Situation: I have a simple video player set up using views with a pager. Views loads a set of related nodes, each with an embedded video. By using a pager, the user can advance to the next or previous video in the list.

Problem: I'd like to track whether a logged in user has viewed a video or not, then use this information to help a user see what they have left to watch in another view (a view that simply lists the nodes with embedded videos). So, I need to be able to list viewed/not viewed nodes with views at the user level.

I realize there is complexity around tracking whether a user has really watched a video or not, so ideally the logic that decides whether a user has watched a video or not (custom code, a rule, etc) can be extended/updated later. For now, simply tracking that the user viewed the node is fine.

Related question: since the user is viewing nodes thru the views-based player, and not by clicking node links, where is the best place to execute custom code to mark a node as viewed? I think it could be done with hook_views_pre_render, but I'm not sure that's the right place.

Any thoughts on a simple lightweight approach for Drupal 7? I thought of trying the Flag module (with a user-level flag), using either Rules or custom code to flag a video as "watched", but I haven't tried it yet. There is also a module called path rules that can trigger a rule based on paths: https://drupal.org/project/pathrules

Are there other modules I should consider that already do some of this?


1 Answer 1


I've worked out a solution based on the message module (https://drupal.org/project/message) and I think this will solve the problem well. Here's the basic approach:

  1. Install message and create a new message type to capture a specific event (i.e. lesson viewed in my case).

  2. Add an entity reference field to the message type created in #1 (messages are fieldable entities) in order to store a reference to the node that was viewed.

  3. Write a function to create the message type created in #1. There is example code in a example module that comes along with the message module.

  4. Hook the view that needs to trigger message creation and call the function created in #3.

  5. Create a view that lists messages. Messages have good views support.

  6. Add additional message types and logic to capture other kinds of activities (a user completing a video lesson, which in this case will mean working with the wistia api, since the videos are hosted on the wistia platform).

One question: I'm not sure where best to hook views to create a message when a user views a node through the view described in the original question . I'm currently using hook_views_post_render, which seems to work well, since the view provides access to the node id needed to create the message.

Overall, I think message will be a good solution for this problem and will provide a nice foundation for tracking other activities as needed. There's a good video overview of the message module here: https://vimeo.com/63919900

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