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Posts for the month of June 2008

Making Web Parts Language Independent

If you're using the Web Part Framework or the Flexigrid module you can now have pages on your multilanguage site that show the same web parts for all languages of the same page.

Thomas Haug from Gazette has added a small check in the core of the web part framework for a property on the current page that is called LanguageIndependentWebParts of type Boolean. If the page has such a property, and the value has been set to true, the web parts for this page will be stored independent of language.

You might have landing pages that should be the same regardless of language, or more likely, all your web parts are language sensitive in the first place, so adding them to all languages is a pain. You don't have to anymore (that is - as long as you use the source code with revision 515 or later.) If you want this property to be true by default, set true as default value on the property in the page type in admin mode.

A good example on how you can change the core of an existing module without breaking existing code, but still add a valuable new feature. Thanks Thomas!

A screencast has been added for the ManageLanguages module

As I promised in my last post I have now created a screencast for the ManageLanguages module. This time I have included speech so if you want a laugh watch it here.

As a side note I have to add that I also created a screencast for the EPiServer Google Translate code created by Ruwen Jin. It is an amazing module and will rock the socks out of any competitor in a demo! I only wish the code was available from EPiCode :-( (in the mean time you can download a Manager *.zip install from his blog post on labs.episerver.com

May 2008 Usage Statistics

Seeing we are a community site, and all of you have to suffer the slightly added delay in page views due to Google Analytics, we figured at least some of you may be interested in some of the actual numbers we have gathered. Below is some numbers related to activity in May and current status. Note that these figures are just related to web browsing - all access through various Subversion clients are not directly included.

We've had roughly 1.000 unique visitors in May for a total of 2.000 visits. The visits generated some 16.000 page views, and on average you spent 6 minutes reading your 8 pages per visit.

It turns out close to 50% of you accessed the EPiCode project directly, and no doubt various recent news and blog entries in the EPiServer-sphere brought you directly to some specific pages of interest. These where the most popular landing pages (except frontpage):

  1. CloudCuckoo
  2. PictureGallery
  3. Blog
  4. Flexigrid
  5. MultiPageProperty

As repository activity is not tracked by Google Analytics, what constitues a 'download' is not all that easy to decide - many of you will just do a Subversion 'update' to get the latest modules. However, from what we can gather this should be a rough overview of 'code usage' popularity in May (top 10):

  1. MultiPageProperty
  2. PageContainer
  3. PictureGallery
  4. GoogleMaps
  5. EPiWebParts
  6. Newsletter?
  7. Flexigrid
  8. ImageListProperty
  9. PageTreeIcons
  10. LinkReport

As the number of registered community members have just turned 500, EPiCode is turning into quite a large online community! And, as the number of users keep rising each month, we do feel we are on the right track - and that you as users do get value back from participating. Openness and shared source builds a strong foundation, and with currently 24 modules in the repository there should be something for everyone - if not, please build it and share it with the rest of us!

Thanks everyone!

Making EPiServer Translations Easy

Manage Languages (created by the same guy that created the Picasa2EPiServermodule and who is still to shy to have his own blog) is available on EPiCode. The module will not substitute the language files for something else, but it will make it a lot easier for you to translate and maintain the EPiServer CMS language files.

The basic for the module is that you will have an Admin plug-in that will read all language XML files and load them into the GUI. From here you can set the master language and the languages that you want to translate or change. With a bit of magic (or two weeks of coding as it took) you will have a neat overview of all language specific entries and compare them side by side. But it wouldn't be enough just to be able to translate them (because how good is your french, Dutch or German?) The module has an built-in Google Translate feature that will do all of this for you (inspiration taken from Ruwen Jin and Dan Matthews).

Downloadthe module today and get the editors to do the translating themselves!

As always the module is available as an EPiServer Manager *.zip installation and comes with full source (of course).

PS. EPiCode has gotten a few more new modules lately as well; FacetedNavigation from Cognifide Limited, Steves CacheFramework (which actually have been ported to CMS 5 by Nick Urry from Intergen New Zealand) and EasySearch from Networked Planet (that I will have a separate post about a bit later).

Module presentation has changed

Blog posts are normally scribbling about something, but on EPiCode we use it for news announcements as well (if we had a separate news section it would be kind of empty :-D)

We have done some small adjustments to the table showing all the modules, we have actually sorted them alphabetically! (as oppose to last added first).I am not sure this is the best way, but it will stay like that for a while. The concern I got is that since the naming convention for modules is somewhat "non-inventive" and "non-intuitive" I have looked for a way to present them in a mannerly fashion. Maybe there should be a date for when a module was released, updated, changed.. or maybe it should be an icon (perhaps a light bulb) of some sort say I have been created less than 3 weeks ago???

If someone from the EPiCode community have any opinions please use the comment section on this post.

PS. I am currently working on a screencast and blog entry for new free module that will help all of you in the language XML hell of EPiServer CMS.