New Community Website

Ordinarily, you'd be at the right spot, but we've recently launched a brand new community website... For the community, by the community.

Yay... Take Me to the Community!

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Introducing Blog 5.0 Beta

Just a few days ago we released the first beta of DotNetNuke 6.2.  Right before the release, Will Morgenweck informed me that he had integrated the blog module with the journal (using 6.2). After grabbing the latest source (including his changes), I decided it was time to give the Blog module a quick makeover and investigate this 6.2 social stuff. The result of this is the Blog 5.0 beta. 

What’s New in the Blog 5.0 Beta? 

Before diving into details about some of the bigger changes in this version, it is important to note that I did spend some time reviewing the issue tracker over at CodePlex for the project. The most popular issues that were reported there have been addressed in this beta. As time permits, more will be addressed before a final release is posted. And now, the fun stuff.

Core Taxonomy Integration 
DotNetNuke has included taxonomy/folksonomy for quite some time now. However, previous releases of the blog module never took advantage of this (for a number of reasons). With Blog 5.0, this has changed.

Besides integration with core taxonomy, all things tag oriented were overhauled in the module. Telerik's Tag Cloud is now used for displaying tags, or you can configure the module to display a list (like the one seen in the Community Exchange). As users hover over tags, more information about the tag is presented to them. Clicking a tag will result in a search being done returning all blog entries associated with the tag.
Journal Integration
If you are utilizing DotNetNuke for a community based website (like this one), the Journal that ships with 6.2 is what you have been waiting for even if you didn't know it. 

In this blog beta release, blog entries are submitted to the journal as they are published. In turn, a link to the blog entry and a description appear in the author's activity stream. 

For those of you who are module developers, integration with the journal was a breeze and only took a few lines of code. 
Form Pattern Implemented
If you have spent any time adding blog entries or administrating the module you have probably noticed that the user interface is out of date. By implementing the form pattern, the user interface is much cleaner and it's consistent with other modules in DotNetNuke 6.

I also spent some time cleaning up the module.css with an emphasis on limiting what font items (among other things) are overridden (an attempt to put the design back in the designers hands, not the developers).
SEO & Social Sharing
Additional page meta information was added to several views and page Keywords are now based on associated tags (varies depending on view). In order to support modern social sharing services, Open Graph Protocol meta information is now injected in some views too. 

Previous versions of the module permitted social sharing using a tool that isn't very popular today (or modern). In Blog 5.0 it has been updated to utilize the latest from Facebook (Like), Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+ with support for additional options being added by final release. 

What's Next?

I plan to have another beta release ready shortly after the 6.2 Beta 2 is available and then a final release ready for when 6.2 is out of beta. In terms of actual dates, I cannot say because my schedule depends on the 6.2 one. 

Known Issues/To Do List:

  • Style Tweaks
  • Convert categories over to core taxonomy
  • Integrate blog comments with Journal
  • Fix date offset in several situations
  • Migrate categories/tags from custom tables to core counter parts (upgrade scenarios)
  • Updates for WLW (category integration, fix bug in update post)
  • More social sharing options
  • Correct any bugs I introduced

Beta 1 Changes Summary:

  • Corrected blog comment sorting problem.
  • 20228 - Integrated with the core Journal API.
  • 20789, 21988 - wired in fix submitted by J Sheely around blank author names.
  • 20210 - Updated manifest to 5.0 format (from 3.0).
  • Automated packaging and made project structure more inline with other DotNetNuke modules and projects.
  • Converted module to use DNN 6 form pattern (also removed h1, h2 and font-family styling from module.css).
  • Changed all jQuery registration to use proper core methods (now loads jQuery UI too).
  • Offloaded most script and css loading to Client Dependency Framework.
  • 20211 - Integrated core taxonomy & folksonomy (NOT DONE: migrated previous categories/tags over).
  • Implemented tagging controls and styling form Q&A module.
  • 19321 - Updated Page Meta information in several views, so the title, description and keywords associated with the 'page' are much more accurate than before (before, we used core page info).
  • Added Open Graph Protocol Support to several views.
  • Made comment time stamps use friendly date format (x hours/days ago).
  • 20935 - Corrected column drop bug seen in upgrades to 4.1.0.
  • Updated CookComputing.XmlRpcV2.dll
  • Added new social sharing option, big 4 only, same as it was done in Q&A.
  • Replaced custom tag cloud with Rad Tag Cloud (and now wired into core folksonomy).
  • 21730, 20946 - Changed how blog post counts are calculated (for display in blog list).
Want to Contribute?

If you find any issues, please be sure to log them in the issue tracker for the project here. If you have any questions about anything discussed above (user or developer oriented), please post them over in the Community Exchange

Download Blog 5.0 Beta

Download DotNetNuke 6.2 Beta


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