Complex websites and web applications can be created by combining configurations of Modules, Content Types (CCK,) Views, Panels, Menus, Blocks, Categories, Roles / Permissions, etc.. This site setup and configuration process is a very time consuming and repetitive bottleneck.
Patterns module is built to bypass this bottleneck by managing and automating site configuration. Site configuration is stored in XML or YAML (requires SPYC YAML parser, which needs to be downloaded separately from http://code.google.com/p/spyc/) called Patterns which are easy to read, modify, manage, & share and can be executed manually or as a part of an automated web site deployment.
Read the Patterns Documentation to get started.
With minimal effort, a site administrator can write a single Pattern that will simultaneously create and fully configure (or reconfigure) any number of:
- Views (v.6)
- Profiles (v.6)
- Imagecache presets (v.6)
- Content Types (v.6, v.7)
- Menus / Menu items (v.6, v.7)
- Blocks (v.6, v.7)
- Content (v.6, v.7)
- Users (v.6, v.7)
- Taxonomies / Terms (v.6, v.7)
- Pathauto settings (v.6, v.7)
- System settings (enabling modules etc) (v.6, v.7)
- Permissions / Roles (v.6, v.7)
- System Variables (v.6, v.7)
- Color (v.7)
- Toolbar and Shortcut (v.7)
- Fields (v.7)
- More to come...
Patterns can be written to handle configuration of commonly used feature sets or even complex websites with a multitude of configurations. For example, a "News" Pattern (i.e., news.xml) could handle the job of configuring and enabling:
- News Content Type with all associated settings
- Date, Text and Imagefields for News Content Type
- Corresponding "thumbnail" and "large" Imagecache presets for the tasteful display of the imagefield in teasers, full nodes and Views
- Views Page for the elegant display of News archives
- Views Block set to display News teasers in a region on the front page
- Primary links menu item entry linking to the News View Page
- News-related taxonomy/terms
- All prerequisite modules (CCK, Imagefield, Imagecache etc.) so the Pattern can do its magic flawlessly.
- Three Sample News nodes to make sure everything looks great after the Pattern is processed by Patterns module.
This hypothetical News Pattern could then be deployed on any number of sites, each requiring only seconds and a few clicks using the Patterns Module.
Patterns 7.x-2.x vs 7.x-1.x
The new version of Patterns includes many new features such as semantic validation, enhancements in the automatic extraction system or compatibility with Patterns server. Due to these big changes backwards compatibility with Patterns created with versions 7.x-1.x is not supported (some Patterns might be marked as non syntactically valid).
Full drush integration is available from version rc1 of Patterns v.7.
Patterns Installation Profile
Patterns can be executed automatically at the end of a Drupal install with the Patterns Installation Profile module.
For more information, please join the Patterns discussion on groups.drupal.org.
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