[development] Actions progress

John VanDyk jvandyk at iastate.edu
Thu May 24 20:56:35 UTC 2007

Here's a progress report on actions-in-core.

Actions now have a new architecture. Instead of a single function, an 
action now consists of several functions.

1. An implementation of hook_actions_info(). In this hook, an action 
is described just like it was in the 'metadata' operation of the 
previous action architecture. And supported hooks are declared:

function node_action_info() {
   return array(
     'node_make_sticky_action' => array(
       'type' => 'node',
       'description' => t('Make node sticky'),
       'configurable' => FALSE,
       'hooks' => array(
         'nodeapi' => array('delete','insert','update', 'view'),
         'comment' => array('delete','insert','update', 'view'),

Batchability has been dropped. Instead of actions declaring 
themselves batchable and a node_save() being done at the end of the 
batch, "Save node" is now a separate action.

2. The action itself:

  * Implementation of a Drupal action.
  * Sets the sticky-at-top-of-list property of a node to 1.
function node_make_sticky_action($context = array(), &$node) {
   $node->sticky = 1;
   $node->revision = 0;
   watchdog('action', t('Made node id %id sticky', array('%id' => $node->nid)));

3. If the action is a configurable action such as the "Display a 
message to the user" action, it needs to define a form, validate, and 
submit function. The submit function is responsible for returning a 
keyed array with parameters that will be stored and used when the 
action is fired. E.g., (validate function not shown):

function system_message_action_form($edit) {
       $form['message'] = array(
         '#type' => 'textarea',
         '#title' => t('Message'),
         '#default_value' => isset($edit['message']) ? $edit['message'] : '',
         '#required' => TRUE,
         '#rows' => '8',
         '#description' => t('The message to be displayed to the 
current user.  You may include the following variables: %site_name, 
%username, %node_url, %node_type, %title, %teaser, %body.'),
       return $form;

function system_message_action_form_submit($form_id, $form_values) {
   return array('message' => $form_values['message']);

The HEAD version of actions is now stable enough to demonstrate the 
assignment of actions to various hooks. It runs on Drupal 5 
currently. I encourage you to check it out and give me feedback on 
http://groups.drupal.org/actions or just in an email.

Hopefully we can have a facade action that hooks up to any Drupal 
form id, and uses drupal_execute() to fire the action. That would 
mean many Drupal forms become "scriptable" automatically.


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