In Drupal 9, Ctools (Chaos tools) is a suite of developer tools and APIs that provide various functionalities to enhance and simplify module development. Ctools is not specific to Drupal 9 and has been widely used in previous versions as well.
The primary purpose of Ctools is to provide a set of reusable utilities and APIs that help developers build complex and interactive features in Drupal. Some of the key features and purposes of Ctools in Drupal 9 include:
Plugin system: Ctools offers a robust plugin system that allows developers to create and manage reusable plugins, such as content types, views handlers, and more. This helps in extending Drupal's functionality without modifying core code.
Modal dialogs: Ctools provides a framework for creating modal dialogs (pop-up windows) with AJAX support. This is useful for creating interactive user interfaces and enhancing the user experience.
Form wizard: Ctools includes a form wizard API that simplifies the creation of multi-step forms. Developers can define a series of form steps with validation and submission handlers for each step.
Contextual filters: Ctools introduces a mechanism called "contextual filters" that allows modules to define filters based on the current context of a page. This feature is commonly used in conjunction with the Views module to create dynamic and contextualized displays of data.
Page manager: Ctools includes a Page Manager module that provides an interface for managing the layout and configuration of pages. This allows developers to define custom page layouts and assign different blocks or content to specific sections of a page.
Overall, Ctools aims to simplify complex development tasks, provide reusable components, and enhance the extensibility of Drupal. It is widely used by module developers to create powerful and interactive features in Drupal 9 websites.
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