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

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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).

Kivati Studio Released

Check out this new product from Kivati, seems like they took all of the SharePoint web service API’s and abstracted them out into a GUI layer that allows developers to rapidly build SharePoint applications. I’m sure the devil is in the details, but the demo looks pretty slick. They show how a skilled user could wire together a workflow application and build a deployment package just by clicking away.

Microsoft Office Labs

Check out a new pilot project from the MS Office team. Sort of like Google Labs, Office labs is a place to check out and give feedback on the latest and greatest ideas from the office team. So far, theres not a ton of projects there, but I’m sure if people use the site a lot, they will put more out there. Microsoft Office Labs

IE8 Beta 1 with SharePoint (Revisit)

Ok, if you’ve read my previous post where I talk about IE8 rendering out of the box MOSS Master Pages poorly, you may have been confused by some of my results. Turns out I was using the Developer Tools to switch the Render Mode manually to IE8 which is not accurate. Turns out if a webpage does NOT include a doctype (like default.master and application.master do not) IE8 will default its rendering behavior to the old way of browsing (quirks mode in this case). Thus default.master and application.master, while still not great, do render exactly the same in IE8 as they would in IE7. Now BlueBand on the other hand (and the other “bands”) DOES have a doctype so it renders in IE8 mode by default and thusly has problems. So, it would seem that the best case scenario for now with custom Master Pages, is to declare a doctype of your choice, but to ...

IE8 Beta 1 SharePoint Screenshots 1

I went and grabbed the IE8 early beta and tried it out in a Vista VM. So far, the out of the box MOSS experience isn’t looking so hot. Of course you could always switch it to IE7 browsing mode and everything looks great. My own MOSS designs look pretty funky as well. Here are some screenshots of IE8 and the out of the box SharePoint UI’s: UPDATE #4 – Ok, after asking some questions on the IEBlog, I now understand what I was seeing in MOSS. Default.master does indeed render in IE7 mode by default, while Blueband renders in IE8 mode. You can check the render mode easily with this bookmarklet: UPDATE #3 – This is what I get for posting so early in the beta. Just read the latest post on the IE8 Blog. Based on their description, I think the MOSS ootb default.master would render in IE7 mode by default as it does not have ...

IE8 Will Render in Standards Mode by Default

As the title implies, the IE8 team has reversed their decision to have IE8 render in IE7 mode by default and instead have it render in full Acid2 confirmed standards goodness by default. Read the post here My question is, will the SharePoint team release a standards based default.master (hint: a doctype would help) or will they just tag it to render in IE7 Mode?

Google Sites != MOSS Killer (yet)

Just previewed the new Google Sites functionality that was released ( recently. It is supposedly their attempt to capture some of the collaboration market that MOSS plays in. To be fair, it’s early in the lifecycle of Google Sites, but at this point I think it would only be a viable alternative for shops that need a minimal collaborative environment. The UI is very slick however, Microsoft could take a few cues from them in that department (especially the nice cross browser Ajax interfaces, and deadly simple usage patterns). To try it out, at least for now, you need to have your own domain name to push up some files to verify that you are your own “company”. Once you do that, you will be able to create sites, invite contributors, pick from some style templates, share files and documents, create web pages, create announcements, create very rudimentary lists, and create dashboards (which consist of small widgets for ...