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Currently the panels-based home page provides a decent default that can be customized via the Panels in place editor. However, it has two problems:
- Creates a dependency on several features (all that provide pane content to the home page).
- Can't be customized without overriding the feature.
Using Context Field, Boxes and Views Boxes for layout control outlines an alternative worth considering (though it depends on some theme-based layout functionality). is a dependency.
Possible interim approach:
- Remove use of Panels.
- Replace existing home page with a menu callback that returns an empty string. This allows the page to be constructed entirely with Context.
- Produce a context that sets a layout using Context panels layouts.
- In each Debut feature, provide views-based blocks and alter this context, adding one or more blocks in the regions provided by the selected layout.
- Retain use of Panels but provide an empty panels page.
- In each Debut feature, alter this panels page, adding one or more panes in the regions provided by the selected layout.
Either approach would result in a flexible and additive home page design and solve the current issue of dependency--that the home page feature needs to require specific other features that provide its panel panes.