Chapter 13. Practical Example #2: Controlling Views Markup
As we’ve discussed previously, much of the code that Drupal will output on any given page may come from Views—whether it’s a page full of blog entries, or a block of Taxonomy terms in your sidebar. The beauty of this is that it gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility in terms of what information you display on the page, and how it gets displayed. The challenge, however, is getting your Views output to display in a way that:
Allows you to theme it easily—in other words, it isn’t impossible to find out what things are called so you can style them
Doesn’t make you cringe when you look at the code
In previous versions of Views, the only way to manage the code that Views created was to override everything that Views spit out—from creating custom tpl.php files to actually rewriting the results of Views queries. In Drupal 6, you could use the Semantic Views module (drupal.org/project/semanticviews) to specifically manage the output of a Views field. While there’s still a little bit of rewriting you may have to do in order to create truly semantic Views code, the latest versions of Views give you a number of ways to control the code that it creates—if you know how to use them.
As an example, let’s take our Event Categories block for the homepage of Urban Homesteaders Unite. Figure 13-1 shows the layout for our home page.