[development] Actions in core

John VanDyk jvandyk at iastate.edu
Wed May 2 20:34:31 UTC 2007

>I don't know, if you ever have read my workflow-ng proposal, which has
>some similiar things in. -> http://more.zites.net/node/3030 I've also
>posted it to the workflow group.
>Actually I've planned a layer between actions and hooks: events.
>It should achieve, what you have built now as contexts. Events sit on
>top of hooks and prepare the context for use with actions (and

Yes, I've read your proposal. It sounds a lot like something Vlado 
proposed a while back; essentially a layer of abstraction above our 
current hook system.

Although I am drawn towards greater and greater abstraction, I think 
currently the best approach is to treat the current hooks themselves 
as events. They already occur in predictable contexts and pass 
predictable parameters. Modules are welcome to define their own hooks.

>E.g. some of your default actions load the $node for the context
>comment. Ideally that could be factored out of actions, so that a code
>reacts on comment insertion/update, prepares the data and calls the
>event, which fires configured actions / conditions.
>What do you think about that?

I think that as long as we have types of actions, we can factor it 
out. For example, you know an action of type "Node" such as "Promote 
node to front page" is going to need a node to act upon. Thus, you 
can factor out the process that goes "Hey, this action is being 
called during the comment-insert hook/op combination and the node is 
not available; thus, pack the node into the context during the 
action.module's implementation of the comment hook." However, you 
have to be very careful about this. The action itself knows the most 
about what it needs, and we want to avoid stuffing everything and the 
kitchen sink into the context just in case the action needs it.

>  > The next major hurdle for actions consists of action sets and
>>  conditionals. Action sets are groups of actions that go together.
>>  Conditionals evaluate and determine whether an action set actually
>>  executes. eaton has paved the way for both of these in his voting
>>  actions module. Unless we're very busy bees, that will have to wait
>>  for Drupal 7.
>My concept also builds upons conditions. Perhaps I can help, so that we
>could already get it into drupal 6 :)
>If you are interested in my help on this -
>Where can I reach you for talking about this stuff?

I've created a group at http://groups.drupal.org/actions for such discussions.

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