[development] Help fix Actions API - test the patch!

Jeff Eaton jeff at viapositiva.net
Thu Jul 19 22:22:18 UTC 2007

The Actions API is now officially part of Drupal 6, and it's a  
tremendously powerful addition that (I think) will bear lots of fruit  
over the D6 life cycle.

Things like custom workflow management solutions, streamlined  
application-specific user and content administration panels, and so  
on are all easy to build on top of the Actions API. However, the  
current implementation has a couple of subtle issues that cripple it  
for broad use.

Our pattern for core constructs (menus and paths in particular) is to  
provide a foo.inc file that exposes a core API, and an optional  
foo.module that provides additional advanced customization options.  
Actions in D6 follows this pattern, but there appear to be a number  
of unintentional dependencies between the .inc file and the .module  

Specifically, action-related tables are never created, and action  
data is never initialized, until actions.module is installed. This  
means that actions.module -- which is only ONE possible application  
of the Actions API, and one that is unnecessary for many sites --  
becomes an absolute requirement.

Webchick and I have built a patch that fixes this, moving the truly  
core actions API functions into the .inc file, moving one setup  
screen into system.module, and keeping the advanced hook-to-action  
mapping UI in the optional actions.module. The patch also fixes a  
number of schema related issues and code style problems that chx has  
pointed out in the past.

I'd encourage everyone who's interested in a powerful and flexible  
Actions infrastructure to check out http://drupal.org/node/155828  ;-)


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