Just finished refreshing my old DarkBlog theme to run under newest BlogEngine 1.5 release. It has been neglected for quiet some time now, I had to add widgets support, nested comments and few tweaks here and there to play nice with new features added to BlogEngine since version 1.3 when this theme was introduces.
With BE.NET 1.5 release candidate out of the door, it is a good time to look at some of the new features. Most of them are small and incremental, but nevertheless are interesting.
Either you run your web site in the shared hosting environment or on your local IIS server, you likely have several ASP.NET applications running in the same root directory. Each of them can be configured as a separate web application and run totally independent from others.
Feedjit is a service that provides live traffic feed for your site. It is easy to set up – you copy chunk of HTML and insert it into your blog’s markup. That is, if you know HTML and used to editing files in your blog, which shouldn’t be a requirement for average blogger. This is why popular blog providers supply Feedjit widgets – so that blogger does not have to edit files by hand and FTP them to the host. In this little exercise we create such a widget for BlogEngine.
After using Commentor for almost three month now, I’m refreshing it with new version based on users feedback and my own experience. It saved me a lot of time so far catching almost 200 spam comments that I would have to remove manually otherwise.
When you have lots of pages on your blog, moving through using just “next” and “previous” buttons doesn’t cut it. It seems like a small thing, but if you look at most sophisticated web 2.0-style sites with large volume of content, they all go into the long way to provide good navigation. Because it is important for your users to feel good, and some get really dizzy when they don’t understand where they are.
There is new extension in town. It is built on Picasa SlideShow, but it adds web album functionality to it, this is why I decided to package it as separate extension. After all, it is not a slide-show any more, not just SlideShow at least, so I did not want name to cause a confusion.
Sometimes you have an extension that you want to respond to events before all the others. Or may be you have two extensions that depend on each other and one should always fire before the other. It is not a common scenario, but I did run into it more then once and had to come up with less than perfect workarounds to resolve this.
The dfMarine theme has been updated with sliding widgets. No, I did not become a [w:jQuery] expert just yet - it is mostly courtesy of Chris Blankenship, I used his AnimatedCollapse extension and it did the job exactly the way I wanted. I did run into problem with [W:jQuery] using “$” function, it has a conflict with other JS I run on my site where this same thing used a little bit differently.
With Christmas just around the corner I wanted to share something good with BE community to keep the spirit alive :) I hope you’ll like this new theme, it is widgets ready and should work fine with BE 1.4 and up. I think I covered all (or almost all) widgets in CSS, so it should look decent with your site out of the box.
I'm a long time Picasa fan. I used it before it was bought by Google and even before I new what the Google is. Now at version 3.0, although not as popular as Flickr, Picasa is a great choice as desktop photo manager and it's Web Albums is a valuable online photo storage.
I’ve been playing a lot with Commentor and Waegis lately and got a little tired of having to get to admin page through extensions panel. I wanted a one-click shortcut from the front page. Great laziness usually leads to a lot of work – for me it resulted in spam counter user control.