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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.
Most of the rest of this course deals with Views, which is an amazingly flexible and intensely complex beast, but I'm going to show you a way to cheat. If all you want is a simple list of nodes on your site, formatted in out of the box way, the Simple Views module might be all you need. Even better, what you do in Simple Views can later be edited in the full version of Views, so you won't ultimately have to do the same thing twice, if you decide to fancy things up later. I should warn you that, as I write this, there are some notable bugs in Simple Views, but they're not show stopping and there is a good chance that they'll be fixed by the time you see this video. First, of course, you have to turn on the Simple Views module. We've already downloaded and installed it.
You can get it at drupal.org/project/ simpleviews. To enable the module, go to Administer > Site building and Modules, and then scroll down until you find it. It's actually in the Other group. There it is. We check it and Save out configuration. Simple Views has its own administration page, and you see it in Administer > Site building > Simple views. Let's go there now. We're going to add a view that shows a list of all the posts we've made of the content type Person. If we do this correctly, we should end up with a page showing only the title, and each title will be linked to its node. Let's give it a shot.
We click on Add view. We're just going to call this temp, because we're going to delete it later. And the Path will be temp as well. Instead of showing All posts, we only want those of type Person, and then we click on Submit. And it's done. To see the page, you just click here where it says temp, and we see it looks very much like the front page. I'm going to go back and edit that view, so we see only the titles. To do so, again, we go to Administer > Site building and Simple views, and then click on this little Edit icon. Instead of being a List of teasers, which again is very much like the front page, I'll change it to a List of titles, and click on Submit.
Once again we visit the page, and there we have it. If we click on any of these items, we go to their full node as we expect. Let's go back to that Simple view though. As you hover your mouse above it, you'll notice these little what I call ghost menus that show up. These only show up if you have permission to edit the view. When you move your mouse over this ghost view and click on Edit, it takes you not to the Simple Views interface, which really isn't very complete, but rather, to the full Views interface. I know this page is a lot to puzzle through. Much of the rest of the course is spent looking at this very screen.
But let's just take a quick look to see what Simple Views is doing. First of all, it created the view called simpleviews_1. If you want to see that in the list of views available, click on List, and there it is. Here is the people view that we created earlier in another video, and here's the one that was just created, called simpleviews_1. Go back to Edit, and then you can work on it from there. We know that Simple Views filtered it out, so that we only saw content type Person nodes. It did something else though, which is that it's only looking at nodes that have been published. This is a common thing that people add to their views and Simple Views was smart enough to know, okay, the person probably doesn't want to see unpublished nodes of type Person. So will just through that in as well. But if you did, you could change in here in Views.
Simple Views also created a Page. That was that temp page that we saw earlier. It created a Block. If we go to Administer > Site building > Blocks, and scroll down, we can actually see our temp block right there. Let's just put it in the right-hand column and save, so we can see what it looks like. There it is. So you can see that Simple Views actually did several things at once. I'm going to remove that block now, just by making it none again and Save. Before we go, let's clean up some of what we did. We'll go back to that temp page, and Edit the view and go back to List.
Now, I'm going to try to delete this, but wait a second. It doesn't let me delete it. All it says is Disable. There is a difference in Views in Drupal, between those that you create and those that are created by outside modules or by Views itself. The ones that you create, you can delete, so they just disappear entirely. The ones that are created by modules or by Views itself, can only be disabled. So in order to delete this view, we actually have to go back towards Simple Views interface and then click on Trash. It will ask for confirmation and we say yes.
One of the bugs in Simple Views is that it creates this menu item to the side. In order to get rid of that, you have to go into the menuing system and hide it. I'll do that right now. So I go to Menus > Navigation, which is that one on the left-hand side, and there is the temp menu. I'm just going to click on the Enabled button, so that it's no longer visible. Scroll to the bottom, and Save. Good, now it's gone from our column over here. There is one last thing we should mention that Simple Views does. It's easier to show than tell and we can do that by going to our Person content type.
Again, we go to Administer > Content management > Content types, and Person. When we edit the Person content type, we have this new option down below: Make a listing page for this content type. If you check that box, it automatically creates a Simple View, very clever, and very easy, if all you want is a simple list of nodes in a particular content type. Interestingly, Simple Views was written by Jeff Eaton, not by Views author Earl Miles, which is suppose to show you two things. First off, it shows you the power of Open Source Software Development, which allows anyone and everyone to improve upon the work of others.
Indeed, some version of Simple Views maybe built into a future version of Views. But in the meantime, Simple Views offers a very easy way to create a view, which you can then edit later in the full version of Views.
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