Core Rules – RULES!

Learn how to use the Rules core module. It is one of the best things about Drupal 7. To me, it ranks up there with Views and Panels. I’m really annoyed with myself for taking so long to get the the power of this really nifty feature.

Watch this series from the wonderful folk at Nodeone. This really helped me.

Next, I’ll post on how I used Rules to autotag forum posts with the location, the state of residence specified on the user’s account.


Taxonomy Comparisons

I have been neck deep in Taxonomy, OG, Rules, Contexts, Relationships and many more all week. It hasn’t been very fun but I know that I need to be able to scale this site properly and so, I need to do the research early on.

I need to be able to sort all site content by geography. Specifically by the state that the member resides in. The member will always have only one state. What I really need it a way to autotag a node (as it is being authored) with the state that the member resides in. Here is a really good wiki from with a run down of many of the options available.

For my case, it appears that I will be able to use the Rules module and Roles (a core user function) to acheive this. Here is a link to a post that helped me arrive at this decision.

Great Module Article

I haven’t been posting as much lately because I have been neck deep in taxonomy, Organic Groups, and other ways to relate content to each other. This is a great article that addresses an ever-present Drupal need: what modules to use. With so many modules, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. So any article that addresses this as a summary is worth a look. Check it out.

Thanks to this guy for the article!

Jay Callicott's picture
Jay Callicott  | Product Manager, Lead Architect

Organic Groups

The first stage of my site will only involve people from the state of TN. But let’s say that the idea proves to be popular and I am in a position to expand the site to other states and I must be able to do that relatively quickly. I need to be able to:

  • Organize content to geography (state by state)
  • Allow members to see other states if they want to but see only their state by default
  • allow a home state to be chosen in the future but have all members in TN right now
  • have every site function be state specific, organizationally and functionally

So, I know that I have to have Organic Groups installed, configured and properly implemented. questions:

  • If each user account has a default group (and only one since you can’t live in more than one state) is that enough to organize content
  • Does there need to be a separate content type for each state even though the content itself is the same?
  • Can the same interfaces be used to display content from different states separately?

All I can do at this point is work with it and see. – From – read this…

Create Content Type – TN Members – Take the defaults, not pro front, etc. no pdf printer options




Undefined index: settings in panels_renderer_standard->render_pane() (line 495

I received this error after adding a content pane to a panel page. It really didn’t make much sense, looked like it might be related to a malformed machine name. – here is some info about the error in general.

what i did to fix it was remove the last Views Content Pane that I had added and saved. The error disappeared.

I opened the View itself and saved that without making any changes and was able to readd the pane to the page and viola! no more error. Very odd….

Tab Tamer – Error from Node add/edit when using Panels and Variants

tab tamer is a great module. all the default drupal tabs along the top really throw off my css. so i found this great mod to help. tab tamer allows you very granular control over the system generated tabs.

When I chose “hidden” for the tab in tab tamer for the node/edit field the variant for node add/edit disabled itself. after testing a few things, i was able to get it working again by setting that specific tab to hidden.

Turn Aggregator items into true Drupal Nodes

Drupal 8 should address the longstanding issue with items from the core RSS aggregator module existing as simple db objects rather tahn nodes, which limits what you can do with them in many ways.

The core Aggregator is really a big deal for me. the db created from these items is one of the biggest draws to my site. So I have tried many things to work around the limitations of DB objects.

I flirted with the idea of dumping the table to a flat file then importing it. That would work, can be CRONed and all that. But I really want to keep my solution specific to Drupal and not engage in a one-off like that.

The core mod has a categorization interface that I really like. It allows me to go through 100s of items every day pretty quickly and assign relevant topics to one of about 20 categories.

So, this is what I did to get the aggregator db items into nodes.

I created a View of the Aggregator Items. I created an RSS feed based on this View. then I used Feeds Importers to import that RSS feed into a content type that I created just for that.  This will work and you will be able to get quite a bit of data from the importer. But it isn’t as flexible as I wanted. UI simply could not get all the fields that I wanted to come across, even when forcing fields. That will work, but I always got undesirable formatting for the links. Or the links would come across malformed, with the name of my site prepended to the URL for example.

I really can’t use the Feeds Importers module to import all of the items in natively either. It will work, And you can build an interface of sorts in Views using VBO to assign taxonomy terms to the items, but it is cludgy and doesn’t scale well. But that can be a viable method too if you don’t have a lot of volume.

So, I want to use the core module for its stability and ease of categorization. but I need to be able to do things like allow users to see the items and make comments on them. I say comments but I really mean take notes. So, I used a Views Content Pane (with override URL and AJAX enabled) with a Node Add/Edit Variant in a Panel Page to allow user to see the Aggregated items, drag URLs from the View, take notes and alter the View (that’s where AJAX is magic) from the same place. Here is a SS of what it looks like.


Then, I created another View of the Content Type “Research” which is used to hold the notes, links and such. I created a simple Content Pane View that shows the title of the Nodes (I use the Private Module to keep these posts completely private) and enabled AJAX so that the View Content Pane refreshes without having to refresh the whole page. Now I have a very nice research interface for my member with an easy way to reference my data.