How do I set up the Feature Story in OSU Standard?

The Feature Story is an attractive content display intended for the front page of an OSU Drupal site using the OSU Standard theme. This feature includes the following:

  • A large, summary view rotating block for the front page, that is linked to the full story.
  • A smaller, summary block that randomly reloads stories and can be displayed nicely in the middle sidebar.

What are views?

Very basically, in Drupal, a view is a list of information.  You could compare it to a data report.  A skilled Drupal architect or administrator can create views of just about any element in a Drupal site such as a list of all the nodes, or a list of all the users.  The Views module allows a user the ability to extract ,refine and display most of the information in a Drupal site in many, many different ways.

Can I restrict access to certain pieces of content in my site?

Our current system does not allow for true content access restriction at any role.  The only real limit you can put in place is the ability to create or edit specific content types.  Viewing published content is not a granular permission. There are some methods provided here, though, that will allow the ability to, for example, hide menus from a role.  It doesn't restrict the content, it just restricts the path to the content.

What is the difference between a node and a view?

There is a very big difference between a node and a view, one that often confuses people who are new to Drupal.

A node is a single entry that uses some content type submission form.  This can be a Page, a Book Page, a Story, etc.  If you were to draw a visual map of your Drupal site, where each piece of content was a point that was connected to other points, each point would be a node.  The term node is specific to Drupal.

A view, on the other hand, is a term that is used commonly in the Relational Database Management field.  A view, in general, is a collection of data that is lumped together and displayed as a group.  A good, general example of a view is a basic data report.  In Drupal, a view can be a collection of nodes that are somehow related, a collection of data about users of the site, or a collection of data about the site system - among other things.

By default, in OSU Drupal, the Author role is permitted to create and edit all default node types.  This includes the following:

  • Announcement
  • Biblio
  • Book Page
  • Page
  • Poll
  • Story

Conversely, by default, in OSU Drupal, Authors can not create or edit a view.  View development using the Views module is actually an advanced topic that requires either some type of training or previous experience.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Node and a View

One easy way to spot a view is the presence of a list of something that automatically updates.  For example, if you have a list of employees on your Drupal site that automatically updates when you create an Employee node, then the list that you're looking at is a view.

Another way to spot a view is if you are logged in and permitted to create a particular content type, but you do not see the standard View and Edit tabs used for a node.  A view does not have these.  If you see, for example, an error in an entry that is displaying in a view, you will need to track down the node either through a link to the node that may be supplied in the view, or through the content list at Admin menu > Content management > Content.