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Droptica: Paragraph View Mode – Review of a Module for Drupal

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Creating components using the Paragraphs module offers incredible flexibility in building pages based on Drupal. One of the common restrictions is the issue of reusing the same paragraphs in very similar components. If the only thing that limits you is the set and layout of fields, the Paragraph View Mode module will help you.

The very first lines of the module’s code were created as a dedicated module for one of the projects we implemented. I quickly noticed, however, how such a functionality could be useful in the whole Paragraphs module ecosystem. Currently, the module has a stable 1.4 version and is covered by the Security Advisory Policy.

Dates 

The first version of the module was released in July 2019. Since then, I have been actively following the list of issues, implementing patches and new functionalities. The last patches were introduced to the developer version in July 2020.

Module’s popularity

According to the statistical data published on the module’s page: https://www.drupal.org/project/paragraph_view_mode, it is currently used by about 450 websites, which translates into approximately 10 uses per week.

Module’s creators

The first draft of the module was created in order to address the needs of a current project. After its initial release on the drupal.org website, I introduced some additional improvements and new functionalities. The community also helped, e.g. with making the module compatible with Drupal 9.
Currently, I am the only person who worked directly on the module’s code. The module itself is supervised by two maintainers who respond to all issues as quickly as possible.

What is the module used for? 

Paragraph View Mode is a sub-module for the Paragraphs module. Its advantages will be appreciated by both, developers and people responsible for editing content on a website. It may be necessary when:

  • you are building a website from many components, and some of them are very similar, e.g. they use a similar set of fields;
  • you want to minimise the number of components with regards to the administration;
  • you think about streamlining the frontend part;
  • you want to ensure better organisation of templates with regards to the UI and directly within the code;
  • you want to avoid using many complex field-based modifiers, e.g. lists.

As you can see, this module can offer several useful functions, and all this goes hand in hand with the simplicity of this solution in accordance with the so-called “Drupal Way”.

Unboxing

You can download the module from the https://www.drupal.org/project/paragraph_view_mode webpage or via composer:

composer require drupal/paragraph_view_mode

After the installation, go to editing the selected paragraph type, the default path is usually:
 
[your_domain]/admin/structure/paragraphs_type/[your_paragraph_bundle]  
In the “Paragraph View Mode” drop-down section, select the option “Enable Paragraph view mode field on this paragraph type” and then save the form.

enable-paragraph-view-mode

The module will automatically create a “Paragraph view mode” field with a configuration widget (available in the manage form display tab).
 
The widget’s configuration consists of two fields. The first field is the selection of available display modes. The module automatically receives a list of only those that are unblocked on the current paragraph type, while you can decide which of them you want to display on the list of options in the form.

The second field is used to define the default value of the field in the absence of its value (e.g. for a newly created paragraph).

paragraph-view-mode-widget

With the module configured in this way, you can dynamically switch the display modes directly in the page adding/editing form.

paragraph-view-mode-usage

Plans for the future

The basic functionality of the module is already completed, and it is hard to come up with new functionalities. Recently, however, I created a new issue https://www.drupal.org/project/paragraph_view_mode/issues/3150153, in which I plan (with a little help from the community) to develop the functionality of linking the field value with the display mode of the form and its dynamic substitution. I also intend to continue supporting Drupal 9 and future versions.

Summary

The Paragraph View Mode module, despite its low complexity, offers a lot regarding the efficiency, convenience and – above all – flexibility of the editors’ work. In addition, it allows the Drupal developers or the person responsible for the website to reduce the amount of work needed to organise and maintain the components on the website, thus reducing the overall cost of maintaining the website.