Advanced Drupal Themeing -- Using Content Template to avoid Panels!
NOTE: This is a very old migrated blog post. It may have incorrect formatting.Hey there everyone, So this isn't like my standard blog posts where I try and google an answer, can't find it, and use the answer and google term I searched to create a solution for other confused developers. Nope, this time I'll be talking about how some advanced Drupal themeing, and how to avoid resorting to Panels for layout. First off, let me just say I've seen some good presentations on panels, however I feel that panels is a crutch used by poor developers, or those who simply don't know there is a far more powerful way to design your drupal site using CCK. First of all, get CCK, all the CCK modules you want, and from there install content template. Enable it, and you will see under the "content management" tab, an option labeled content template. Go there, and for each content type you can "edit the content". What's rad about content template is right off the bat it shows you how it would render your node, with all the $variables for each CCK field right there, along with all the foreach's and all that jazz. Grab it, drop all the fields in where you want them, and style around all of it. To get really trick, check out the variables listed below the field, and find exactly what you're looking for. Having quick and easy access to all the available arrays/variables will enable you to develop advanced themes far faster, without having to resort to modules such as Panels, which leave you with that generic Drupal look and feel.