Do define custom data types in Drupal

Today I was included in a conversation in Drupal Slack that reminded me how important it is to take the time to learn one tool well.

In this case the issue was solved by creating a custom data type. This is the conversation log.

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago So you want to normalize the data for the administrative_area property in the address field type differently. You totally can do this! JSON:API doesn’t allow you to customize the @FieldType-level normalizer (because it would easily result in not complying with the JSON:API spec). But it does allow you to customize the @DataType-level normalizer! In this case, that’s this bit in

$properties['administrative_area'] = DataDefinition::create('string')
       ->setLabel(t('The top-level administrative subdivision of the country.'));

That’s currently using the string data type. But that’s kind of a problem: this is not just a string, it’s a meaningful string. So we’ll need to subclass \Drupal\Core\TypedData\Plugin\DataType\StringData : we’ll want something like AdministrativeAreaData extends StringData. Then we can change the property definition to DataDefinition::create('administrative_area') . And once we have that, we can create a normalizer just for that — and best of all: it will work for both rest and jsonapi :slightly_smiling_face:

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago @mglaman @bojanz ^^

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago @gabesullice @e0ipso ^^

bojanz 6 hours ago Sounds like a good topic for the Centarro blog :slightly_smiling_face:

e0ipso:beach_with_umbrella: 6 hours ago Alternatively you can write a Field Enhancer when you use JSON:API Extras

e0ipso:beach_with_umbrella: 6 hours ago Even if Wim’s recommendation is more convoluted, I do think it’s the appropriate solution. A Field Enhancer would work for this, but it’s meant for something else.

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago @bojanz I believe that Drupal core just also sets a very bad precedent. It doesn’t distinguish between different data types at all

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago @bojanz It feels much more logical/natural to add validation constraints to meaningful strings, i.e. strings with a particular meaning, semantic. Adding validation constraints to arbitrary string data is weird, isn’t it?

e0ipso:beach_with_umbrella: 6 hours ago @wimleers (he/him) there is UUID and Date. Unless I’m miss-remembering.

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago Yep, uuid is pretty much the only one that does this correctly

e0ipso:beach_with_umbrella: 6 hours ago But it’s a wildly underused feature for sure. I have never done this for client code.

wimleers (he/him) 6 hours ago And the same is true in config land btw.