WSS3 Pages – what's with all the sucky layouts?

Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of the out-of-box publishing layouts. I’ll be honest – I reckon that there should be about half of the layouts, and I don’t like the ‘Welcome Page’ as a description. ‘Generic Page’ perhaps?

Anyway, some of them have pretty cacky layouts, often with Summary Links built into the page (why? Can’t I just add a web part?) – but as a rule, they keep the left hand navigation for the site. This is good – users get confused when their navigation isn’t how they expect.

New WSS Pages, however, do not keep the left hand navigation.

This has led to more than one customer asking “where has my left hand nav gone?” Not an unreasonable question – after all, did someone think that users wouldn’t need standard navigation in team site pages? Don’t get me wrong, I like that you can get rid of the left navigation menu if you want – but I think this will be the exception, not the rule.

You can get the left navigation back using SharePoint Designer (and some cynics might suggest it’s a ploy to set SPD licenses, though I don’t think so). However, I shouldn’t have to! Can’t I have a couple of out-of-box layouts that are like, well, the one used in Default.aspx on my team sites? Is there a Codeplex project for such a thing, maybe?

Even better would be if Default.aspx existed inside a library like any newly created pages I build are. I don’t like that it is separate to the other pages in a WSS3 site.

WSS3 Pages – what's with all the sucky layouts?

Error: CQWP – RSS feed of non-documents doesn't work

This is a pretty weird error. I was doing content roll-up of Announcements lists, to give a unified news channel for our intranet. Naturally, I decided to do this using the Content Query Web Part. I added one, and selected that I wanted to query for the contents of Announcements lists. As I like RSS feeds, I enabled one, and I added it to my favorite feed-reader.

It worked – but the links to the announcements themselves didn’t work. The short summary is that is that it appears RSS feeds from Content Query Web Parts don’t work when you query for certain types of list. Continue reading “Error: CQWP – RSS feed of non-documents doesn't work”

Error: CQWP – RSS feed of non-documents doesn't work

Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck

Like many people, one of the things I found a little hard to adjust to was not using folders in SharePoint. I mean, you can, and they do have their place, but metadata and views is much more useful. However, now when I go out to customers I notice that a lot of them have a lot of difficulty letting go of using folders for everything. Continue reading “Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck”

Yes, Folders in SharePoint do suck

SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices

So, I went to the SUGUK meeting last week on the 16th at LBi’s Truman Brewery building on Brick lane. I was looking forward to it, though was disappointed to find that the brewery is now offices. Anyway,the subject was WCM best practices with Chris O’Brien and Riaz Ahmed, who’re always entertaining speakers. Continue reading “SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices”

SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices

How well does SharePoint work with Chrome?

Well, Google has launched the next broadside in the battle between Redmond and the Googleplex – their own ‘Chrome‘ Browser. Creating a browser makes a lot of sense for Google, really – IE7 had ‘Windows Live’ as the default search provider for the Search box, so Microsoft were clearly starting to try and leverage their ownership of the desktop, and the browser on it (which, of course, is leveraging their ownership of the operating system – though having a web browser integral to the OS seems bloody stupid to me!) And yes, you can add Google as a provider, and set it as the default (I always do) – but it’s effort, and a bit scary for my granny, you know?

Anyway, I found myself wondering – how does SharePoint work with Chrome? We know Chrome is based on Firefox and Safari and other bits – but how well would it perform. The short answer – not bad…

Continue reading “How well does SharePoint work with Chrome?”

How well does SharePoint work with Chrome?

Can you sync a Pages library with Outlook?

An interesting question from one of my colleagues:

Can you sync the Pages list with an Outlook 2007 folder and still be able to read the HTML without the MOSS CSS and XSLT stuff?

Well, my gut feel was no, but I thought I’d take a look.

I found that the Connect to Outlook option was available on the Pages library settings, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Outlook showing the Pages library, but can't preview the page.

As we can see, we do have the Pages library synched, and you can see the pages within, but Outlook doesn’t know how to display them. I’m not surprised to be honest; I suspect that the default.aspx item actually just contains the data for the page – but isn’t yet rendered by the page layout or page. Still, one way to find out – open it and take a look:

An XML file that is shown when you open the Page item from Outlook

Yup, there you go – the XML of the page ListItem, and not a nice, rendered page with all the layout, master page, styles and stuff. Not really surprising, to be honest, but it would be nice if it did. I can’t think of how it might do that though – clearly the whole browser page would need to be rendered. An alternative would be to generate your pages via the Document Conversion Service, and to synch with the source documents themselves, rather than the pages.

Can you sync a Pages library with Outlook?