[development] Body and teaser as fields

Karen Stevenson karen at elderweb.com
Wed Feb 11 13:13:11 UTC 2009

+1 on getting rid of the teaser splitter -- I've been using css to hide it
:) The teaser splitter could become a contrib field module, if anyone wants
to save it.

On auto-creating both a body and a teaser field -- is there a way to skip
creating a second field for all the sites where the teaser is just a subset
of the body? We really only need two fields if they have different content.
I suppose it's a lot simpler to just automatically create it in all cases,
so maybe simplicity wins out.

The only other question I have is what happens when there is no official
'body' field that other modules might expect to find. I guess we've already
made the body optional so they should not be expecting that anyway. Is there
any reason why losing a field that has had special meaning could be a
problem to contrib modules?


On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:20 PM, Barry Jaspan <barry at jaspan.org> wrote:

> Now that Field API is in core it is time to start using it.  I have an
> initial suggestion: change node body and teaser from special cases to normal
> fields.  I suspect this is going to be quite controversial so I thought I'd
> get some feedback here before evening bothering to start looking at the
> code.
> This message is not about the details of the implementation; I'm sure there
> will be subtleties and complexities to work.  I'm just asking about the
> concept.
> Concept:
> Remove all special processing for $node->body and $node->teaser.  Create
> two fields, body and teaser, both text fields.  Assign both fields to every
> existing content type with a "body field" using the textarea widget.  For
> existing nodes, as part of the upgrade path, initialize the teaser field
> value with whatever teaser would normally be generated automatically from
> the body.
> Random thoughts:
> - We will get to remove a bunch of code, much of it quite ugly, from
> node.module.
> - Sites that really want an auto-generated teaser can remove the teaser
> field from a content type and use the text field's teaser Display Formatter
> in the teaser context.
> - This will mean removing the body field from the node and node_revision
> tables, and creating a field_data_body table for it instead.  Don't worry
> about database query efficiency; that is a solved problem (see
> http://drupal.org/node/368674).
> - With $node->body and $node->teaser being normal fields, they will not be
> available for overloaded use as the complete rendered output of the node.
>  Hurray!  We can use $node->content = drupal_render($node) or something like
> that.
> - We might want to think about adding other fields to our default content
> types.  Perhaps Article should have a Subtitle field, etc.  This is a whole
> topic in itself.
> Comments?
> Thanks,
> Barry
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