Happy New Year – I’m now an MVP! 3

Yesterday, after partying like a rock star for New Years (actually just played Rock Band with friends), I woke up late to get the email from Microsoft that I have been awarded MVP status for SharePoint Server for 2009! I’m sure everyone is sick of reading blog posts from people that are being renewed and folks like me getting it for the first time… but none the less I felt the need to give thanks to everyone that helped me get to this point. Firstly, thanks to Shane Young and everyone at SharePoint911 for encouraging and supporting community involvement. Also, thanks to Andrew, Heather, and Ted (and probably a few others I have forgotten) for working with me on so many things throughout 2008. Lastly, thanks to my author team that helped out with the book Professional SharePoint 2007 Design. I’m thinking 2009 will be a great year… hopefully yours is great as well!

Oxite open source CMS from Microsoft

Interesting release from Microsoft’s Channel 9 Team, Oxite is an open source, standards compliant blogging and CMS engine that leverages Microsoft technologies. I wonder if this is just an experiment, or some kind of view into a potential future for WSS? CMSWire Article abotu Oxite Oxite in action at Mix

I’m an Android

While resisting the ever growing temptation to get an IPhone, I finally went and got a G1 Phone (Otherwise known as Google Android). Mainly I got it because I’m already on T-Mobile and didn’t need to extend my contract to use it (bought off of eBay). Here are my initial impressions Pro’s Hardware based keyboard is nicer than software keyboard Open source means folks can code apps that can add all sorts of features (including interfacing with the telephone itself) Android Market (their version of the App Store) is free right now and has a lot of nice apps on it UI feels very nice, much like an IPhone, better thought out than Windows Mobile (which really could use a UI refresh after all these years) Plugging it into my PC and adding and removing files (like MP3’s) is a piece of cake Was able to create a hello world app and add it to ...

New Article: SharePoint Quick Branding

I’m happy to report that an article I wrote for the SDTimes web edition was published recently. The topic of the article is a quick branding technique that uses the “Alternate CSS” capabilities of MOSS. This one isn’t for you pro SharePoint designers out there… this is for the folks that want to add some nice branding to their MOSS site as quickly and simply as possible. By using the Alternate CSS and a wide image that includes your company logo, you can accomplish a lot of design with little effort. SDTimes: Share Pointers: Quick Branding

Started using Twitter

Twitter is an interesting beast, I initially rejected it… but as of a few months ago I started to give it an honest look. While I don’t twitter my whole day away like some folks, I do seem to post at least once a day to it. I think its very good for posting topics that are too small or too personal for a typical blog. So, if you want to see my minor rants and personal stories, follow me at http://www.twitter.com/themossman and if you want to stay focused on UI and SharePoint topics of worth (or so I hope) keep reading here at http://blog.drisgill.com/.

New SharePoint tome – just in time for your holiday shopping 1

I just saw on Amazon that Wrox is putting together a “Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Wrox Box” which contains four of their best selling SharePoint 2007 books. While I doubt many folks will be plunking down the $100 for the book, I am pleased that the contents of my book, “Professional SharePoint 2007 Design” will be included with the likes of some of the best in the biz like Andrew Connell, Heather Solomon, and Shane Young (among many others). http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-SharePoint-2007-Wrox-Box/dp/0470431946/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226210787&sr=8-3

New CodePlex Project: LyteBox for SharePoint 22

I decided to spend the weekend making an easy to use web part for SharePoint that allows anyone to add the LyteBox Javascript photo gallery to either MOSS 2007 or WSS V3. If you haven’t seen LyteBox before you should check it out, it’s used on many websites these days to create a nice Web 2.0 style photo gallery. In a basic Lytebox implementation you have to manually call out each image in HTML, but with LyteBox for SharePoint the images are pulled in automatically from a SharePoint picture library. I have packaged the whole thing up in such a way that you can use the web part even in many hosted environments because it involves no custom code (no DLL’s or web.config changes need). In my implementation there are two list templates, one that creates a document library with all of the LyteBox Javascript code and another that creates a picture gallery with some ...

TechEd 2009 Moving Back to Single Week Format

For those of you that aren’t doing the Twitter thing, I just saw Andew Connell tweet about his happiness in learning that TechEd 2009 will be moving away from the two week, two track setup that they had in 2008. Most of the folks I spoke with at TechEd 2008 were pretty bummed that they had to pick between a Developer week and an IT Professional week. I think this was also hurt by the fact that presenters often had to choose a track to focus on. So hopefully everyone will be excited to hear the news that it will be one combined week again! More info at the top of this page at Microsoft.com

Extremely helpful hidden web part menu (browse, import, search) 1

Just when you think you have learned everything there is to know about a certain aspect of SharePoint, someone will casually mention something that you have never seen before. This was the case for me, when Ted Pattison pointed out a well hidden menu that adds some interesting features to the Advanced Web Part Gallery from the SharePoint web UI. To see it simply bring up the Advanced Web Part Gallery, and click the Browse bar at the top: I never even realized this was clickable before, but it brings up the ability to Search for web parts or to Import them (the default view is Browse which is the one you are used to). When you switch it to Search, you will see the following: This allows you to search for web parts, which is nice because sometimes they can hide in the gallery (at least they seem to for me). The other option ...

The Content Query Web Part is everyones favorite web part!

Well, at least according to all 30 of you that voted. An earth shattering 46% prefer it to the others! Here were the results: Content Editor WP 9 (30%) Data View WP 6 (20%) Content Query WP 14 (46%) XML WP 1 (3%) RSS Viewer WP 0 (0%) Image WP 0 (0%) Other 0 (0%)