SharePoint Config

Ari Bakker's thoughts on customising and configuring SharePoint

Enhanced Blog Edition Beta 1

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I’ve been busy over the last few weeks working on the Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS) 2.0 Enhanced Blog Edition. We have now released the first version on CodePlex which contains many enhancements for SharePoint blogs. These enhancements include friendly URLs (i.e. archive/2007/06/19/enhanced-blog-edition-beta-1.aspx vs. Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=26), tag cloud support, post trimming, Akismet integration for spam prevention and custom RSS URLS. The most significant feature in my opinion, however, is the ‘Modular Theme Framework’ (MTF).

One feature of the MTF is that it allows designers to have full control over the look and feel of the site using a combination of master pages, CSS and XSLT. The framework provides alternative XSLT web parts that replace the default web parts such as the PostList and CategoriesList web parts, allowing designers to define styles and mark-up for elements without having to work with html tags and styles defined by SharePoint.

Another feature of the framework is that it provides an easy means for creating and managing themes. Each theme is essentially a set of files contained within a document library within the blog site. All a user needs to do to add a theme is to create a new folder in this library and add in the relevant files. Once this has been done the theme will be available for use on the blog site.

Below are some examples of what the design team here at Provoke team have come up with. Our previous attempt at implementing something similar without the framework was a slow and painful process that took several days. With the MTF we were able to integrate each of the following in a few hours.

These themes are also available for download from the Enhanced Blog Edition Beta 1 page on CodePlex.

‘Wildlife’ by Isha Hartono

wildlife theme

‘Raglan’ by Alastair Bruerton

raglan theme

‘Motueka’ by Alastair Bruerton

motueka theme

‘Creation’ by Matt Gould

creation theme

‘City’ by Matt Gould

city theme

‘Bird’ by Bob Medcalf

bird theme

The development of this framework has been largely due to the great work of Vince Rothwell. These features not only make customising blogs easier, as the same concepts can be applied to other web content management scenarios.

For more information on the project you can visit the CKS site on CodePlex.

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Written by Ari Bakker

June 18th, 2007 at 11:04 am

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