Drupal Learning Journal 15. Panels

Last week a client asked me to split vertically the first, sticky entry on a Drupal site for logged in users and put replace the right side with a nature image. My immediate reply was that I don’t know how to do that. (So, instead of creating a new block for the image I just placed the image straight into the right side of the existing entry. The effect is almost the same: an image appeared where the client wanted it.)

Meanwhile at the back of my mind I was aware that this is exactly what the minds of Drupal contributors created “Panels” for. Here is the current official description of what this module can do for you,

The Panels module allows a site administrator to create customized layouts for multiple uses. At its core it is a drag and drop content manager that lets you visually design a layout and place content within that layout. Integration with other systems allows you to create nodes that use this, landing pages that use this, and even override system pages such as taxonomy and the node page so that you can customize the layout of your site with very fine grained permissions.

On the same day I also reached chapter 15   in my “Beginning Drupal 7” book, the one that is dedicated to Panels. Theoretically I should be able to do Panels, now, because based on the book’s description it seems logical and as simple as possible. However I know that it is complex enough that for my first try should not happen on a live client site. Furthermore, I have this unchecked assumption that doing panels for the front page and noly for one set of users (logged in) is not the simplest Panels setup. I cannot even check the validity of the assumption, before I learn more about Panels. Maybe I should do something simpler first. I have something in my mind, just need to find the time to play with it. So for now I am just putting this post up as a reminder to learn Panels. Here are some resources to do that:

BTW. Panels is in alpha for Drupal 7 and right now has 22 active bug reports

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Gabor Por