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Drupal's built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal's Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.
When we went through the process of creating a custom Content type, we ran into Drupal's two default fields: Title and Body, but we didn't want to use either of them. Technically speaking, you can't get rid of them, however you can hide them to make data entry easier and more user-friendly. We'll start with the Body field, which is easier to get rid of, but first let's take a look at what exactly a Body field is. We'll do so with the node we created in our custom Content type of Person. It has two custom fields as well: Personal name and Family name. To edit this node, click on the Title, and Edit. You remember we can't actually get rid of the Title and we don't have to put anything in the Body. In this case I'm going to put something in the Body just so we can see what happens with content when we get rid of that Body field.
Let's say 'This is me hooray!' Scroll to the bottom, and save it. And if we go to the front page, again as we expect, there is the Title, the Body, and our two custom fields. Now, I'm going to go to Administer > Content management > Content types. Then click to edit the Person type. Once again, we scroll down to Submission form settings where we can change the field label of the Title and the Body. But you see this little orange asterisk up here that tells you that you can't actually get rid of the Title field label. In the Body field label, if you get rid of this label entirely, it not only gets rid of that label but also the entire field from visibility.
There is an explanation for that underneath here: "To omit the body field for this content type, remove any text," so, let's do that. We'll remove it, scroll to the bottom, and Save the content type. Now, here is the trick. When we go back to our front page, we see the Title and the Body information is actually still there. Let's go and edit that node by clicking on Title and Edit. That's what's actually changed. It didn't get rid of the information in the Body field. Instead it got rid of the space in the form where you could enter information. So what that means is if we had something in the Body field, we now can change it.
I'm going to click on Save to get out of this node, go back to our Content type by clicking on Administer > Content management > Content types. Once again we edit the Person Content type, scroll down to Submission form settings, and I want to show that Body field. For our purposes it's what we want to do, so I'm going to change it to "Notes about this person." Scroll to the bottom, and save the content type. Now if we go back to that node and edit it in the same way, you will see we can now edit that information again, and we have this more useful information telling us what exactly to enter in that field.
That's also true not only when you're editing a node, but when you create a new node of that Person Content type. You see that Notes about this person right there.
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A: Full exercise files for this course were not provided because of the unusually large amount of images, modules, and other files that would have to be installed in specific places, in addition to the database. We hope to have a solution for future Drupal courses that installs all items in their correct places.
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