A Drupal newbie, so correct me if my understand is wrong, but normally, when a Block is created by Views, the machine name of the block is appended to the Views' machine name.

i.e. "article_listing_view-block_1"

When using block_load($module, $block_id) function, the way I've been doing it is to call it thus: $block = block_load("views", "article_listing_view-block_1");

However, for some very odd reason, one particular Block with the machine name:


has a hashed machine ID of:


I say "hashed" because the machine ID changes based directly on the machine-name of the block. If I change it from block_1 to block, it will change, and when I revert back from block to block_1, it will revert the machine ID back to the above. So there's a direct correlation between the machine name and the "hashed" ID it generates.

Instead of calling block_load("views", "machine name"), I have to use the hashed machine ID, which isn't a problem but it did take me a long time to figure out. The way I figured it out was to go into Structure -> Blocks and hover over the "Configure" link and look at the URL. I noticed that all my other Blocks have a URL that included its machine ID, but for this particular block, it was the hashed machine ID. Once I put in the machine ID into block_load, viola, it worked like a charm!

So I guess the question boils down to: What's going on, and why is Drupal hashing my machine name? Is this a bug, or an error on my part?

2 Answers 2


This is because the block module expects a 'delta' (block id) up to 32 characters long. But a view block display can have up to 65 characters: up to 32 characters from the view name and 32 characters from the display name and an hyphen '-' between them.

When the delta exceeds the 32 characters limit, Views will hash it through md5 — it is not a random string. You can safely use it for CSS and jQuery selectors.

  • most of my answer comes from drupal.org/node/346602 Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 22:41
  • Thanks! I knew it wasn't random, but I wasn't exactly sure what was going on either. This explains it :).
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 23:05

Views machine names are only hashed if the name is over 32 characters in length.

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