Tech Ed 2006 – Birds of a Feather 2006

I was reminded when visiting Stuart’s blog that the deadline for Birds of a Feather session proposals is coming upon us fast.

This Friday (March 31st) is the deadline so don’t procrastinate any longer! This is a great oppportunity to present and lead a discussion amongst peers at one of this year’s biggest and best conferences. Plus you get to hang out with crazy INETA folks like myself and Stuart.

Visit here to submit your Tech Ed 2006 Birds of a Feather Session Proposal!

Eric Meyer and others on Internet Explorer 7

With Internet Explorer 7 now “Rendering Behaviour” complete the information is coming in fast and furious. Eric Meyer has a great IE7 post with his thoughts.

The IE Blog of course has plenty of information as well as a CSS Zen Garden inspired layout showing off things like fixed positioning, PNG Alpha Channels and Arbitrary Element:hover as well as others. See more about Internet Explorer and it’s CSS rendering on the IE Blog.

Dave Shea over at Mezzoblue has some details about IE 7 as well.

A couple of great quotes from the posts that should bring a smile to your face:

In the Explorer Exposed section on Position is Everything, there’s a big list of bugs exclusive to IE running down the left hand side of the page. With one exception, consider that entire list fixed. The exception is the escaping floats bug, which apparently will take a major code re-architecturing that they simply couldn’t do in IE7; it’ll come in a later release. – Dave Shea

No, I don’t think IE will wipe everyone else off the map, but I do think the browser space is getting a lot more interesting. What makes it particularly interesting is that the competition is not going to be over who can add the coolest non-standard geegaws, but who can deliver the best product based on the same standards as everyone else. – Eric Meyer

Talking at Microsoft’s current Mix 06 conference conversation Bill Gates mentioned that IE could see a refresh every 9 to 12 months. Don’t forget that the reason MSN Messenger is so widely adopted is due to the update-attention it gets every few months. This is great news!

I’m looking forward to hearing comments from people like Jeffrey Zeldman, Molly Holzshlag and Jakob Nielson.

Spam-tastic

I have been bombarded for months with more spam than I can manage on my blog. I find myself on a daily basis delting 100’s of spam trackbacks and comments.

Unfortunately I’m sure I lose many ‘legit” ones during the delete process as well. My apologies if your comments don’t make it from time to time.

I have recently moved hosting providers (well I’m in the process) because I was not happy with my current. I am going back to Media Temple whom I used for several years prior.

I am also pondering changing Blogging Engines as well, the one I have in my sights is Word Press. I would love to hear from people using this engine (both good and bad). After researching several I am just happy with the structure and templating available in WordPress.

My big concern is the RSS switch – I don’t want people to have to change anything if I can help it so I have been researching several solutions for WordPress to make this transition seamless. This is another big thing I would love to hear more on so if anyone reading this has made that change, or knows much on these topics please feel free to leave a comment (I’ll try not to delete it), or drop me an email. shane at graphicalwonder dot com.

Bon Echo

So I just downloaded the Firefox 2.0 Alpha to give it a whirl. The only things I noticed other than the alpha-name was the fact that the tabs have reverted back to the old “X” on the tab. This was something I had read was coming. Other than that I seems to be slightly quicker but I have not had a chance to get into it in much detail so I have not seen a lot of change. I guess I should read the build notes for more.

SharePoint Customization: SIte Definitions and more …

It seems the last day or two have been huge for SharePoint Customization;

Things I noticed today:

I noticed that Patrick Tisseghem has a site definitions article released on MSDN – good job Patrick.

There is also a new book covering site definitions and other template and customization topics.

Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 2 Preview) has been released and is now “render behaviour” complete. The IE Team has even announced the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar has a refresh to fix some issues with IE 7.

On top of all this the Office 2007 NDA has been lifted and we can now talk about SharePoint Designer 2007 a little more.

SharePoint Designer 2007

Most of us by now realize that the FrontPage reputation was quite tarnished. Sometimes for good reason while others it was just a “follow suit” type situation.

FrontPage 2003 allowed you to do some fantastic things with SharePoint. I guess that’s part of the reason that Microsoft went as far as to completely rebrand it to the now “SharePoint Designer 2007″. Expression will pick up the slack for (X)HTML/CSS design. In my opinion this move is simply brilliant.

On that note: Goodbye FrontPage, Hello SharePoint Designer 2007

I have been using SharePoint Designer 2007 for a few months now and I have noticed some really great improvements for SharePoint design/development.

I am not certain on what I am allowed to post screenshot wise so I will refrain until I am certain that I am allowed to post screens of the UI and instead touch on a couple of great improvements I have noticed:

1) My personal favorites from the CSS department: Much better CSS management. Better CSS Editing. CSS Templates available from the “new” menu. Much nicer CSS management, classes are exposed in a list – you can break apart (grouped) selectors, jump-to the stylesheet and line to edit the code by right clicking on a selector as well as many other great additions.

2) Color Coding, Intellisense and Margin Managment!

3) Great ASP.NET Controls built in for menus, web parts etc.

4) Common Tasks – If you add a data-view for example you are presented with a panel of common tasks which are likely to be used, great addition.

There are a tonne of great new featuers these are just a few. I have screenshots of about 10 great things I have uncovered but unless I hear that I can definately post UI shots I will hold off for now.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003: Adding a Template to Top Level Portal Site Template Gallery

While this tip is nothing truly innovative or new to most of my readers, it is something I get emailed questions on fairly regularly. Apparently I left a comment on another blogger’s site in the past telling them to email me for help with the problem they were having so as a result when people search for an answer, they seem to get my uninformative comment.

So…

If you have a custom site template that you have created and you wish to make that available at the top level (ie: from when you select “Create Site” from Sites Directory), you need to run the following from the command line using stsadm.exe:

stsadm.exe -o addtemplate -filename <filename> -title <template title> -description <description of the template>

You may also need to reset IIS after you are done in order for it to appear in gallery.

Internet Explorer 7 – Beta 2 Preview

At MIX 06 the IE Team mentioned there is now available for download a preview of Beta 2. This version of IE7 is “Rendering Behaviour” complete. This basically means that the additions will be more on fixes/security but in regard to how your pages will render in Internet Explorer 7 you are now free to test your CSS sites and find out. Eric Meyer had some words on IE 7 and Expression on his website.

Get Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 2 Preview)