Sunday, 24 June 2012

Drupal bean module


The Drupal Bean module makes blocks into fieldable entities, providing some useful UI features for blocks out of the box and allows developers to create new block types in code via ctools plugins. From the documentation:

"Each bean instance has a corresponding block. Users interact with them in the same way they might use any other block in Drupal. The Bean module does not attempt to interface with the placement of blocks. Bean deals only with the creation of customized, fieldable blocks."

I haven't tried Beans yet but can see how useful they could be, particularly in some places where views are overloaded. Filling bean content via EntityFieldQueries is a viable approach (and probably often better) to many problems that are solved with view blocks.

Further Reading

An interesting looking implementation of beans is the relevant content bean. This is feature in the following bean module tutorial:

The article Views without views discusses beans and this module also.

Friday, 8 June 2012

When buying and reading books just works

A quick post about Kindle, Amazon and something just working

Whilst thinking about another blog post I wanted to write I remembered a book I read a long time ago: The Computer Connection by Alfred Bester. I decided I wanted to read it again, hooked up my Kindle to company wireless, went online, purchased from Amazon and a few seconds later the book is ready for me to read on the bus journey home to-night.

Important to me is that:

  • I can choose to read it on my phone, Ipod touch or PC
  • My partner can read the same book on her kindle if she wishes
  • I can keep everything in sync across these devices
  • I can do the things I can do with a real book, but with extras added.
My book is not locked to one device, not keyed to scanning my retinas to ensure only I can ever read it or any other such non-sense. Amazon (and booksellers I presume) can make a profit without putting my reading experience into a straitjacket.