.NET and Open Source: better together

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Generic Data Store

After giving it more thought, I decided to make some significant changes to the picture from the previous post. Main reason is that I wanted to make settings layer a thing on its own. Make it more generic and flexible. More...

A Shared Settings Store for BlogEngine.net

You might think that BlogEngine 1.3 was released yesterday, but It actually been a while and it looks like people like it and want more. New version is under constructions and part of it, that I'm responsible for, is a new shared storage model. The basic idea here is to be able to use Extension Manager as a storage provider for any type of extensions. Today, if you look at Extension Manager from the 10 thousand feet, it looks kind of like Russian Doll: you have manager itself, it has collection of extensions, extension has collection of settings and settings have collection of parameters. More...

Using Images in the BlogEngine Comments

Most of the web applications will not let you use HTML as form input for security reasons. And this is why BlogEngine has BBCode extension - to provide you with ability to define which HTML tags you want visitors be able to use. But it has it's own limitations and can't handle some of the HTML tags without little overhead. For example, I wanted to let visitors to use images in their comments, so I went to extension manager/BBCode and defined [img] code. Problem here is that image tag has specific syntax and BBCode does not set to handle it. I had to modify Parse method to process image tag properly. All I did is added a check to see if code is "img" and, if it is, I use custom parsing. Otherwise BBCode uses default code processing. More...

BBCode Enhancements

BBCode extension is a part of standard BlogEngine distribution and since 1.3 it has admin interface that you can use to add or delete codes. That is cool, what is not cool is that updated codes will not show in the comment form; the values used there are hard coded. Makes no sense, so I decided to fix this little inconvenience. This is not hard, only ~/user controls/CommentView.ascx and corresponding code behind file need to be changed. First, open for edit code behind (~/user control/CommentView.cs) and add using directive and simple function that will pull data from settings object and format them for display: More...

Download Counter Extension

Last two weeks I’ve been nailed to my workstation almost 24x7 as we were on the finish line going live with large (6+ month in development) project. It’s over – I’m a free man again! That means, hopefully, that I’ll be able to spend a lot more time working on BlogEngine and blogging about .NET, BlogeEngine, extensions and all stuff related. More...

Documentation on Extension Manager

I planned to update documentation on WIKI site to include section on Extension Manager, but for some reason site was down this weekend. So I decided to publish it here for everybody who are interested to be able to take a look before I move it under WIKI when WIKI will return back in business. There four major classes that together represent Extension Manager API and extension writers can leverage these classes in many ways in their code. More...

Mp3Player updated for BlogEngine 1.3

There is a new version of Mp3 flash audio player extension for BlogEngine 1.3 available for download. Please note that it will not work with BE 1.2 because it uses Extension Manager. The new in this version is an admin page that will let you to change how player looks. You’ll be able to change colors and sizes through the settings interface. I did this as an exercise to show how you can use your own admin page AND still take advantage of some of the Extension Manager features. More...

Extension Manager 101

As APIs for Extension Manager finalized, I decided to put together a few simple examples explaining how you can take advantage of them. Consider situation when you have an extension that uses couple user specific variables. For instance, Akismet extension by Justin Etheredge needs to know API key and URL that specific for each blogger who uses extension. Currently, blogger has to enter this information by hand in the source code or extension author has to craft his own admin UI. Chunk of code below shows how Extension Manager can make life easier. All you need is to specify parameters you want blogger to be able to maintain and let Manager know about it. More...

The people have spoken

And I’ve listened. There are two big changes in the latest Extension Manager version – you can bring in your own admin UI and default settings page provided by manager became dynamic. Now it is not just two predefined boxes, you can add as many parameters as you like. More...

How extensions can use Extension Manager (beta)

It is subject to change based on input I’ll get, but here is how you can use Extension Manager that is in the BlogEngine build 8474 when you write extension. To utilize manager functionality you first of all need an extension that requires some kind of customization, probably you want users be able to change values set by you as defaults. If so, you can use manager to create default property page for your extension, save default values and let user change them later on. Here is how you save list of default parameters to Extension Manager using BBCode as example: More...