Recent Posts and Articles
The placement.info file contains information on how to customize the rendering for shapes in a theme. Recently we made some changes to enhance its functionalities, and it's great. However no one is using them, not because it's useless, but because I never documented them. And to be honest, I had to dive into the code to remember it.
If you look at a typical request for a page, the route will resolve the URL to the Display method of the ItemController in Orchard.Core/Routable/Controllers. That action will retrieve the content item for that route from the content manager and ask it to build the display. The ShapeResult it will produce is what is returned by the action.
A task that is likely to pop-up oftentimes when customizing an Orchard theme for a project is list rendering. Two types of shapes will typically be at work when rendering a list in Orchard: the summary shape and the list shape.
In a few rare cases, you'll want to simply take over the rendering of a specific list.
We are already excited about Orchard CMS 1.1, which will hopefully be released around MIX11. One of the expected new Orchard CMS 1.1 Features we already mentioned is the Shape Tracing in the Orchard Designer Tools. If you develop Orchard Website Themes, the Shape Tracing Tool is phenomenal at helping you identify shapes and zones in your Orchard Websites.
Another really nice feature expected in Orchard 1.1 is the Orchard Recipe Module. The Orchard Recipe Module allows an Orchard Developer to specify different configuration profiles for Orchard that can be chosen during Orchard Installation and Set-up. A quick picture of the expected Orchard Set-up Screen shows how Orchard CMS 1.1 will allow the installer to specify one of several profiles that determine what modules, features, content types, and other settings will be activated and enabled during the Orchard Set-up Process.
Bertrand Le Roy presented at LIDNUG yesterday on Orchard CMS. I was pretty amazed at the depth of the presentation. He was not only demoing Orchard features that we won't see until Orchard CMS 1.1 is released around MIX11, but he was literally walking developers through the dynamic nature of Clay and its usefulness in Orchard Themes as well as development of Orchard Modules. That is a pretty tall order to comprehend for developers who are not actively engaged in the Orchard CMS project, but it does give them the nitty gritty details of what it means to be an Orchard Web Developer.
One of the absolute greatest things about Orchard CMS is that it supports SQL Server Compact Edition ( SQL Server CE ). SQL Server CE is a free database solution for small business websites. With Orchard CMS and SQL Server CE, small businesses can have an affordable website that can run on inexpensive shared hosting in no time.
Even better is that if your Orchard Website outgrows the needs of SQL Server CE, which may not be likely, you can easily migrate SQL Server CE to SQL Server Express or SQL Server. And when we say EASY, we really mean EASY.
In my LIDNUG demo last week, I showed an interesting technique that I know some people will want to apply to their own stuff.
The scenario is that you want the main content being displayed on the page to render parts of itself outside of the Content zone, typically in a sidebar zone.
My own example was a Buy From Amazon part that displays a badge in the sidebar to enable readers to buy the book being reviewed.
Most of us don’t have the possibility to run Orchard on his own server machine. Using the shared hosting account is the cheapest and most common way to have your site up and running, but it has lots of drawbacks, especially in terms of performance and first-load (cold-start) response times.
A while ago I wrote an article on how to boost your Orchard instance cold-start times. Most of the solutions to this issue unfortunately require you to have access to IIS Management Console, which isn’t always possible.
Here comes the Orchard.Warmup module, which will arrive with the incoming Orchard release. As application response times are crucial in terms of UX, this module will allow your site to be responsive even when your AppPool gets recycled! You’d be able to quickly serve your visitors the cached versions of pages you want, until your application loads fully in the background. When that happens, everything returns to normal
Check out this thread, where Renaud Paquay from The Orchard Team describes the idea in greater detail.