090978.org - A weblog about developing umbraco - an open source .NET based Content Management Platform, written by Niels Hartvig. Click here to get back to the frontpage of the weblog

ONDotnet.com: Learning ASP.NET for the ASP Developer, Part 1 Permanent link to this post with (0 comments )
ONDotnet.com: Learning ASP.NET for the ASP Developer, Part 1: "Learning ASP.NET for the ASP Developer, Part 1". If you haven't swallowed the .NET pill yet, it's about time. The platform is amazing and there is so much innovation happening. And hey - you'll have a chance to play with umbraco ;-)

Always wonderful O'Reilly has two articles about switching from asp to ASP.NET - and more to come... Part 1 and 2.

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Apparently - umbraco doesn't suck! Permanent link to this post with (10 comments )

Jeffrey Veen has written a blogpost about why "Open source content management software sucks". After reading it I'm very proud to be one of the makers of open source content management who wonder if what he writes really is true. I had an idea that most of the systems out there aren't to well designed or aren't meant to be used by anybody but the developers who makes them. But apparently he's right. That is at least until umbraco came! I'll answer why umbraco doesn't suck by using the reasons Veen gives in the blogpost:

Make it easy to install
Umbraco comes with an installation guide and can be installed in less than 10 minutes. But because of security issues it cannot be installed and configured from a browser alone. Settings like the connection to the database and file-security settings should be done manually. However there are plans creating an installer which will take care of the most. Prior to that we'll create a validation script that can be called from a browser. It will tell you whether or not all of the above settings are working. If not - it will tell you how to solve it. Not an A+ solution, but getting closer!

Make it easy to get started
Umbraco actually comes with a test-site when installed. It will give you an idea how things could be done in umbraco and will give editors the opportunity to instantly create a web page, add styles and much more. Designers will learn how templates and styles (css) are working in umbraco and developers it will get a chance to look at how to create functionality like menus, lists and rss-feeds using macros.

Knight Rider: The sample site that comes with the default umbraco installation

Write task-based documentation first.
This is an excellent point and an issue that we're working hard on solving at umbraco - the company behind the software. It takes a lot of time and cost a lot of money doing it the right way, and will be a product that only will be available through a fee. But we have done great efforts in making umbraco really easy to use by using existing application metafors like tree-views, toolbars and we have put tons of hours into the custom build web based WYSIWYG editor that comes with context-sensitive menus, integrated style-picker, integrated picture insertion from media archieve and a lot of other features:

The build-in web based editor in umbraco. The content of a document can be organized in tabs for a clearer view.

Separate the administration of the CMS from the editing and managing of content.
Umbraco is build of by a number of sections which users can be given access to. This way it's really easy to separate the administration of the CMS from the editing part. The administration can also easily be separated so administrators can edit the user-part, designers edit the styles and templates and developers edit the core part of the settings and functionality.

Users of a public web site should never - never - be presented with a way to log into the CMS.
Agree, amen! The subject as caused some confusion because people are mixing a lot of different kinds of cms like wikis, blogs and other very specialized cms. I'm assuming that Veen are talking about CMS' for editing websites and there's absolutely no reason that people should see a link to an administration. Henri Berguis from Midgaard project claims that "maintainers of small business websites like to have the login link handy so they don't have to remember or bookmark it". So because one single person might forget the login link or don't want to bookmark it, everybody visiting the site should be confused over an "edit this page" button? I hope he's joking!

umbraco only shows the content that is written by you, your designers or your developers using the template-technology. umbraco never writes any html by it self and this way you won't see any "edit this page" buttons. However if you really want one, it can be inserted into your templates. A better solution is the possibility of showing the button if you're logged in and actually have editing-rights to the specific page. It's possible too.

Stop it with the jargon already.
At umbraco we really try to have a simple terminology that people either know or can figure out. We use terms like "document", "media", "style", "template", "document or media type" and so on. The most confusing term we have is "macro", but it's inspired by the terminology already known from word processors and refers to the way things can be automated in umbraco. Macros could be used to automatically create navigation, breadcrumbs, and lists or be used to integrate your own .NET controls.

Why do you insist Web sites have "columns"?
We don't! With templates in umbraco you're 100% in charge over the design of your website. The template consists of your html, xml or any other text-based format that your output should be. Inside the template you have the possibility of inserting a range of five umbraco-tags where you want the edited content or navigation to be. Typically you just copy your html from Dreamweaver, GoLive or your favorite text editor and replace the "Lorem Ipsum" texts with umbraco tags. You actually don't even have to know these tags - the web based template editor in umbraco features buttons and user interface to insert these specialized tags.

The web based template editor in umbraco with online help and buttons for inserting umbraco tags...

So what are you waiting for Veen - go to the umbraco.org website and start downloading now?

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Think different... Permanent link to this post with (0 comments )

Everybody loves the cool minimalistic hi-tech material designs that Apple do to perfection... But others take a whole different path, like the Swedish Swedx tft-monitors, mices and keyboards made out of laser-cutted wood, and the retro-style transitor-radio inspired pcs at facade-computer... Still - I wished that I could do my .NET coding on an iMac G5 or a alBook...

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Ending the hype - umbraco is entering the download era... Permanent link to this post with (0 comments )

Finally - umbraco 2.0 beta is ready for public download - made possible by a brave and hard effort by the core umbraco team. Still some bugs, but we're working hard on fixing them. If you find anyone, please report them by sending an email to bug@umbraco.dk or even better using our Fogbugz based bug-forum:

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