Turning on Detailed Error Messages in SharePoint 2007 1

This post is not really that novel but I link to other peoples blogs for this topic constantly, so I might as well make my own post with this information: When customizing SharePoint its fairly easy to make an error or omit something… if and when you do, an out-of-the-box SharePoint site will simply respond by displaying a page that says “An unexpected error has occurred”. I don’t need to tell anyone that this is less than helpful when you are trying to debug something (though it makes total sense for a default setting from a security and usability point of view). In order to see detailed error messages you need to make some very simple changes to the web.config file located on the server that hosts your SharePoint site. Here are the steps: Login to the Windows server that hosts your SharePoint site and navigate to the website root folder (typically a subdirectory of ...

Nik’s 15 Minutes of Fame

My good pal Nik Molnar recently moved up the NYC, and was a guest on the .Net Rocks internet radio show. He’s mostly at the beginning just shooting the poop with the host, but its still pretty cool. http://www.dotnetrocks.com/

Quick Hack: Show Which Web Front End is Being Browsed

Had a request yesterday from a customer that needed a quick and dirty way for their admins to tell which Web Front End server was being currently browsed in their multi-server farm. While we probably should have made a special custom control that read a local file or something… they opted instead to just make a simple change to the application.master (after making a backup of course). I’m not a huge fan of editing application.master, but in this instance the change is very minimal. We added a string like “Web Server 1 > ” before the global navigation placeholder, like this: Web Server 1 > This basically changes the global breadcrumbs to now look like: Web Server 1 > Site Name > Subsite Name

Master Page Error: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and apply it.” 2

Ran across this one recently and was surprised by SharePoint’s behaviour. If you create your own custom master page and apply it to a parent Publishing site and have all your subsites set to inherit the custom master page, all will seem fine. Then if you create a new Team based subsite off of your Publishing parent site, you will notice that it does NOT inherit your custom master page and instead uses default.master. If you then go to the master page setting screen for the subsite you will see this message: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and applyit.” This is beyond frustrating if you have a site that needs many subsites with the same branding. Luckily you can manually correct the problem by creating all your subsites and THEN going back to the master page settings screen and set all the ...

Minimal Meeting Workspace Master Page 3

I had to do some customization work with the Meeting Workspace today so I decided to pull my best Heather Solomon impersonation by releasing a “Minimal Meeting Workspace master page”. It is very much based on Heather’s minimal collaboration master page with my own twist on tabbing and comments, and of course the required pieces to work with the Meeting Workspace. This is very much an early alpha as its only been tested in my VM so far. So if you use it, please shoot me an email or comment (whether it worked or didn’t!). Grab my Minimal Meeting Workspace master page FYI – Customizing the Meeting Workspace can be challenging, see both Heather and Eric Shupp’s articles on the topic, they cover all of the nasty details so why re-hash them here: Meeting Workspace Master Page Woes – Heather Solomon Creating a Custom Meeting Workspace Site Definition – Eric Shupps Also, if you aren’t ...

Big Changes for the Mossman (Plus a New SP Book) 2

July 4th 2008 was Mossman independence day, in that I have left my cubicle job at a large consulting firm and have begun working with a few small dedicated SharePoint consulting companies. I will be focused on helping them with their MOSS branding efforts. Also, in the coming days/weeks I will be removing the veil of secrecy surrounding my true identity. Truth is, the only reason I started this pseudonym was because I was never sure what my employers policy on work blogging was. In related news I have a book coming out in September with Wrox entitled “Professional SharePoint 2007 Design”. This book will be focused on just the design and branding process with SharePoint. The Amazon page for the book lists my true identity (and a photo of my face!). Can anyone guess which author I am? Wrox: Professional SharePoint 2007 Design

New Article: Automated SharePoint Site Branding

My good buddy Ted Pattison just published an article with the MSDN Magazine entitled “Automated SharePoint Site Branding”. He discusses many different ways to programmatically activate SharePoint branding such as master pages, images, alternate CSS and more. He even discusses switching out the application master pages as well. Automated SharePoint Site Branding

Old Posts

My old posts can be seen at http://www.drisgill.com/ and the old RSS feed can be viewed at www.drisgill.com/feed.xml.

Common Theme Problem: “Write Error on file _themes\” 5

When placing custom SharePoint themes into the 12 folder, sometimes you may run into this error when you try to select your new theme: “Write Error on file _themes\“ Typically, this error happens when you are making changes to a theme and decide to make backups of some of your images by doing a simple file copy and paste. I’m not exactly sure what about this process causes the error, but simply moving the copied files to the desktop (or somewhere other then the theme folder) should correct the problem. Be sure to perform another IISRESET before re-selecting the theme.

GettyImages Moodstream

GettyImagesᅠis usingᅠFlash / Flex to make a really coolᅠ”multimedia mood ring” for lack of a better description. You click your mood from a dial selector and then random intriguing videos and images fade in and out over a soundtrack that matches. The full screen images and video have an interlaced look (i’m guessing to help with full screen performance). http://moodstream.gettyimages.com/