[development] Fieldsets for profile variables

Mike Anon anon4321 at gmail.com
Sun May 27 18:42:01 UTC 2007

This was posted in the forums under Module Development at:
http://drupal.org/node/146972  It has received no responses (so far).  If it
receives no responses here, as well, then I have the answers to my

I wanted to attach a fairly large number of variables (fields) to each
user's profile, and the UI for displaying and updating (editing) "that many"
variables was not to my liking.

At the moment (in 4.7, anyway), profile variables can be put into
"categories" (apologies to jaza and bdragon, but that is the "official"
description of the way that profile fields are divided into separate and
distinct groups). When a user profile is edited, the various categories are
displayed as links near the top of the first edit screen, with the first
edit screen focused on the "account settings" category. Those with user
administrative privs can add additional profile fields and each field can
(actually, must) be placed within a category. I believe that there are no
restrictions on the number of profile fields or the number of profile field
categories, although I certainly haven't stress tested it.

The "edit user profile" UI currently loads a separate page for each
category. That separate page lists all of the profile fields associated with
that category, in the order specified by the normal Drupal
weight/alphabetization mechanism. There is no ability to group the fields in
a fieldset.

I have a simple module that allows those with user adminsitrative privs the
ability to assign each profile field to not only a category, but to a
fieldset, as well.

Would this capability interest anybody else? By that I mean is it worth my
time to spiff up the existing module I have so that it becomes a contrib
module? Like many, I don't want to go through the effort if there is either
no interest or, in the extreme, negative interest.

At the moment, the code can only handle a fieldset depth of one. That is,
only one level of fieldsets for each category. Of course, each category can
have unlimited fieldsets, but they remain at the same level - one beneath
the category. The design of the database modification, however, leaves the
door open for unlimited fieldset depth (not that anybody would ever use more
than 2 or 3 levels).

In addition to someday allowing for unlimited fieldset depth, at some point
I can see adding a "report" node allowing for a screen report to be
generated with the contents of a given category/fieldset combination. Since
users aren't nodes in 4.7, views can't be used to generate a report of this

My discussion on #drupal and #drupal-support lead me to believe that there
is not much involved here which will be different for 5.x, although I
haven't looked into that myself, yet.

So, the question is, does it make sense for me to put "yet another profile
extension module" in play? Translation: would you find this capability to be

I believe that I have checked the existing profile modules and none of them
implement this functionality.

Assuming this to be a useful thing for some people, would it make more sense
to fold this capbilitity into an existing profile contrib module rather than
create a separate contrib module?
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