free geoip September 2008 - Jayson's Blog -
A conduit to the voices inside my head.

September 2008 - Jayson's Blog

  • CS Tidbit #28: Creating Nested Navigation Bar Items

    In my previous CS Tidbit, I outlined how to add an archive page to your blogs to free up some sidebar real estate while still giving readers access to our post history. Of course, now that we have this in place, how do we let our readers know where it is? In the past, adding links to one of the standard sidebar widgets meant manually adding entries to various skin files, and doing it in each theme on our site. There was also really no way to control security on the links either without adding some more customizations, ie if you had a link that you only wanted displayed to logged in users, or to owners of a particular section (Sharepoint calls this Security Trimming, I'm not sure what CS refers to it as).

    Fortunately for us, CS now supports creating nested navigation bar items via the control panel, and also allows us to specify security attributes to control what audience gets to see these links. In this tidbit, I'll outline how to accomplish this. Our end result is going to look something like this:


    This is just the standard navigation bar that you'd see in CS2008.5's Hawaii theme, along with 4 nested navigation bar items. To create these items, navigate to Control Panel and select Site Administration, and then head over to Site Theme. The url to this page will look something like http://<>/ControlPanel/Settings/ThemeConfiguration.aspx. In the theme configuration editor, select the Header tab and look for the section called Navigation Bar. You'll see a box similar to the one pictured here:


    In this example, we'll add a link to the archive page we created in the previous CS Tidbit. Click the Add button, and then fill in information similar to the following:


    Once you're done putting in the correct info, click save. You can then click and drag the newly created link to the section where you'd like it to be nested under. It's actually a pretty slick control. Once you have it where you want, click the save button in the lower right hand corner and navigate back to your site. The newly created nested navigation item should be displayed under the section you placed it in. All of this adds some nice navigational touches for your site visitors to be able to find stuff in an easier more consistent manner.

  • CS Tidbits #27: Add An Archive Page For Blogs

    It's been a while since I've posted any CS Tidbits, but now that Community Server 2008.5 has been released, it's time to get back in gear and post some tips and tricks that I'm learning as I get to know this new release.

    If you're like me and have been blogging for a non-trivial amount of time (over 5 years in my case), an archived list view of your posts starts to look a bit unwieldy. CS 2008.5 does ship with an archive widget to display in your blog's sidebar, however this will lead to a long page length, and doesn't look as tidy as it could if the archive list could live in its own page. Fortunately for us, adding a dedicated archive page is easy enough. First, create a blank .aspx page in your /themes/blogs/hawaii directory, and name it archive.aspx. Then just add the following markup to it:

    <%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" EnableViewState="False" MasterPageFile="theme.Master" Inherits="CommunityServer.Blogs.Controls.CSBlogThemePage" %> 
    <asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="bbcr" runat="server">
        <div class="CommonBreadCrumbArea"><div class="Common">
            <CSBlog:WeblogData Property="Name" LinkTo="HomePage" runat="server" />
            <CSBlog:WeblogData LinkTo="archive" runat="server" Text="Archive" />
    <asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="tr" runat="server">
        <CSControl:Title runat="server" IncludeSectionOrHubName="true" IncludeSiteName="true" EnableRendering="true" Tag="H1" CssClass="CommonTitle">
            <ContentTemplate><CSBlog:WeblogData runat="server" Text="Archive" /></ContentTemplate>
    <asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="bcr" runat="Server"> 
        <div class="CommonContentBox">
            <div class="CommonContentBoxContent">
                <CSBlog:ArchiveDataItemList runat="server" />

    That should be all you need to do as the URL for the page is already wired up correctly in your SiteUrls.config file by the following line:

    <url name = "weblogarchive"  path="##blogdirectory##archive.aspx" pattern="##blogName##/archive.aspx"  physicalPath="##blogthemeDir##" vanity="{2}?App=${{app}}" page="archive.aspx" indexable="false" />

    To view the newly created archive page, navigate to <yourSite>/blogs/<blogName>/archive.aspx. Of course you'll want to add a link to this somewhere on your blog. I'll cover how to create a nested navigation bar for blog links in a future CS Tidbit post.

  • Upgraded To Community Server 2008.5

    Community Server 2008.5 was released recently. The half dozen or sites that I've upgraded over the weekend went without a hitch; the new Windows Client upgrader application is very easy to use...the toughest part is waiting for all of your site files to finish FTP'ing back up to your site. The only downside I've seen for CS 2008.5 is that it only ships with one theme, which is called Hawaii. I was initially underwhelmed by this theme, but after getting to know it a little better it's grown on me. Total time to get upgraded and customized was about 6 hours total, although I do have a few non-standard tweaks that I always have to re-implement for new CS releases.

    I do plan on starting up my CS Tidbits post category again as well with some common tweaks, plus outlines of new features in CS 2008.5. I can say that my first reaction to this release is that performance has been improved quite a bit. Kudos to Telligent for a fantastic CS release!

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