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28

This article is cross-posted from my personal blog.

One of the issues that every DotNetNuke skin designer faces is how to design skins for multiple browsers.  Often, getting a skin to work in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much tweaking.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Internet Explorer.  Making your skin work with IE6, 7 and 8 along with all the other browsers can be a bit of a nightmare.

I previously addressed this issue in DotNetNuke Tips and Tricks #3: Conditional StyleSheets.  In that post, I created a skin object that allows you to conditionally add a stylesheet to the skin based on a condition defined by the designer.  This skin object was subsequently added to the core framework and is currently being used by many designers.  In fact, Artisteer uses it in all the DotNetNuke skins that their software generates.

Recently, I found a method that I like better than using conditional stylesheets.  One of the downsides to conditional stylesheets is that you end up causing stylesheet bloat.  Conditional stylesheets add round trips to the server which we should be trying to minimize.  Conditional stylesheets also require you to maintain multiple stylesheets which can be a little painful.  If you make a change in your main stylesheet, you will need to find the corresponding section in your IE specific stylesheets and potentially make changes to them as well.  From a maintenance and development perspective, this is far from optimal.

Tags: DotNetNuke,Tips and Tricks,Skinning,Stylesheets
Category: Development
Category: User Experience

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27

Skins_thumb I have often heard it said that people have difficulty creating skins for DotNetNuke.  I am always baffled when I hear these comments especially in light of what I see in the competing skinning engines on other platforms.  In this series of posts I’ll be looking at the basics of DotNetNuke Skinning, creating a complete DotNetNuke skin and associated containers, dispelling a few Myths and Misconceptions about DotNetNuke Skinning and finally we’ll wrap up the series by comparing the DotNetNuke skinning engine with those of some other web platforms.

Over the past several years designers have expressed a number of frustrations about the DotNetNuke skinning engine.  Often these frustrations may be based on some particular difficulty they are having and therefore there is a kernel of truth to the issue.  What I frequently find when digging into these challenges is that there is a misunderstanding by the designer which leads to the frustration or the design is constrained by limitations in HTML and CSS.  Fundamentally, we need to do a better job of providing documentation to the design community which helps them to better address their points of frustration.  Below I present some of the common myths about DotNetNuke skinning.

Tags: DotNetNuke,Skinning,Design,Myths
Category: Development
Category: User Experience

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27

Very early in the life of DotNetNuke, modules were fairly limited in their functionality.  Modules could have multiple behaviors attached to them by the framework which were displayed as a list of link buttons.  Very quickly this UI became very cumbersome as we continued to add more and more behaviors to the standard list of behaviors. This UI greatly limited the amount of actions that could be attached to a module and at the time the list of behaviors was fairly static. 

One of the first enhancements that I worked on for my own modules was the ability to create a menu that was attached to the module.   This menu was intended to be customizable by the module developer and the framework and would remove the space limitations that plagued the early framework.  When I showed Shaun the menus he instantly saw the potential and we incorporated them into the framework.

The module action menus were originally designed to be extremely flexible.  I wanted to be able to create links that could perform client-side actions as well as trigger events on the server side, depending on the needs of the module developer.  Many module developers have taken advantage of the server side functionality over the years, but I have not seen many modules which have taken advantage of the client-side functionality.  When I first created the menus, I documented the API using XML Comments, which were not being used anywhere else in the framework.  Until recently the project was not even publishing the API documentation, so these comments went largely unnoticed by the developer community.  I am happy to say that with 5.5 that has changed and the API documentation for the core framework is now available with the rest of the Community Edition download packages.

Tags: DotNetNuke,Module Action Menu,Tips and Tricks
Category: Development
Category: Extension Forge

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22

products2I am happy to announce the release of DotNetNuke 5.5.1.  This release includes many bug fixes for the most critical issues identified in DotNetNuke 5.5.0 which we released last month.  As a result of the recent ASP.Net Padding Oracle Vulnerability, which was discussed by Shaun Walker and Cathal Connolly in their recent blogs, we have added additional checks and upgrade enhancements in this release to ensure that DotNetNuke sites running the latest version are using the recommended CustomErrors configuration.  

As we have noted in many of our recent releases, we continue to increase our Quality Assurance efforts with each release.  Given the critical nature of the ASP.Net vulnerability, we paid extra attention to more than 40 different upgrade scenarios to increase the stability and reliability of the upgrade process, and to ensure that once upgraded your site would be protected.  As always, even for those unfortunate few who have issues upgrading, the community stands ready to assist you with any problems you may encounter.  We highly recommend that everyone upgrade to the DotNetNuke 5.5.1 release as soon as possible.  For those who are unable to upgrade their sites we anticipate having a standalone module which we will make available later this week which provides the same benefits against the padding oracle vunlnerability as the core enhancements made in 5.5.1.

Tags: DotNetNuke,Release
Category: Community

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06

Software developers Dotcom Software Solutions Ltd. today released Licence Master, a new anti-piracy module for the open source content management system, DotNetNuke (DNN).

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06

Dotcom today launched a new DotNetNuke software protection module. Licence Master is a licence management application for software developers and vendors that wish to protect web applications from unauthorised use and distribution.

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