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The Views module allows creating lists of content with a flexible query builder.

The Views module, written by Earl (MerlinofChaos) and Lynette Miles, is a Drupal module that allows creating lists of content (e.g. pages, RSS feeds, and blocks) with a flexible query builder. It is one of the most popular Drupal modules. Views 2.x is quite mature, Views 3.x is much newer but also more powerful.

Drupal manages content by storing it in a relational database and content can be retrieved by making queries to the database. Views provides a user interface (UI) for defining complex queries giving site developers the ability to select specific content without writing code. The module can be selected from the admin/structure/views menu option.

The Views UI

There are two primary form pages used to command the Views module, the Views Management form and the Views Definition form. The Management form is the first page seen when selecting Views and displays all available View definitions along with some basic information about each. It includes options to enable or disable the View definition. By selecting a View definition's edit button, the user actual definition page is displayed. This page includes all the options available for settings to provide a specific view.

View Definitions

Basics

The options available for defining a view are extensive and it is recommended that the user spend some time reviewing its capabilities using the resources listed in this Wiki. Generally, when beginning a new definition, you define the basic parameters you want for the view including the type of display (page or block) the type of entity (node, user, taxonomy), the information you want displayed (full content, fields, feeds, images, etc), how you want to filter the content and the order for sorting it. This basic information is stored in a hidden master (it can be exposed through View Settings)and serves as the default for the definition. In addition to this initial view, you can create variations by adding other pages or blocks to the definition.

Resources

Screencasts

  • Taming the Beast from nodeone.se
    This extensive video series by Johan Falk covers nearly every key feature of the module.

Books

  • Drupal Building Blocks - Addison Wesley Publishing, by Earl and Lynette Miles
    This book covers using the CCK Content Construction Tools, Views, and Panels to and display sophisticated content using these modules in concert.
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