While SharePoint 2007 certainly moved the platform forward for its time, there is no doubt that doing UI work with the CMS is nothing short of excruciating. The reason for this is (a) really, really bad markup and (b) no DOCTYPE (SharePoint Designer doesn’t help the cause either). There is a lot you can do to deal with the first issue, but you’re largely stuck on the second.
The reason adding a DOCTYPE is problematic is because adding the DOCTYPE to the master page makes core functionality break like moving web parts between zones, and all the default styles are not made to work in browser’s standards mode. The best way to get around this would be for the DOCTYPE only to show when the page is in “display” mode but not in “edit” mode. (If you need to develop custom master pages for the “System Master Page” then I would not suggest using this solution because it will cause more heartache then it’s worth.)
To do this we need to include a content placeholder at the top of the master page.
<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="DoctypePanel" runat="server" />
Then, in our layouts, we can include the following EditModePanel that will only output what we have in display mode. Keep in mind that all attributes are necessary to include. It would be nice if we could just include the code block belowin the master page, but it doesn’t work (I presume because it isn’t in the form tag).
<asp:Content ContentPlaceholderID="DoctypePanel" runat="server">
<PublishingWebControls:editmodepanel PageDisplayMode="Display" SuppressTag="True"
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
Add this CSS to fix alignment on the site actions menu.
Thanks to Carlos Fernandez for working through this with me.
UPDATE: Turns out I needed an addition content placeholder to include the X-UA Compatibility Meta Tag. If I didn’t include it I had issues with the browser mode changing effectively. You can’t reuse the same content placeholder because the meta tag belongs in the head.
Over the past few months I’ve started to look around at the IT field and started to ask questions about where it’s going and what my role will be in it. I’ve noticed that things aren’t what they used to be when I started designing. Designers are a dime-a-dozen; that doesn’t mean they’re good, but customers look to dollars and not actual design work (most of the time). I’ve decided it’s time for me to change, and I embarked on that change.
My current company is well versed in the practice of knowledge management, and it has started to intrigue me more and more while I’ve been here. I got an entrance into enterprise knowledge management with my company as the project manager for a USAID contract. I learned that I love working with and beside customers solving real business problems. I also saw that enterprise knowledge/content management was on the rise even more so than in the past.
After doing my own market research on different enterprise solutions I convinced myself that Microsoft SharePoint was the future of the industry. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2003 wasn’t that great, but 2007 was much better, and I’m sure that 2011 will be a show stopper. MOSS has incredible opportunity to solve real business problems, and it was at this time I started looking for opportunities in the SharePoint world.
My Foray Into MOSS
Although I had no experience doing MOSS consultation, I used Windows SharePoint Services (scaled down MOSS) for all of my Siolon clients. With that under my belt I started looking with no real expectation of finding someone who would hire me. Then I found Mixon Consulting which is the brain child of Bob Mixon a Microsoft SharePoint MVP. I sent in my resume stating that I have not worked with SharePoint as a consultant, but I wanted to get into it. Turns out my experience in UI, IA, UX, etc. was the perfect entry into this line of work. I will, in fact, be doing enterprise information architecture.
My last day at my current job is May 2nd, and I look forward to my new job. There will be changes at Siolon, because I won’t have the time to work on design work with the new job. I haven’t yet decided what that looks like, but I’ll have a firmer idea when I get started.
Thanks for all of the support, and look out for the blog to contain more topics relating to my new career as a SharePoint Architect!