice thing about the 'hook' name (whether invented or otherwise) is 
it's easy to teach new developers how hooks relate to the code their 
looking at, and further that when you see module_foo() you can find full

documentation on api.drupal.org by searching for hook_foo.

I've done several training sessions now and have not run into a whole 
lot of confusion from the naming. Fact is, they're not really "methods" 
- reusing a name with a common, different meaning for most developers 
may well just add confusion.

that's my $0.02 anyway.
James Walker :: http://walkah.net/ :: xmpp:walkah at walkah.net

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