This module was marked abandoned because the author declined to work with the cvs admin.

In Drupal 6, outline module greatly enhances the functionality of core's book.module.

Outline module is a general purpose module providing great flexibility in how nodes of various types are outlines, and who can outline them in which conditions.


Site wide settings

In addition to book.module's site wide settings, outline offers:

  • default Table Of Content (TOC) depth for the navigation block. With book module, the navigation block at the bottom of the node only displays the links to the direct children of the current node. With this setting, you can display as many levels of children and grand-children as you prefer (within Drupal core's constraints of 9 levels).

Per book settings

Book.module does not have any per book setting. Outline offers:

  • A default content type for each child node in this book.
  • A default TOC depth for each child node in this book.
  • More flexible permissions:
    • For each of the following permissions, there are site-wide settings, and per book settings.
    • Members with specific roles can outline posts in specific books.
    • Hand picked individuals can outline posts in specific books.
    • Users can have their own private outline, where they alone can add nodes.
    • Books can be limited to specified authors, i.e. only nodes by those authored can be outlined in those books.

Node level settings

Beside the basic weight and place in the outline, book.module does not have any per node setting. Outline offers:

  • A default content type for each child node of this node.
  • A custom TOC depth for this node.

Roadmap (planned features)

The current D6 alpha2 release of the module is already replicating all the features that already existing in Drupal 5, minus many bugs and plus many useability improvements, as well as many new features.

The following new features are planned for the upcoming alpha releases:

More flexibility in outlining:

  • Outline nodes in more than one book.
  • Outline external URLs.
  • Since nodes can belong to more than one book, offer a way to browse each of these books separately.

And more. (my private TODO list is more comprehensive... :) )

Drupal 6

The module is currently being completely rewritten for Drupal 6.
The main difference is thus: instead of being a replacement of book.module (like in Drupal 5), the D6 version of outline module will depend on book.module, enhancing the already much improved book.module's capabilities.

Those who can't wait to test it may get a working copy from HEAD in the cvs repository. Use the D6 module for testing purposes only: the module is far from ready for use on a production site.

Upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6

Please, before attempting to upgrade your whole site to Drupal 6, read these notes carefully.

The database layout for outline and book modules have dramatically changed between Drupal 5 and Drupal 6. As a result, the upgrade involves moving a lot of data around. A full upgrade path for outline module is provided between the two versions.

Note: One specific configuration of D5 outline is not supported during the upgrade because of a limitation of D6 book module. In D5 outline, it was possible to add several pages at the very top level of the outline. Usually, one single page would serve as the topmost level, and all other pages in the same outline would be added as children or grandchildren thereof. However, it was possible to have several nodes at the topmost level. In D6, the very core logic that powers book.module does not make it possible to have this feature, i.e. by design, only one node can be at the topmost level of a book outline. As a result, it is not possible to import D5 outlines where there were several nodes at the top levels of some outlines. It is strongly recommended that you resolve this issue before you upgrade the site to Drupal 6 by reorganizing your outlines and checking that for each outline, there is only one node at the top level.

Because of all the above, it is imperative that you test upgrading your site with a copy of your database first!

  1. backup your database.
  2. make a copy of your site somewhere.
  3. test the upgrade path to Drupal 6.
  4. make sure everything works as expected.
  5. If you experience problems with the outline upgrade, check this issue.
  6. Repeatedly test the whole upgrade until everything works smoothly.
  7. backup your database again.
  8. do the upgrade on your live site according to usual guidelines.

Drupal 5

In Drupal 5, the book.module's features were very limited in some critical ways. Outline.module was conceived as a replacement of book.module, i.e. the two modules were not supposed to be used at the same time. Outline.module copied all of book.module's functions, and added some more. It is in fact the work on outline.module that directly inspired the important changes in Drupal 6's book.module.

The Drupal 5 release of outline.module is barely supported. The code base is entirely different from that of the latest Drupal 6 version and that makes it difficult to backport bug fixes and features.

The Drupal 5 version is somewhat buggy and limited feature-wise. But when you upgrade the site, be sure to check the Drupal 6 version!

I welcome your feedback.

Project Information

  • Maintenance status: Unknown
  • Development status: Unknown
  • Module categories: Content
  • Reported installs: 51 sites currently report using this module. View usage statistics.
  • Downloads: 2,733
  • Last modified: April 19, 2009