by Jeff Eaton on September 26, 2008 // Short URL

SimpleViews: The demo

I've mentioned the SimpleViews module a few times over the past couple of weeks, hinting that it would be cool and -- perhaps -- cure cancer or help over-leveraged investment banks. I can't promise too much, but the first version of it has hit, and I filmed a short demo to show off what it does.

SimpleViews has been a fun project for me, in part because it grew out of a need for a current client project. The site needs to give inexperienced admins the ability to build simple listing pages of different kinds of content -- the stuff Views is perfect for -- but can't overwhelm them with the kind of power-tools Views UI offers. Voila! SimpleViews.



Tom Geller

Wow, this is OUTSTANDING.

Wow, thanks for doing this, Jeff. Watching your video convinced me: Projects that simplify the UI (like SimpleViews) are crucially important to bring Drupal to the next level in terms of growth and public awareness.

Any chance of a SimplePanels? :)



Thanks, Tom!

I appreciate the encouragement! One of the most difficult things about building tools like this is resisting the urge to add just one more thing... Allowing the full Views UI to do what it does well, and providing streamlined, easy-to-understand choices whenever they're appropriate, allows us to selectively reveal the power of the system as users ask for it.

I'm hoping that the same philosophy can be used to ease people into other many Drupal tools and concepts, without sacrificing the fundamental flexibility. I even registered a domain name to act as my personal mantra while working on it...


Joe Chellman


This is cool as hell, Jeff.

I'm going to look into this myself after trying out SimpleViews, but it seems worth asking here: what happens if I create a view in SimpleViews, then edit it to add something more complex, and one of my less-experienced administrators goes back to the SimpleViews UI and makes changes of their own?



For now...

...The customized version created in the full Views UI would take precedence and the SimpleViews changes wouldn't be seen. At Earl's suggestion, I'll be adding a warning message when this happens: we can't prevent it, but we can at least let users tinkering in SimpleViews know that a Views UI customization is 'overriding' their changes, so they aren't confused.

Behind the scenes, SimpleViews is NOT saving full views to the database; rather, it's saving its own simplified settings and exposing a "default" view, the same way that other modules can expose their own default views. That means that editing and overriding them are much easier, and also keeps SimpleViews from getting confused by trying to 'read in' views that have been modified in ways it doesn't understand.



Very impressive, Jeff -- I'm

Very impressive, Jeff -- I'm looking forward to playing around with this. I agree with Tom that any project to simplify the UI is a step in the right direction for bringing new users into Drupal. Well done. :)




So, SimpleViews in core and Views UI in contrib? ;)




When it comes time to switch to D6, this is definitely going into the install profile.