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I am about to port renderkit to Drupal 8.

The D7 version contains an interface EntityDisplayInterface, which builds render arrays from entities.

In the D7 version, this contains one method buildEntities($entity_type, $entity); which allows to process multiple entities at once. The idea here was that this could speed up performance.

For D8, I wonder if this is still relevant. E.g. it seems that D8 views really renders each entity separately. And even though there is EntityViewBuilder::viewMultiple(), this really does most of its processing within the foreach(), so separate per entity.

So.. should I drop the buildEntities() method in D8, and only leave buildEntity()?

  • Performance reasons aside, I would keep the API the same if possible so as to not confuse your userbase. :) – tenken Aug 9 '17 at 15:06
  • This is already a lost cause because the signature of those methods will inevitably change, as $entities parameter will be type-hinted with EntityInterface, and $entity_type parameter will be dropped at least for ::buildEntity(). – donquixote Aug 9 '17 at 15:08
  • Also I don't know who my userbase is, or how many.. drupal.org/node/2900827 – donquixote Aug 9 '17 at 15:09
  • oh ok. hmm sorry I dunno intimate details on entity rendering in d8. Ah, by userbase I ment the ~750 downloads of your module. – tenken Aug 9 '17 at 15:11
  • Just saying, I found \Drupal\Core\Entity\Display\EntityViewDisplayInterface, which looks similar to my EntityDisplayInterface, except that it has this verbose parent interface. EntityViewDisplayInterface::buildMultiple() seems to be optimized for processing multiple entities at once. – donquixote Aug 9 '17 at 20:39
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buildMultiple() exists, but it was done before we introduced render caching to entities and with that, lazy entity rendering/building. Now we don't really need multiple processing.

See https://www.drupal.org/node/2843565 for a discussion about that and the conclusion that we don't really need buildMultiple() anymore.

The idea is that if we render a page with 20 articles, then rendering them all separately is slightly slower on the first request. However, if you save one of those articles, or create a new one, then when accessing that page again, only one needs to be rendered (again), the others can be returned from the cache.

Whether or not a multiple API makes sense for you depends on how it will be called, if you expect it to be called on multiple entities, then can make sense, if not, then probably not.

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