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Changes to Extension Manager in BlogEngine 1.4

Preparing for BE 1.4 release, which is coming soon (although exact date not yet set), I started working on documentation for Extension Manager and changes it has compared to previous BE version. This is a short list I came up with. Obviously, I'll have to go into specifics and provide code examples for documentation be useful. This will be on the Wiki as soon as 1.4 released. More...

Data Store Release Candidate

For BlogEngine enthusiasts who like live dangerously and always update their sites with latest code from repository, in the latest build Extension Manager set to use generic data store layer instead of doing it's own thing as it did previously. The story behind it is that in the next release we adding Widgets and customizable Themes, and it makes sense to unify data storage for any kind of "extensions" to avoid headaches in the future. For Extension Manager, it means a bit of redesign. Most of it transparent to the users, but some requires your attention. More...

Using multiple settings in Extension Manager

One of the limitations in the Extension Manager is that extension can handle only one settings object. In most cases, for simple extensions, that is enough. But sometimes you need to let blogger maintain multiple set of settings. Common scenario would be when you want to set some parameters and then maintain list of data. For example, in download counter I might want to have settings for kind of files or directories to watch for or ignore, and then I want to save download log into table structure. Currently – can’t do it without custom admin page. 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...

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...

State of Extension Manager

First of all, Mads asked me to join BlogEngine team and contribute by implementing Extension Manager as a part of BE core functionality, and I’ve agreed. If you downloaded latest bits you’ve probably noticed that it already has Extension Manager in it, although you might run into issues using it. It is very early in development and there been lots of small changes and playing around at this stage. One issue Mads pointed at was the fact that, when edit source code, IIS also reloads worker process, not only the application. More...