Define your patterns

Patterns can be exposed by both modules and themes by enabling the ui_patterns_library module.

Defined patterns will be available at /patterns, only accessible by roles having the access patterns page permission. Below an example of a pattern library page styled using the Bootstrap Patterns theme:


Pattern definitions

To define your patterns simply create a YAML file named MY_MODULE.ui_patterns.yml or MY_THEME.ui_patterns.yml and list them using the following format:

  label: Blockquote
  description: Display a quote with attribution information.
      label: Default
      description: An ordinary quote.
      label: Highlighted
      description: A special quote.
      type: text
      label: Quote
      description: Quote text.
      preview: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
      type: text
      label: Attribution
      description: Quote attribution.
      preview: Albert Einstein
    - MY_MODULE/module_library_one
    - MY_MODULE/module_library_two
    - pattern_library_one:
           css/my_component.css: {}
  { type: external, minified: true }
    - pattern_library_two:
         js/library_two.js: {}
         - core/jquery

Let’s break this down:

The root of a new pattern definition (blockquote in the example above). It must contain only lowercase characters, numbers, underscores and hyphens (i.e. it should validate against [^a-z0-9_-]+).
Pattern label, used on pattern library page.
Pattern description (optional), used on pattern library page.

Hash defining the pattern fields (optional). Each field can have the following properties:

Field type, can be text, numeric, etc. at the moment only used for documentation purposes. Optional.
Field label, used on pattern library page.
Field description, used on pattern library page. Optional.
Preview content, used on pattern library page. It can be either a string or a Drupal render array, in which case we can use keys like type: processed_text or theme: image. Optional.

Hash defining the pattern variants (optional). Each variant can have the following properties:

Variant label, used on pattern library page.
Variant description, used on pattern library page. Optional.
List of libraries to be loaded when rendering the pattern (optional). UI patterns are supposed to be self-contained so they should define along all needed libraries.

Once the pattern is defined the module will expose them as standard Drupal theme definitions.

For example, given the my_pattern pattern ID then a theme function pattern_my_pattern is created and, consequently, the module will look for a template file called pattern-my-pattern.html.twig.

The Twig template can be placed it either under MY_MODULE/templates, if the pattern is exposed by a module, or under MY_THEME/templates, if it is exposed by a theme. As expected themes will override templates exposed by modules.

For example, consider the following Twig template file pattern-blockquote.html.twig for the blockquote pattern defined above:

  <p>{{ quote }}</p>
  <footer>{{ attribution }}</footer>

The pattern will be rendered as shown below (styled using the Bootstrap theme):


Remember: we can always visit the /pattern page in order to have access to a full preview of all our patterns.

Organize your patterns in sub-folders

Patterns can be defined using a single NAME.ui_patterns.yml file. However, in case of sites with a large number of patterns, this might quickly becomes difficult to manage.

If that’s the case pattern definitions can also be organised in sub-folders, as shown below:

├── templates
│   └── patterns
│       ├── button
│       │   ├── button.ui_patterns.yml
│       │   └── pattern-button.html.twig
│       ├── media
│       │   ├── media.ui_patterns.yml
│       │   └── pattern-media.html.twig
│       └── pattern-jumbotron.html.twig
└── ui_patterns_test_theme.ui_patterns.yml

Note: the example above is taken by the actual test target site that is used to test the module itself: have a look at ./tests/ and at ./tests/target/custom for working examples on how to use the UI Patterns module.

Expose pattern assets as libraries

In case you wish to bundle your assets within the pattern directory you can define libraries with the alternative syntax below:

  label: Blockquote
    - pattern_library_one:
           css/my_component.css: {}
  { type: external, minified: true }
    - pattern_library_two:
         js/library_two.js: {}

Libraries defined as above will be automatically loaded when the pattern is rendered. They are also exposed as ordinary Drupal libraries as follows: ui_patterns/PATTERN_ID.LIBRARY_NAME

For example, the two local libraries above can be attached to your render arrays in the following way:

$build['#attached']['library'][] = 'ui_patterns/blockquote.pattern_library_one';
$build['#attached']['library'][] = 'ui_patterns/blockquote.pattern_library_two';

Override patterns behavior

The default behavior can be changed by using the following properties in you pattern definitions:

theme hook
If specified it overrides the default pattern_[id] theme hook with the provided value; the template file will change accordingly.
If specified it overrides only the template file keeping the default pattern_[id] theme hook.
If specified it will use a stand-alone Twig file as template. The value supports Twig namespaces, so the following notations are valid examples:
use: "@my_module/templates/my-template.html.twig"
use: "@molecules/media/media-block.twig"

The possibility of using stand-alone Twig templates allows for a swift integration with tools like PatternLab or modules like Component Libraries.

Attention: always remember to double-quote use: values or some YAML parsers (including PatternLab’s) will complain.