New Drupal Modules: Nodes In Block

Submitted by dontai on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 19:40

No, I have not been slacking off the last few days. Busy working on technical issues, I've not been able to blog.

On Tuesday I attended the Toronto Drupal User's Group, and met some of the people that develop in Drupal. It was an interesting meeting, with some colourful characters. One demo was about Rock Peaks, a site that collates information, audio and video of rock bands, and the other was Madrega, a web site that assists Jewish followers of a religious group. Both sites were interesting.

My news aggregator found a Chinese blog review of the, which was reviewed in The Beijinger is also a Drupal site with a News aggregator, but all links has a mouseover, which gives the forst 3-400 characters of the news article. I thought that was nice, but don't know how to do it. I hope the author points me in the right direction or module. The news aggregator module does not do this. It does add some clutter to the page and increases loading time. I probably would not really use it, because I always hit the "more" link, which then gives me a 400 character summary of the articles. Still, it is a novel feature.

I've downloaded the contrib modules: Quicktabs, Workflow and Nodes in Block.

Quicktabs looks promising and can save space on the screen. I haven't tried it yet, but will soon.

The Quick Tabs module allows you to create blocks of tabbed content, specifically views, blocks, nodes* and other quicktabs*. You can create a block on your site containing multiple tabs with corresponding content. Clicking on the tabs makes the corresponding content display instantly, using jQuery. With the 6.x-2.x branch, this can be done in either ajax or non-ajax mode


Workflow looks really interesting. I'm so used to having content providers get content approved by an editor that this one is a natural. It took some getting used to the free and easy blogging style of fast and free publishing.

The workflow module allows the creation and assignment of arbitrary workflows to Drupal node types. Workflows are made up of workflow states. For example, a workflow with the states Draft, Review, and Published could be assigned to the Story node type.


I had to immediately try Nodes in Block. Drupal is a dabase driven CMS and it really shows with a multitude of index blocks. I wanted to add graphics and text to a block, but could not do this easily. Nodes in a Block allows me to create individual pages, then put these pages into an individual block anywhere on the page. Graphics can be added directly to the page.

Nodes in block makes it possible to add nodes into a block. A number of configurable blocks are generated which you can assign to a region. Visibility settings of this block are automatically set to 'Show on only the listed pages'. On the node content form, you define the weight and visibility per node thus making it easier for content administration as all your content is now in the same place. With this module, you don't have to explain your customers how blocks work but is still able to decide on which pages content must be rendered.


Notes in Block allowed me to easily add a photo and text to the top of the right column. It'll add quite a lot of flexibility to the look and feel of the site.

Drupal has so many different modules it really is difficult to find what you want. At least there are too many choices than too few. Half the battle is choosing between a couple of similar but slightly different modules. Simple is better.