Creating Ctools Content Types in Drupal 7

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Ctools content types, not to be confused with general content types, are Panels version of blocks. Another name for them are panel panes, but just think of them as more powerful blocks. Because they are Ctools plugins, the code to implement them is easy to write and maintain. Each plugin has their own file, whereas with blocks, you have to cram everything into hook_block_view(). They also integrate with Ctools contexts, which means you get a context object passed directly

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