In the last section of the last chapter in this book it is only fair to reward the devoted reader with one of the most powerful, flexible and fun tools for building information structure – Views content panes.
Views content panes is a module included in the Chaos tools suite project and it is an excellent bridge between Page manager/Panels and Views. The module provides a new Views display type, content pane. Displays of this type can be inserted as panes in a panel. It makes it possible to set parts of the view configuration, not least contextual filters, from the panel.
The two most important factors making this display type powerful are:
- You can control exactly how values for your contextual filters are fed to the view and what kind of data must be available in order to call the view. This means that you can completely ignore the clunkly (and frankly speaking quite hacky) options for creating default values for contextual filters. This is not only comfortable for you as Drupal developer, but also makes your views more secure and reliable.
- You can adjust quite a few settings for the view, for each panel you embed it in. In one panel you may use the acting user for building a contextual filter value and display ten results, and in another panel use a node author for the contextual filter and display three results. This decreases the need for separate displays and makes it easier to reuse your configuration. This in turn makes the site easier to understand, develop and maintain.