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I recently discovered how awesome Panels is and I want to use it as a replacement essentially for the default theming mechanism that comes with Drupal (I'm using version 7). In fact, I want to use it just about everywhere. Unfortunately, it looks like the Panels Everywhere module for Drupal 7 is completely dead.

I noticed that any panel that you create is just dropped into the content area. So, with an out-of-the-box Drupal installation that is going to leave all the heading information at the top of the page intact, even if you've defined a header section in your panel.

So, right now I'm thinking that the best way to deal with this is to tell Panels to disable output to regions, and to also override page.tpl.php so that it doesn't include any extraneous junk with the exception of wrapper HTML and the content region.

Does this approach make sense or is there a better way to go about accomplishing this?

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Your question is reasonable, as it could well seem like Panels everywhere is not very active, but in my opinion, this is simply not the case. :) Please see my answer for more details. –  Letharion Mar 27 '12 at 12:53

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted
+50

I believe the answer to your question is "Use Panels everywhere". :)

As one of the maintainer of Panels Everywhere, I wonder what you mean with "completely dead"? Yes, I'm a bit slow in the issue queue, but that's because 1. Both me and merlin are crazy busy with the Panels queue (318 issues vs 15), and 2. I'm also not aware of any serious issues. Any help from the community in the Panels queue will greatly help with any PE issues as well.

You should use Panels Everywhere because:

  1. There only thing that's preventing a stable release is a bug on d.o. (I just now updated the module page to say so.)

  2. Merlin is also planning to redo the UI to be much more user friendly.

  3. I build websites with Panels everywhere every single day at work. It works great. If any serious issues were to come up, they will most definitely be fixed. At NodeOne, we build nearly every single site with PE. We need it to work well. :)

I will take the opportunity to shamelessly suggest that anyone interested in Panels and/or Panels everywhere could contribute a bit of time to the issue queue. The current number of contributors, 2, is vastly outnumbered by the number of questions being asked. This slows down development considerably. My d.o profile has the necessary info for contacting me about this. :)

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+1 - At the risk of sounding sarcastic, using Panels Everywhere does seem like the best solution for being able to use panels..well....umm...everywhere. Also, @Letharion knows what he's talking about when it comes to Panels/Views. –  Chapabu Mar 27 '12 at 12:13
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The bounty was just a scheme to draw Letharion into the open... :) Thanks! –  Lester Peabody Mar 27 '12 at 13:58
    
When I posted the question I think I was just looking at the last commits made by the top maintainers. Last commits were made almost a year ago. Do you maintain the repository elsewhere? –  Lester Peabody Mar 28 '12 at 21:26
    
I can't answer for merlin, but for me, no. It's just that the combination of 1. Issue #1223712, 2. no serious issues to fix, 3. way, way to little community help with Panels itself, and finally 4. PE get's upgrades "behind the scenes" by work done in Panels and Ctools, combine to downgrade the priority of work on PE. For months, the priority was just to reduce the number of open Panels issues so we could see "no serious issues left". This work delayed the stable Panels 3 for a very long time. –  Letharion Mar 29 '12 at 8:13

It is not true that every Panel you use is falling inside the content area. Check on the Panel admin page that is admin/structure/panels and you'll notice on the left side the option to create Panel page or Panel node.

Panel pages can be used as landing pages. Thus, they are provided with a URL path, accept arguments and can have menu entries. For Panel nodes (you must activate the panel node module for this functionality) you can manage them the way you manage blocks. In fact if you get some experience with Panels you'll never touch blocks anymore.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Panels are relying on ctools so you can create whole pages patterns using Pages: admin/structure/pages and then fill them with the panels you want.

I never used Panels Everywhere (they have an alpha release for Drupal 7) but honestly I don't understand their utility.

Another tool you might consider not only as alternative to Panels but also you can use together with them (as I often do) is Context module.

Context module have a more simple interface but powerful they handle pages and sections and manage blocks for each sections. You can also handle Panels inside them creating very complex layouts.

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I have done it on one website . I disabled all the blocks .All I have is panels pages. I don't think there is anything wrong with this approach.

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Lester, when you write:

"I noticed that any panel that you create is just dropped into the content area. So, with an out-of-the-box Drupal installation that is going to leave all the heading information at the top of the page intact, even if you've defined a header section in your panel."

The problem is that you are defining regions in both your panels and your theme. Take a look at this old support issue from the Panels Everywhere queue: http://drupal.org/node/1256000. You need to change your theme to do what you want.

Hope that helps.

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+1 Thanks for that tidbit. –  Lester Peabody Mar 30 '12 at 18:01

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