was wondering...

are all the features present in Context module exist in Panels?

one really interesting feature is that Context can replace the Block system, selectively adding your new "stuff", like existing blocks, breadcrumbs, setting active menus, etc, in what they call reactions... based on conditions which you can set (users, roles, paths, taxonomy, node types, views, languages, an always context, etc.

the contexts you create can also be exported for later usage.
it is particularly useful because you can construct basic "block" layouts for reuse in multiple sites, something around the lines of Views, Panels and Features.

on the downside, you can't really rearrange the layout of these blocks (like place them side by side with different spacing, apply CSS or whatever)

i've noticed that with Panels i can create Mini Panels, which can include multiple blocks, and add them to the block region, just like a regular block (but containing blocks) - not sure, but seems less broader in the sense of selecting "conditions", like detecting language and menu, and "reactions", like selecting the active menu and setting the breadcrumbs.

so the question again... does Panels do the same? if not, will Context features be eventually added to Panels in the future?

i'm figuring though that they can live together - and possibly work together by making Context set the conditions and then add reactions for menus, breadcrumbs and blocks - blocks which could be put together with Panels.

but it would definitely work better and have less impact on performance with a single module

nice work, keep it going ;)


lpalgarvio’s picture

or maybe instead bring these features directly to Chaos Tools.

Context could also benefit from a shared Layout API in Chaos Tools instead of in Panels, like some pointed out in Context issue tracker, but i still think a single module for this (context+panels or context+ctools) would do better

Summit’s picture

Subscribing, greetings, Martijn

apmsooner’s picture

Panels can do all of what you're asking to my knowledge. In panels, check out selection rules for the panel itself and visibility rules for a pane within a panel. You can also add context into panels and setup rules to react on that context. You can create custom layouts, rulesets and styles using the new stylizer and all of this is exportable. I've used both and my opinion is panels is feature rich enough that I just pretty much do without blocks in my sites for the most part. FYI, panels has templates to override node, user, contact, etc... so you can really create some very customized layouts across your entire site.

lpalgarvio’s picture

the way context/blocks and panels work with placing blocks is a lot different

context can work without requiring setting up blocks in regions, it does it itself

panels can't do that unless you use panels everywhere, which requires supporting themes...

and while you can define which content and which rules to display inside a panel, you can't say where to put that panel outside of paths

for that you use mini panels and then you dont have much flexibility in setting in which conditions... nor where... nor create layout sets with blocks like you do with Context

Context is specialized in that.

tebb’s picture

I'm looking for some more documentation that explains the uses of, similarities and differences between Context and Panels (and Spaces, Display Suite and Sites).

I realise that some of these work in different areas and at different levels. Without trying them all, I'm finding it difficult to understand the features, pros and cons.

lpalgarvio’s picture

Context replaces the Blocks system. Does the same thing, just better, with more flexibility, rules and integration with other modules. It's like Blocks on steroids.

Display Suite allows changing little and small aspects on the way the fields are displayed.

Panels allow changing just about anything for the content, and with some modules (like Panels Everywhere), it can change the whole site, including regions and the way blocks are shown. It's a very powerful tool. It's like Display Suite on hyper-steroids + ability to change layouts. because the way Context and Panels are coded, with similar functionality (ex, Mini Panels) and dependency (Chaos Tools), if you combine the required modules, you can do about the same on Panels as Context does, just harder to do.

Sites idk
Spaces i know little. it's used in Open Atrium and that's all i know...

IMO, Display Suite is a waste of time.
it's just as big/slow as Panels, it has a large number of modules, has less support, it's simple, but Panels isn't that complex either to make you run away... i wasted 1 week on it then i realized it didn't do what i needed, so i tried Panels - and never changed back again.

Panels lets you automate things strictly and also provides flexibility.
the big wonders of Drupal rely on Views, CCK and Panels.

apmsooner’s picture

I've tried alot of these and while I've heard lots of good things for context, I'm a bigger fan of panels. Panels gives you the best of everything i think with ability to use context in it and have extremely flexible layouts. I think LPCA is right... learn cck, views and panels and you can take on a huge variety of projects. Panels may be a slightly steeper learning curve but i think the payoff is worth it.

esmerel’s picture

Status: Active » Fixed
lpalgarvio’s picture

to answer my original question,

Panels Everywhere does about the same as Context, letting you taking control of not only Block system, but also the full site layout.

Problem is that you have to adapt or use a theme which supports that.
Examples of that are Tinsel, Precision and AT Panels Everywhere

Maybe some day Panels Everywhere will be merged into Panels and the process be eased... and maybe some day whatever functionality we have in Content that does not exist in Panels might be added

kudos for 3 great modules anyhow!

Status: Fixed » Closed (fixed)

Automatically closed -- issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.