I am new to Drupal and I am having a hard time finding clear and comprehensive documentation explaining how designing layouts and pages works in Drupal.

I have identified several concepts:

  • Panels & Mini-Panels
  • Block & Regions
  • Display Suite
  • Page Manager
  • Stylizer
  • Theme
  • Selection Rules
  • Context
  • Variant

There are many tutorials explaining a subset of those concepts, but there is no global picture connecting the dots.

  1. Can someone help clarify each concept?
  2. Can someone explain how each concept is related to others? Which is complementary to which? Is any concept replacing any another concept?
  3. Which concepts a user should learn about in order to design customized screens and layouts, while still being able to use delivered screen (for example: those for creating content)?
  • 4
    What you seek is gained best by hard work. Anyways Drupal Answers is not made for this wide open explain all of this to me and create a wiki kind of questions. You should always ask questions that has a definite answer.
    – googletorp
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 14:33
  • 4
    @googletorp I am sorry, but I have been spending quite some time reading documentation before asking this question. Don't underestimate my efforts. I do believe this question fits the Q&A format since it requires specific expertise. I am not trying to solicitate endless discussions. Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 14:57
  • I hear you, Drupal can be quite confusing with all those options, especially when you are new to it. Checkout this article about blocks, context and panels: lullabot.com/articles/assembling-pages-with-drupal. Page manager tutorial: dev.nodeone.se/node/770. Another great Drupal tutorial site: buildamodule.com. Personally, I would say get solid on the "blocks and regions" and the "theming concepts". The other topics you mentioned are more advanced. Afterwards, post more specific questions, for example "what's the advantage of using panels over using blocks?"
    – uwe
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 16:11
  • @JVerstry I think the biggest problem is that you've asked so many questions in one go. Each question on this site is supposed to provide value in its own right so that future visitors can find the answer to a single question (not a discussion of several high-level Drupal concepts, which is what your questions essentially boil down to). If you can break these down into a bunch of more manageable, single questions I'm sure you'll get some very good answers; not to mention you'll provide extra value to this site which is good for all of us :)
    – Clive
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 16:39
  • 3
    @Clive I am used to StackOverflow sites and I know this principle very well. However, sometimes, in specific cases, it is not appropriate. My question pertains to relationships between global concepts. Hence, the purpose can only be high-level. Asking a series of small precise questions for each concept is pointless here. It would also force people to navigate to many pages and put the pieces of the puzzle together, which is defeating the purpose. This extra workload would be unproductive and would not bring any extra value. It would not facilitate the learning curve of Drupal. Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 19:09


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