Introduction: What's a 'view mode', and why do I care?
Here at Jaypan, we have begun using a powerful new feature in Drupal 7, 'view modes', to ensure consistent presentation of data across the site. View modes actually existed in Drupal 6, however there were only two available modes, full and teaser (more on this later). And since Drupal 6 only had one Entity type, Node, these view modes only related to nodes, as there was nothing else to relate to. Drupal 7 came along and opened up an API for other modules to register Entity types other than Node. Many things have been turned into Entities as a result; Taxonomy, User, and Comment are all entities in D7, and at Jaypan we utilize custom Entity types for each project. This means that the same types of things can be done with these Entities, as used to be done with nodes. For example, taxonomy terms have image fields attached to them in D7.