Custom Item View Type


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The Grid of skills on the /skills page looks terrible. Let's go find the layout for that: Skills List Layout. Ok, so this is a normal Grid... and it renders like any other Grid on the site. I want to customize this, but I don't want the Grid block itself to render differently: having them tiled like this is great. What I really want is to change how each item inside the grid is rendered... but just in this one situation. How can we do that?

Hello "Item View Types"

Head over to your terminal and run our favorite debug:config command, this time looking at block_definitions:

php ./bin/console debug:config netgen_layouts block_definitions

This is, as we learned, the config for all of the blocks in our system. And check this out! One piece of config we haven't talked about yet is item_view_types. For each "block view type", like one_by_two, list, or grid, there's also item_view_types. So far, all of these currently have a single one called standard.

It's not super common, but for a given view type - like one_by_two or list - you can specify multiple ways to render the items inside of that view type. Those are called item_view_types. Standard is the default, and it means the items will render in the "normal" way.

So here's our goal: for the existing grid view type, we're going to add a new "item view type". On a high level, this will allow us, while configuring a grid, to choose a different way to render the items.

To start, over in our configuration, find block_definitions. We currently have list, view_types, and one_by_two. Now add grid so we can override that existing view type. Add item_view_types with a new one called, how about, skill_big_view. You'll see how we use that key in a second. Also give this a human-readable name:

77 lines | config/prepends/netgen_layouts.yaml
// ... lines 2 - 12
// ... lines 16 - 17
name: Skills Big View
// ... lines 22 - 77

What did that do? Refresh the admin area... click down on the Grid... and make sure you're on the "Design" tab. Hey! We have a new "Item view type" select! It shows "Standard", which is the default, then our new "Skills Big View"!

Select it and hit "Publish and continue editing". What will this change on the frontend when we refresh? Absolutely nothing! That's because we now need a new "item view" that will match this.

Adding the "Item View" for the new "Item View Type".

Back in our config, scroll down to item_views. Below default, copy the contentful_entry/skill section and paste it above.

We're putting it above because order is important: we need this new item view to be able to match before the other one. Watch. Call this contentful_entry/skill_big_view and change the template to @nglayouts/item/contentful_entry/skill_big_view.html.twig. We still want to match when item\value_type is contentful_entry and contentful\content_type is skill... but only if the matcher called item\view_type equals the key we created earlier skill_big_view:

77 lines | config/prepends/netgen_layouts.yaml
// ... lines 2 - 22
// ... lines 25 - 31
# default = frontend
// ... lines 34 - 38
template: '@nglayouts/item/contentful_entry/skill_big_view.html.twig'
item\value_type: 'contentful_entry'
contentful\content_type: 'skill'
item\view_type: 'skill_big_view'
// ... lines 45 - 77

Thanks to this, if the user selects this as their "Item View Type" for a grid of skills, then all three of these will match. But if the user chooses the default Standard item view type, it would not match this... but it still would match the one below.

Let's go add the template. Inside item/contentful_entry/, create the new file: skill_big_view.html.twig. Inside, say BIG VIEW:

Let's try it! Make sure the layout is published... then on the frontend... we got it! The rest is easy! Because we've already created several item view templates... I'll just paste in the rest. There's nothing new here.

But now... yea! That is the look we're going for.

Changing the "Item View" on an Item by Item Basis

By the way, now that our "Grid" block view has multiple "item view types" - that's our configuration up here - we have the power, on an item-by-item basis, to control that. See this "Override slot view type"? This basically says;

Yo Layouts! I want to change whatever the first item in this list is to use the "Standard" view type.

I'll hit "Publish and continue editing" and now... you can see that just the first item uses the Standard view type! That's... obviously not what we want on our site, so I'll go back and use "No overrides". But that is a very powerful concept.

And... woh! Just one chapter left! One common problem with Layouts is working with vertical spacing: just making sure the spacing is correct between all of our components. We could control that by adding CSS classes to individual blocks. But wouldn't it be nice if every block in the system had a nice drop down where we could select the top and bottom margins automatically? How can we make a modification to an existing block, or even all blocks in our app? That's the job of a block plugin, and that's next.