What you should do when Microsoft pushes the Automatic Update to IE8 1

Microsoft has finally announced that they will be pushing automatic updates to IE8 for PC’s that are currently running IE6 or IE7 (more info here). This is great news, as I had a very long winded post already typed out (but not published) entitled “IE6 Needs to Die (or why IE8 makes me sad)”. I won’t go into great detail about the post now that I see Microsoft is being proactive with trying to upgrade older Internet Explorers. I do have a helpful graphic for people that will be seeing the new Update to IE8 welcome screen. If you have any doubts about what to do on this screen follow my expertly crafted graphic instructions: I know some folks are on intranets that have requirements for older versions of Internet Explorer, but I implore you to consider clicking the button. Here is some info from my unpublished rant: “Now that IE8 has been released, something ...

Upcoming SharePoint911 Training

Just a quick note to point out some upcoming training in Cincinnati, OH. On July 2nd, SharePoint911 will be offering a SharePoint Planning and Governance class as well as a Business Users Guide to SharePoint Server 2007. SharePoint911 Training

Problems with IE8 Standards Mode, SharePoint menus, and DocTypes 11

With the official release of Internet Explorer 8, many people are starting to test their custom SharePoint branding in the new browser. IE8 is an interesting animal in that it decides its rendering engine based on certain criteria in your code (in SharePoint’s case, the master page): If IE8 sees a valid DocType declared it will attempt to render a site in IE8 Standards Mode. If IE8 does not see a DocType it will attempt to render a site in quirks mode (otherwise known as pre IE7 rendering mode).   One nice thing about IE8 is that it includes Developer Tools (click Tools > Developer Tools) which will actually show you which rendering mode is currently being used (the last tab at the top of the Developer Tools window). You can also use this tab to test the other rendering modes, selecting them and observing the result in the refreshed window. Now, on to the ...

Microsoft released 10 new SharePoint themes (Updated with Screenshots and WSP) 16

These new themes are pretty darn good, I especially like “Construction”, “Contoso”, and “OARP”. I could see them being changed up and used for a lot of company intranets. I do wish they would have packaged them as a WSP or something rather than just give us a solution file and have us make one ourselves.Download them from MicrosoftUPDATE: Daniel Brown made a WSP for easy installationHere is a screenshot of all of new themes at once and then each one individually full sized. Click for larger versions:

Fixing the Enable Quick Launch menu setting in custom master pages 1

One thing that I have never fully understood was why the Enable Quick Launch menu item doesn’t actually disable the quick launch menu in any master pages other than the default.master (To find this menu click Site Actions > Site Settings > Modify All Site Settings > Tree View). Yesterday, my buddy Nik Molnar helped me track it down through some creative sleuthing on his part. Turns out the key is this tag from default.master: Microsoft’s BlueBand.master omits this tag, as well as many of the minimal publishing master pages that are available from the community. Without this tag surrounding the quick launch code, SharePoint cannot hide it via that Site Settings menu item. To add one, simply surround your with the completed tag.

SharePoint Designer to be a free download after April 1st?

Could this be a cruel pre April fools day prank? I don’t have specific details, but apparently it was casually mentioned in an official Microsoft webcast today that SPD was going to be free for download after April 1 and that development is continuing on it and the next version will be included with the vNext version of SharePoint. I have no inside knowledge of this event, but I’m just reporting it for those that have not heard. If this ends up all being false info… don’t blame me.

I’m in an “I’m a PC” video

Check out the “I’m a PC and I’m an MVP” video on the Microsoft Videos site. I’m the tiny pixel on the far right. If you listen carefully you may hear a familiar voice yelling louder than all the others (via microphone). Any guesses who it is? I’m a PC Video

New article “Creating a Custom SharePoint Theme” is up on the TPG member download area 1

The article covers the ins and outs of actually creating your own theme in SharePoint. To get access to the article you will need to create a member account, but the process is fairly painless. Here is the intro paragraph: When it comes to branding in SharePoint, few things are as important as the effective use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). This is because CSS is the primary mechanism that Microsoft gives us to override their out of the box look and feel. One excellent way to use CSS to style SharePoint is to use a theme. SharePoint themes take advantage of the CSS concept of “cascading”. The basic idea is that styles that are loaded last on a page typically override styles of the same specificity that were loaded earlier on the page. SharePoint themes are mostly made up of CSS that is overriding already defined out-of-the-box SharePoint branding. That familiar light blue and ...

Microsoft’s Live Writer is pretty hot 2

See my previous post where I tested posting to Google’s Blogger service. I think its actually easier to blog from Live Writer to Blogger than to use Google’s own web interface, which is both sad (for Google who is usually top notch) and awesome (for Microsoft for supporting several blogging services).

VisiFire Open Source Silverlight Charting in SharePoint 10

I was doing some research on Silverlight charting solutions for SharePoint when I stumbled across VisiFire an open source self contained charting solution built with Silverlight. If you haven’t seen VisiFire before, it’s worth checking out, their gallery page shows a number of really slick animated charts that are dead simple to use with XML data (without writing any Silverlight code). Also, I’m not sure what rock I was under when the SharePoint Designer team posted this blog entry on integrating the Data View Web Part with VisiFire using XSLT. Their example uses the 1.0 version of VisiFire, so I decided to do a little poking around to see if I could get the 2.0.9 Beta version (hopefully my XSLT will also work when the official 2.0 version is released). Here are instructions for getting it to work in SharePoint (influenced HEAVILY by the original post by the SharePoint Designer Team: Download the 2.0.9 Beta ...