After over four years of working with Drupal, I have finally reached one of the major goals that I have envisioned from the beginning. Today I released the first beta of Panels Everywhere, a new module that works with Panels and Page Manager that allows you to never use the block management system again.

Instead, using the power of Panels, you can control the entirety of your system with Panel layouts. You still have all of the content available from blocks, but you also gain the rich content that you can get from using contexts, plus the power of selection rules that can do pretty amazing things. And when it can't do the one amazing thing you really need, most of the time the plugin to do that amazing thing isn't actually that difficult to write.

Now, this system isn't for the faint of heart. There's still a lot of adoption that needs to happen. In particular, I am really hoping for a theme or two to adopt this and provide some good basic layouts. Plus, Panels itself needs to improve more to ease a few pain points on the way. Fortunately, there are people out there, right now, actually using this tool and helping to identify these pain points, allowing us to fix them and get more experience building sites in this fashion.

The next step, I think, will be to build a distribution, now that drupal.org supports those, that includes everything needed to get started with Panelized Drupal. In order to accomplish this, I'll need a nice looking theme that can supply some layouts to Panels and is willing to run nicely without a page.tpl.php.

In any case, I'd love for folks to give this system a try and see how it works for them. Right now, because there isn't really a good theme, it looks pretty barren. But the point is that it lets you build the theme around it.

Comments

This looks like a perfect fit for a project I'm currently working on. I'm going to be daring and give it a shot.

The panels 960gs theme (http://drupal.org/project/panels_960gs) looks promising. It provides a number of layouts and completely gets rid of Drupal's sidebar regions.

Steve, I'm the maintainer of the http://drupal.org/project/panels_960gs theme. Although there haven't been any commits lately, trust me when I say that a mind-blowing update is on its way. I've been building a site based on Drupal Commons (Acquia) and I think it's going to be a pioneer in many regards.

I'm shooting for launch by the end of November so the code may be available shortly thereafter.

Hi Earl,

Any vision of whether this will remain as you've developed it for D6 in D7?

Congratulations Earl. And once again, thanks for all your magnificent work. Drupal owes a great deal to you.

This is one of the reasons I so much like Drupal. There is inovation almost everywhere I look. I dont fully understand the alternative and its advantages you are posting about but I hope to give it a go soon. Thanks for making Drupal so interesting to work with Merlin :)

Absolutely amazing. It's what all Panels enthusiasts (and there are too many to count) once daren't have dreamed of. This really is astonishing work. Panels 3 let us layout by node/user/viewer/context etc...but there were always those extra pages and no easy way of creating a simple default - now those problems are solved. I can't wait to get it on all our sites.

An awed thomas

Thank you for delivering to us this wonderful piece of functionality. You are an inspiration to everyone and a true guiding light in the sea of chaos that is Drupal page layout management.

Your module looks like a good shift. Check out a new take on this same idea from wordpress. The demo was amazing (and it works).

http://elastictheme.org/

I'd love to be able to draw out a few 'blocks' / panels and then plop stuff in. Its a very natural front end tool..

Are you including Panels in your new book? Um... what is the ISBN and name of your book?

I've worked in IT/Systems for 30 years and I must saw that your work on Panels and Views is the one of the most impressive designs I've seen. Especially from the work of one person. It has made our work on our sites much easier and faster than the block and theming limitations of Drupal out of the box. Both should be part of the core of Drupal.

Again, thank you for your wonderfull contributions!

John Byrne

Hej! This module (revolution?) is simply amazing. I'm testing it and seems to works even better in conjunction with Ninesixty css grid framework. I created a ninesixty subtheme and some custom panel layouts for using with "everywhere". Finally i have a great (and clean) css framework to quickly develop my themes with all (and more) magic tools of panels. All this in a coherent enviroment (no blocks, regions, page.tpl ecc).

Now three question:
does it works flawlessy with Features?
What are plans for D7 version?
What does the "page content" context exectly do?

thanks!!!!

I'm terrible at design, so this sounds like exactly what I need to get going with my new site. I normally get someone else to do the visual, but I want to try myself this time and seems like Panels Everywhere will make it easier and more simplified to construct the appearance. Thank you!

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