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The common way to create some variety of slideshow within Drupal is to use Views Slideshow and then display content that way.

However, what if I just want a simple slideshow that appears in all of one Panel on the front page? Creating a new content type (and the requisite nodes) seems fairly overkill.

To that end — is there a slideshow that is both compatible with Panels and able to be invoked without using Views (or otherwise creating a bunch of nodes)?

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umm sure. you can always make a Block using admin/structure/blocks with like full_html. You could then easily make whatever HTML markup you need to get your images on the page.

Then in your theme file include a scripts[] = /path/to/your/js-slideshow.js.

A slideshow is just a slideshow. For example the slideshow at www.ucsb.edu is simply some HTML for images, 1 custom JS file, and CSS to hide all but the first image initially -- this is easily reproducible with Core Drupal. You could then place the block wherever you want with Panels.

The only caveat with this approach is uploading images from Drupal to power the slideshow is obviously harder since your keeping it very lean and not 100% drupal integrated.

Edit

Another example of getting remote images into drupal could be seen here by Fago making Entities from Google Picasa images and slideshows. Unless your comfortable with all this custom code, I dont recommend this type of approach. Drupal may have many approaches to getting something done, but as I mention in my last comment dont fight drupal's conventions or default way of doing something simply learn to embrace it. I've seen this idea spread by MerlinofChaos telling themers (im paraphrasing) "learn to use Views css, even though its ugly -- its feature complete". The same applies to drupal 7 "table per field" default storage structure. When you try to work around what you perceive is a shortcoming you simply fight an uphill battle to make drupal do what you want.

  • re the caveat, you certainly could put static images in a images/ subdirectory of your theme/module and either through the Block UI mentioned here, or a block hook in a custom module, do whatever you wanted with them via JS – Jimajamma Apr 24 '13 at 23:58
  • Well, yes — that would technically work. But the reason I use Drupal as a Content Management System is to manage content — telling clients "You just need to write a bunch of HTML!" doesn't really fly in most cases... – aendrew Apr 25 '13 at 15:38
  • It sounds like you dont want to use Nodes, Entities, or even Views as dependencies. A Block is a piece of content and managed by Drupal, its reusable. You can use Nodes, Entities, or write a custom admin form and store X variables to image paths. Your question is hacking out valid drupal mechanisms left and right here. If you dont want to write HTML, you'll need to use these building blocks of drupal together to meet your needs. Please rephrase your question to include what Drupal dependencies you want for your slideshow, or how you think it should function. – tenken Apr 25 '13 at 16:15
  • @Tenken — The only real dependency is Panels, and I'm just really not wanting to use nodes. Drupal uses nodes for everything -- that's why it's a difficult question. It's about thinking of Panels less as a developer tool and more a site builder/CMS tool. I ask this not to criticize the Views Slideshow route so much as to question whether there's another — possibly simpler — approach than creating a View for everything. That said, I'm sure there are non-nodal ways of using Views Slideshow for this purpose (For instance, Views can interact with arbitrary tables through the Data module). – aendrew Apr 30 '13 at 9:42
  • your right, but a table exposed to Views via hook_views_data() for instance is basically shoehorned into being viewable by Views. Eg, how do the images get into this table (from Drupal) by your client? If the data were an Entity/Node already you'd have a Drupal File Field instance on some piece of content. So if you dont want heavy Nodes, entities whatever behind Views good luck having a "drupal" simple interface for your client to do something. Maybe a 3rd party Flash player is what you want ? Work with Drupal's with conventions, not around them. – tenken Apr 30 '13 at 13:30
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To make a slideshow of all the panels within a panel region, use the Slideshow style in Panels Style Pack. As for the panels to put in that region, if you don't want to use nodes you can do what @tenken says and use custom blocks. Otherwise you can also use Fieldable panels panes to create a Drupal entity just for use in panels. These entities will be more lightweight than full nodes and won't clog up your node management.

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I have been experiencing the same issue. In the end I have found the Gallery Formatter module is compatible.

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