Drupal 8 Sitebuilding: Coding vs. Clicking


The story so far:

During the Drupal 6 and 7 release cycles great layout building modules like Context, Display Suite and Panels emerged. Rather than writing templates with ugly (and hard to maintain) PHP code we could just click together how content should be composited using the Drupal administration interface. Now that Drupal 8 is released (or will be on November 19th!!), its complete API rewrite means that these layout building modules too have been rewritten, improved upon, and are in the process of being released (at the time of session submission these modules were all at Alpha). Additionally Drupal 8 brings into play the Twig templating language into core.

That brings up many questions: 

  • Where will the Coder vs. Themer discussion end now?
  • Why would you want to use Panels if you can just write Twig templates?
  • Where does site building end and where does theming start?
  • What are the advantages of using the GUI ("clicking") vs. writing and extending Twig templates ("coding")? 

In this session, we will give a quick introduction to the possibilities we already have with Drupal 8 and outline the main implications of what each approach means to the workflow for building sites. Whether you're a sitebuilder who wants to click together a site or an entire team of front-end & backend developers, we need to talk about best practices that work for the skills & requirements we have.

In our session we will:

  • Review the current status of Drupal 8 core and contrib layout solutions (Panels, Page Manager, Display Suite, Context)
  • Take a look at real-world Drupal 8 sites we've already built and how we implemented layouts & content composition there
  • Find out if Panels in Drupal 8 suffers from divitis like it did in Drupal 7
  • Learn about advantages and disadvantages between sitebuilding via the GUI or via "code"
  • Discuss pros and cons for both sitebuilding approaches regarding deployment across development environments

This session will extend Josef and Adam's session at Drupalcon Barcelona (Slides: http://bit.ly/dcon-layouts-slides, Video: http://bit.ly/dcon-layouts-video), which itself was a complete rework of Josef's Blocks & Layouts from D7 to D8 presentation at Drupal Dev Days Szeged (Slides: http://dasjo.at/blocks-layouts-szeged).

Session Track

Site Building

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Saturday, 20 February, 2016 - 12:45 to 13:45
Auditorium | Acquia