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  • Adding Blog to Your Orchard Website

    - by hajan
    One of the common features in today’s content management systems is to provide you the ability to create your own blog in your website. Also, having a blog is one of the very often needed features for various types of websites. Out of the box, Orchard gives you this, so you can create your own blog in your Orchard website on a pretty easy way. Besides the fact that you can very easily create your own blog, Orchard also gives you some extra features in relation with the support of blogging, such as connecting third-party client applications (e.g. Windows Live Writer) to your blog, so that you can publish blog posts remotely. You can already find all the information provided in this blog post on the http://orchardproject.net website, however I thought it would be nice to make summary in one blog post. I assume you have already installed Orchard and you are already familiar with its environment and administration dashboard. If you haven’t, please read this blog post first.   CREATE YOUR BLOG First of all, go to Orchard Administration Dashboard and click on Blog in the left menu Once you are there, you will see the following screen   Fill the form with all needed data, as in the following example and click Save Right after, you should see the following screen Click New post, and add your first post. After that, go to Homepage (click Your Site in the top-left corner) and you should see the Blog link in your menu After clicking on Blog, you will be directed to the following page Once you click on My First Post, you will see that your blog already supports commenting ability (you can enable/disable this from Administration dashboard in your blog settings) Added comment Adding new comment Submit comment So, with following these steps, you have already setup your blog in your Orchard website.   CONNECT YOUR BLOG WITH WINDOWS LIVE WRITER Since many bloggers prepare their blog posts using third-party client applications, like Windows Live Writer, its very useful if your blog engine has the ability to work with these third-party applications and enable them to make remote posting and publishing. The client applications use XmlRpc interface in order to have the ability to manage and publish the blogs remotely. What is great about Orchard is that it gives you out of the box the XmlRpc and Remote Publishing modules. What you only need to do is to enable these features from the Modules in your Orchard Administration Dashboard. So, lets go through the steps of enabling and making your previously created blog able to work with third-party client applications for blogging. 1. Go to Administration Dashboard and click the Modules After clicking the Modules, you will see the following page: As you can see, you already have Remote Blog Publishing and XmlRpc features for Content Publishing, but both are disabled by default. So, if you click Enable only on Remote Blog Publishing, you will see both of them enabled at once since they are dependent features. After you click Enable, if everything is Ok, the following message should be displayed: So, now we have the featured enabled and ready... The next thing you need to do is to open Windows Live Writer. First, open Windows Live Writer and in your Blog Accounts, click on Add blog account In the next window, chose Other services After that, click on your Blog link in the Orchard website and copy the URL, my URL (on localhost development server) is: http://localhost:8191/blog Then, add your login credentials you use to login in Orchard and click Next. After that, if you have setup everything successfully, the Windows Live Writer will do the rest Once it finishes, you will have window where you can specify the name of your blog you have just connected your Windows Live Writer to... Then... you are done. You can see Windows Live Writer has detected the Orchard theme I am using After you finish with the blog post, click on Publish and refresh the Blog page in your Orchard website You see, we have the blog post directly posted from Windows Live Writer to my Orchard Blog. I hope this was useful blog post. Regards, Hajan Reference and other useful posts: Build incredible content-driven websites using Orchard CMS Create blog on your site with Orchard CMS Blogging using Windows Live Writer in your Orchard CMS Blog Orchard Website

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  • Creating and maintaining Orchard translations

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    Many volunteers have already stepped up to provide translations for Orchard. There are many challenges to overcome with translating such a project. Orchard is a very modular CMS, so the translation mechanism needs to account for the core as well as first and third party modules and themes. Another issue is that every new version of Orchard or of a module changes some localizable strings and adds new ones as others enter obsolescence. In order to address those problems, I've built a small Orchard module that automates some of the most complex tasks that maintaining a translation implies. In this post, I'll walk you through the operations I had to do to update the French translation for Orchard 1.0. In order to make sure you translate all the first party modules, I would recommend that you start from a full source code enlistment. The reason is that I'll show how you can extract the default en-US translation from any source code enlistment. That enables you to create a translation that is even more up-to-date than what is currently on the site. Alternatively, you could start by downloading the current en-US translation. If you decide to do so, just skip the relevant paragraphs. First, let's install the Orchard Translation Manager. I'm starting from a vanilla clone of the latest in the code repository. After you've setup the site, go into the dashboard and click on Gallery. Locate the Orchard Translation Manager in the list of modules and click "Install". Once the module is installed, you need to enable its one feature by going into Configuration/Features and clicking "Enable" next to Vandelay.TranslationManager. We're done with the setup that we need in order to start our translation work. We'll now switch to the command-line and to our favorite text editor. Open a command-line on the Orchard web site folder. I found the easiest way to do this is to do a SHIFT+right-click on the Orchard.Web folder in Windows Explorer and to click "Open command window here". Type bin\orchard to enter the Orchard command-line environment. If you do a "help commands" you should see four commands in the list that came from the module we just installed: extract default translation, install translation, package translation and sync translation. First, we're going to generate the default translation. Note that it is possible to generate that default translation for a specific list of modules and themes by using the /Extensions: switch, which should facilitate the translation of third party extensions, but in this tutorial we're going to generate it for the whole of the Orchard source code. extract default translation /Output:\temp .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } This should have created an Orchard.en-us.po.zip file in the temp directory. Extract that archive into an orchard.po folder under \temp. The next step depends on whether you have an existing translation that you want to update or not. If you do have an existing translation, just extract it into the same \temp\orchard.po directory. That should result in a file structure where you have the default en-US translation alongside your own. If you don't have an existing translation, just continue, the commands will be the same. We are now going to synchronize those translations (or generate the stub for a new one if you didn't start from an existing translation). sync translation /Input:\temp\orchard.po /Culture:fr-FR After this command (where you should of course substitute fr-FR with the culture you're working on), we now have updated files that contain a few useful flags. Open each of the .po files under the culture you are working on (there should be around 36) with your favorite text editor. For all the strings that are still valid in the latest version, nothing changes and you don't need to do anything. For all the strings that disappeared from the default culture, the old translation will still be there but they will be prefixed with the following comment: # Obsolete translation Conveniently, all the obsolete strings will be grouped at the end of the file. You can select all those and delete them. For all the new strings, you will see the following comment: # Untranslated string This is where the hard work begins. You'll need to translate each of those new strings by entering the translation between the quotes in: msgstr "" Don't introduce hard carriage returns in the strings, just stay on one line (your text editor should do some reasonable wrapping so this shouldn't be a big deal). Once you're done with a file, save it. Make sure, and this is very important, that your text editor is saving using the UTF-8 encoding. In Notepad, that setting can be found in the file saving dialog by doing a "Save As" rather than a plain "Save": When all the po files have been edited, you are ready to package the translation for submission (a.k.a. sending e-mail to the localization mailing list). package translation /Culture:fr-FR /Input:\temp\orchard.po /Output:\temp You should now see a Orchard.fr-FR.po.zip file in temp that is ready to be submitted. That is, once you've tested it, which can be done by deploying it into the site: install translation \temp\orchard.fr-fr.po.zip Once this is done you can go into the dashboard under Configuration/Settings and click on "Add or remove supported cultures for the site". Choose your culture and click "Add". You can go back to settings and set the default culture. Save. You may now take a tour of the application and verify that everything works as expected: And that's it really. Creating a translation for Orchard is a matter of a few hours. If you don't see a translation for your culture, please consider creating it.

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  • Create Orchard Module in a Separate Project

    - by Steve Michelotti
    The Orchard Project is a new OOS Microsoft project that is being developed up on CodePlex. From the Orchard home page on CodePlex, it states “Orchard project is focused on delivering a .NET-based CMS application that will allow users to rapidly create content-driven Websites, and an extensibility framework that will allow developers and customizers to provide additional functionality through modules and themes.” The Orchard Project site contains additional information including documentation and walkthroughs. The ability to create a composite solution based on a collection of modules is a compelling feature. In Orchard, these modules can just be created as simple MVC Areas or they can also be created inside of stand-alone web application projects.  The walkthrough for writing an Orchard module that is available on the Orchard site uses a simple Area that is created inside of the host application. It is based on the Orchard MIX presentation. This walkthrough does an effective job introducing various Orchard concepts such as hooking into the navigation system, theme/layout system, content types, and more.  However, creating an Orchard module in a separate project does not seem to be concisely documented anywhere. Orchard ships with several module OOTB that are in separate assemblies – but again, it’s not well documented how to get started building one from scratch. The following are the steps I took to successfully get an Orchard module in a separate project up and running. Step 1 – Download the OrchardIIS.zip file from the Orchard Release page. Unzip and open up the solution. Step 2 – Add your project to the solution. I named my project “Orchard.Widget” and used and “MVC 2 Empty Web Application” project type. Make sure you put the physical path inside the “Modules” sub-folder to the main project like this: At this point the solution should look like: Step 3 – Add assembly references to Orchard.dll and Orchard.Core.dll. Step 4 – Add a controller and view.  I’ll just create a Hello World controller and view. Notice I created the view as a partial view (*.ascx). Also add the [Themed] attribute to the top of the HomeController class just like the normal Orchard walk through shows it. Step 5 – Add Module.txt to the project root. The is a very important step. Orchard will not recognize your module without this text file present.  It can contain just the name of your module: name: Widget Step 6 – Add Routes.cs. Notice I’ve given an area name of “Orchard.Widget” on lines 26 and 33. 1: using System; 2: using System.Collections.Generic; 3: using System.Web.Mvc; 4: using System.Web.Routing; 5: using Orchard.Mvc.Routes; 6:   7: namespace Orchard.Widget 8: { 9: public class Routes : IRouteProvider 10: { 11: public void GetRoutes(ICollection<RouteDescriptor> routes) 12: { 13: foreach (var routeDescriptor in GetRoutes()) 14: { 15: routes.Add(routeDescriptor); 16: } 17: } 18:   19: public IEnumerable<RouteDescriptor> GetRoutes() 20: { 21: return new[] { 22: new RouteDescriptor { 23: Route = new Route( 24: "Widget/{controller}/{action}/{id}", 25: new RouteValueDictionary { 26: {"area", "Orchard.Widget"}, 27: {"controller", "Home"}, 28: {"action", "Index"}, 29: {"id", ""} 30: }, 31: new RouteValueDictionary(), 32: new RouteValueDictionary { 33: {"area", "Orchard.Widget"} 34: }, 35: new MvcRouteHandler()) 36: } 37: }; 38: } 39: } 40: } Step 7 – Add MainMenu.cs. This will make sure that an item appears in the main menu called “Widget” which points to the module. 1: using System; 2: using Orchard.UI.Navigation; 3:   4: namespace Orchard.Widget 5: { 6: public class MainMenu : INavigationProvider 7: { 8: public void GetNavigation(NavigationBuilder builder) 9: { 10: builder.Add(menu => menu.Add("Widget", item => item.Action("Index", "Home", new 11: { 12: area = "Orchard.Widget" 13: }))); 14: } 15:   16: public string MenuName 17: { 18: get { return "main"; } 19: } 20: } 21: } Step 8 – Clean up web.config. By default Visual Studio adds numerous sections to the web.config. The sections that can be removed are: appSettings, connectionStrings, authentication, membership, profile, and roleManager. Step 9 – Delete Global.asax. This project will ultimately be running from inside the Orchard host so this “sub-site” should not have its own Global.asax.   Now you’re ready the run the app.  When you first run it, the “Widget” menu item will appear in the main menu because of the MainMenu.cs file we added: We can then click the “Widget” link in the main menu to send us over to our view:   Packaging From start to finish, it’s a relatively painless experience but it could be better. For example, a Visual Studio project template that encapsulates aspects from this blog post would definitely make it a lot easier to get up and running with creating an Orchard module.  Another aspect I found interesting is that if you read the first paragraph of the walkthrough, it says, “You can also develop modules as separate projects, to be packaged and shared with other users of Orchard CMS (the packaging story is still to be defined, along with marketplaces for sharing modules).” In particular, I will be extremely curious to see how the “packaging story” evolves. The first thing that comes to mind for me is: what if we explored MvcContrib Portable Areas as a potential mechanism for this packaging? This would certainly make things easy since all artifacts (aspx, aspx, images, css, javascript) are all wrapped up into a single assembly. Granted, Orchard does have its own infrastructure for layouts and themes but it seems like integrating portable areas into this pipeline would not be a difficult undertaking. Maybe that’ll be the next research task. :)

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  • How Orchard works

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    I just finished writing a long documentation topic on the Orchard project wiki that aims at being a good starting point for developers who want to understand the architecture, structure and general philosophy behind the Orchard CMS. It is not required reading for anyone who only wants to write Orchard modules and themes but hopefully it will help people who want to evaluate the platform and start writing patches. Read it here: http://orchardproject.net/docs/How-Orchard-works.ashx

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  • Switching the layout in Orchard CMS

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    The UI composition in Orchard is extremely flexible, thanks in no small part to the usage of dynamic Clay shapes. Every notable UI construct in Orchard is built as a shape that other parts of the system can then party on and modify any way they want. Case in point today: modifying the layout (which is a shape) on the fly to provide custom page structures for different parts of the site. This might actually end up being built-in Orchard 1.0 but for the moment it’s not in there. Plus, it’s quite interesting to see how it’s done. We are going to build a little extension that allows for specialized layouts in addition to the default layout.cshtml that Orchard understands out of the box. The extension will add the possibility to add the module name (or, in MVC terms, area name) to the template name, or module and controller names, or module, controller and action names. For example, the home page is served by the HomePage module, so with this extension you’ll be able to add an optional layout-homepage.cshtml file to your theme to specialize the look of the home page while leaving all other pages using the regular layout.cshtml. I decided to implement this sample as a theme with code. This way, the new overrides are only enabled as the theme is activated, which makes a lot of sense as this is going to be where you’ll be creating those additional layouts. The first thing I did was to create my own theme, derived from the default TheThemeMachine with this command: codegen theme CustomLayoutMachine /CreateProject:true /IncludeInSolution:true /BasedOn:TheThemeMachine .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: 12px; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } Once that was done, I worked around a known bug and moved the new project from the Modules solution folder into Themes (the code was already physically in the right place, this is just about Visual Studio editing). The CreateProject flag in the command-line created a project file for us in the theme’s folder. This is only necessary if you want to run code outside of views from that theme. The code that we want to add is the following LayoutFilter.cs: using System.Linq; using System.Web.Mvc; using System.Web.Routing; using Orchard; using Orchard.Mvc.Filters; namespace CustomLayoutMachine.Filters { public class LayoutFilter : FilterProvider, IResultFilter { private readonly IWorkContextAccessor _wca; public LayoutFilter(IWorkContextAccessor wca) { _wca = wca; } public void OnResultExecuting(ResultExecutingContext filterContext) { var workContext = _wca.GetContext(); var routeValues = filterContext.RouteData.Values; workContext.Layout.Metadata.Alternates.Add( BuildShapeName(routeValues, "area")); workContext.Layout.Metadata.Alternates.Add( BuildShapeName(routeValues, "area", "controller")); workContext.Layout.Metadata.Alternates.Add( BuildShapeName(routeValues, "area", "controller", "action")); } public void OnResultExecuted(ResultExecutedContext filterContext) { } private static string BuildShapeName( RouteValueDictionary values, params string[] names) { return "Layout__" + string.Join("__", names.Select(s => ((string)values[s] ?? "").Replace(".", "_"))); } } } This filter is intercepting ResultExecuting, which is going to provide a context object out of which we can extract the route data. We are also injecting an IWorkContextAccessor dependency that will give us access to the current Layout object, so that we can add alternate shape names to its metadata. We are adding three possible shape names to the default, with different combinations of area, controller and action names. For example, a request to a blog post is going to be routed to the “Orchard.Blogs” module’s “BlogPost” controller’s “Item” action. Our filters will then add the following shape names to the default “Layout”: Layout__Orchard_Blogs Layout__Orchard_Blogs__BlogPost Layout__Orchard_Blogs__BlogPost__Item Those template names get mapped into the following file names by the system (assuming the Razor view engine): Layout-Orchard_Blogs.cshtml Layout-Orchard_Blogs-BlogPost.cshtml Layout-Orchard_Blogs-BlogPost-Item.cshtml This works for any module/controller/action of course, but in the sample I created Layout-HomePage.cshtml (a specific layout for the home page), Layout-Orchard_Blogs.cshtml (a layout for all the blog views) and Layout-Orchard_Blogs-BlogPost-Item.cshtml (a layout that is specific to blog posts). Of course, this is just an example, and this kind of dynamic extension of shapes that you didn’t even create in the first place is highly encouraged in Orchard. You don’t have to do it from a filter, we only did it this way because that was a good place where we could get the context that we needed. And of course, you can base your alternate shape names on something completely different from route values if you want. For example, you might want to create your own part that modifies the layout for a specific content item, or you might want to do it based on the raw URL (like it’s done in widget rules) or who knows what crazy custom rule. The point of all this is to show that extending or modifying shapes is easy, and the layout just happens to be a shape. In other words, you can do whatever you want. Ain’t that nice? The custom theme can be found here: Orchard.Theme.CustomLayoutMachine.1.0.nupkg Many thanks to Louis, who showed me how to do this.

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  • ZenGallery: a minimalist image gallery for Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    There are quite a few image gallery modules for Orchard but they were not invented here I wanted something a lot less sophisticated that would be as barebones and minimalist as possible out of the box, to make customization extremely easy. So I made this, in less than two days (during which I got distracted a lot). Nwazet.ZenGallery uses existing Orchard features as much as it can: Galleries are just a content part that can be added to any type The set of photos in a gallery is simply defined by a folder in Media Managing the images in a gallery is done using the standard media management from Orchard Ordering of photos is simply alphabetical order of the filenames (use 1_, 2_, etc. prefixes if you have to) The path to the gallery folder is mapped from the content item using a token-based pattern The pattern can be set per content type You can edit the generated gallery path for each item The default template is just a list of links over images, that get open in a new tab No lightbox script comes with the module, just customize the template to use your favorite script. Light, light, light. Rather than explaining in more details this very simple module, here is a video that shows how I used the module to add photo galleries to a product catalog: Adding a gallery to a product catalog You can find the module on the Orchard Gallery: https://gallery.orchardproject.net/List/Modules/Orchard.Module.Nwazet.ZenGallery/ The source code is available from BitBucket: https://bitbucket.org/bleroy/nwazet.zengallery

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  • The Shift: how Orchard painlessly shifted to document storage, and how it’ll affect you

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    We’ve known it all along. The storage for Orchard content items would be much more efficient using a document database than a relational one. Orchard content items are composed of parts that serialize naturally into infoset kinds of documents. Storing them as relational data like we’ve done so far was unnatural and requires the data for a single item to span multiple tables, related through 1-1 relationships. This means lots of joins in queries, and a great potential for Select N+1 problems. Document databases, unfortunately, are still a tough sell in many places that prefer the more familiar relational model. Being able to x-copy Orchard to hosters has also been a basic constraint in the design of Orchard. Combine those with the necessity at the time to run in medium trust, and with license compatibility issues, and you’ll find yourself with very few reasonable choices. So we went, a little reluctantly, for relational SQL stores, with the dream of one day transitioning to document storage. We have played for a while with the idea of building our own document storage on top of SQL databases, and Sébastien implemented something more than decent along those lines, but we had a better way all along that we didn’t notice until recently… In Orchard, there are fields, which are named properties that you can add dynamically to a content part. Because they are so dynamic, we have been storing them as XML into a column on the main content item table. This infoset storage and its associated API are fairly generic, but were only used for fields. The breakthrough was when Sébastien realized how this existing storage could give us the advantages of document storage with minimal changes, while continuing to use relational databases as the substrate. public bool CommercialPrices { get { return this.Retrieve(p => p.CommercialPrices); } set { this.Store(p => p.CommercialPrices, value); } } This code is very compact and efficient because the API can infer from the expression what the type and name of the property are. It is then able to do the proper conversions for you. For this code to work in a content part, there is no need for a record at all. This is particularly nice for site settings: one query on one table and you get everything you need. This shows how the existing infoset solves the data storage problem, but you still need to query. Well, for those properties that need to be filtered and sorted on, you can still use the current record-based relational system. This of course continues to work. We do however provide APIs that make it trivial to store into both record properties and the infoset storage in one operation: public double Price { get { return Retrieve(r => r.Price); } set { Store(r => r.Price, value); } } This code looks strikingly similar to the non-record case above. The difference is that it will manage both the infoset and the record-based storages. The call to the Store method will send the data in both places, keeping them in sync. The call to the Retrieve method does something even cooler: if the property you’re looking for exists in the infoset, it will return it, but if it doesn’t, it will automatically look into the record for it. And if that wasn’t cool enough, it will take that value from the record and store it into the infoset for the next time it’s required. This means that your data will start automagically migrating to infoset storage just by virtue of using the code above instead of the usual: public double Price { get { return Record.Price; } set { Record.Price = value; } } As your users browse the site, it will get faster and faster as Select N+1 issues will optimize themselves away. If you preferred, you could still have explicit migration code, but it really shouldn’t be necessary most of the time. If you do already have code using QueryHints to mitigate Select N+1 issues, you might want to reconsider those, as with the new system, you’ll want to avoid joins that you don’t need for filtering or sorting, further optimizing your queries. There are some rare cases where the storage of the property must be handled differently. Check out this string[] property on SearchSettingsPart for example: public string[] SearchedFields { get { return (Retrieve<string>("SearchedFields") ?? "") .Split(new[] {',', ' '}, StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries); } set { Store("SearchedFields", String.Join(", ", value)); } } The array of strings is transformed by the property accessors into and from a comma-separated list stored in a string. The Retrieve and Store overloads used in this case are lower-level versions that explicitly specify the type and name of the attribute to retrieve or store. You may be wondering what this means for code or operations that look directly at the database tables instead of going through the new infoset APIs. Even if there is a record, the infoset version of the property will win if it exists, so it is necessary to keep the infoset up-to-date. It’s not very complicated, but definitely something to keep in mind. Here is what a product record looks like in Nwazet.Commerce for example: And here is the same data in the infoset: The infoset is stored in Orchard_Framework_ContentItemRecord or Orchard_Framework_ContentItemVersionRecord, depending on whether the content type is versionable or not. A good way to find what you’re looking for is to inspect the record table first, as it’s usually easier to read, and then get the item record of the same id. Here is the detailed XML document for this product: <Data> <ProductPart Inventory="40" Price="18" Sku="pi-camera-box" OutOfStockMessage="" AllowBackOrder="false" Weight="0.2" Size="" ShippingCost="null" IsDigital="false" /> <ProductAttributesPart Attributes="" /> <AutoroutePart DisplayAlias="camera-box" /> <TitlePart Title="Nwazet Pi Camera Box" /> <BodyPart Text="[...]" /> <CommonPart CreatedUtc="2013-09-10T00:39:00Z" PublishedUtc="2013-09-14T01:07:47Z" /> </Data> The data is neatly organized under each part. It is easy to see how that document is all you need to know about that content item, all in one table. If you want to modify that data directly in the database, you should be careful to do it in both the record table and the infoset in the content item record. In this configuration, the record is now nothing more than an index, and will only be used for sorting and filtering. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to mix record-backed properties and record-less properties on the same part. It really depends what you think must be sorted and filtered on. In turn, this potentially simplifies migrations considerably. So here it is, the great shift of Orchard to document storage, something that Orchard has been designed for all along, and that we were able to implement with a satisfying and surprising economy of resources. Expect this code to make its way into the 1.8 version of Orchard when that’s available.

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  • RSS feeds in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    When we added RSS to Orchard, we wanted to make it easy for any module to expose any contents as a feed. We also wanted the rendering of the feed to be handled by Orchard in order to minimize the amount of work from the module developer. A typical example of such feed exposition is of course blog feeds. We have an IFeedManager interface for which you can get the built-in implementation through dependency injection. Look at the BlogController constructor for an example: public BlogController( IOrchardServices services, IBlogService blogService, IBlogSlugConstraint blogSlugConstraint, IFeedManager feedManager, RouteCollection routeCollection) { If you look a little further in that same controller, in the Item action, you’ll see a call to the Register method of the feed manager: _feedManager.Register(blog); This in reality is a call into an extension method that is specialized for blogs, but we could have made the two calls to the actual generic Register directly in the action instead, that is just an implementation detail: feedManager.Register(blog.Name, "rss", new RouteValueDictionary { { "containerid", blog.Id } }); feedManager.Register(blog.Name + " - Comments", "rss", new RouteValueDictionary { { "commentedoncontainer", blog.Id } }); What those two effective calls are doing is to register two feeds: one for the blog itself and one for the comments on the blog. For each call, the name of the feed is provided, then we have the type of feed (“rss”) and some values to be injected into the generic RSS route that will be used later to route the feed to the right providers. This is all you have to do to expose a new feed. If you’re only interested in exposing feeds, you can stop right there. If on the other hand you want to know what happens after that under the hood, carry on. What happens after that is that the feedmanager will take care of formatting the link tag for the feed (see FeedManager.GetRegisteredLinks). The GetRegisteredLinks method itself will be called from a specialized filter, FeedFilter. FeedFilter is an MVC filter and the event we’re interested in hooking into is OnResultExecuting, which happens after the controller action has returned an ActionResult and just before MVC executes that action result. In other words, our feed registration has already been called but the view is not yet rendered. Here’s the code for OnResultExecuting: model.Zones.AddAction("head:after", html => html.ViewContext.Writer.Write( _feedManager.GetRegisteredLinks(html))); This is another piece of code whose execution is differed. It is saying that whenever comes time to render the “head” zone, this code should be called right after. The code itself is rendering the link tags. As a result of all that, here’s what can be found in an Orchard blog’s head section: <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"     title="Tales from the Evil Empire"     href="/rss?containerid=5" /> <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"     title="Tales from the Evil Empire - Comments"     href="/rss?commentedoncontainer=5" /> The generic action that these two feeds point to is Index on FeedController. That controller has three important dependencies: an IFeedBuilderProvider, an IFeedQueryProvider and an IFeedItemProvider. Different implementations of these interfaces can provide different formats of feeds, such as RSS and Atom. The Match method enables each of the competing providers to provide a priority for themselves based on arbitrary criteria that can be found on the FeedContext. This means that a provider can be selected based not only on the desired format, but also on the nature of the objects being exposed as a feed or on something even more arbitrary such as the destination device (you could imagine for example giving shorter text only excerpts of posts on mobile devices, and full HTML on desktop). The key here is extensibility and dynamic competition and collaboration from unknown and loosely coupled parts. You’ll find this pattern pretty much everywhere in the Orchard architecture. The RssFeedBuilder implementation of IFeedBuilderProvider is also a regular controller with a Process action that builds a RssResult, which is itself a thin ActionResult wrapper around an XDocument. Let’s get back to the FeedController’s Index action. After having called into each known feed builder to get its priority on the currently requested feed, it will select the one with the highest priority. The next thing it needs to do is to actually fetch the data for the feed. This again is a collaborative effort from a priori unknown providers, the implementations of IFeedQueryProvider. There are several implementations by default in Orchard, the choice of which is again done through a Match method. ContainerFeedQuery for example chimes in when a “containerid” parameter is found in the context (see URL in the link tag above): public FeedQueryMatch Match(FeedContext context) { var containerIdValue = context.ValueProvider.GetValue("containerid"); if (containerIdValue == null) return null; return new FeedQueryMatch { FeedQuery = this, Priority = -5 }; } The actual work is done in the Execute method, which finds the right container content item in the Orchard database and adds elements for each of them. In other words, the feed query provider knows how to retrieve the list of content items to add to the feed. The last step is to translate each of the content items into feed entries, which is done by implementations of IFeedItemBuilder. There is no Match method this time. Instead, all providers are called with the collection of items (or more accurately with the FeedContext, but this contains the list of items, which is what’s relevant in most cases). Each provider can then choose to pick those items that it knows how to treat and transform them into the format requested. This enables the construction of heterogeneous feeds that expose content items of various types into a single feed. That will be extremely important when you’ll want to expose a single feed for all your site. So here are feeds in Orchard in a nutshell. The main point here is that there is a fair number of components involved, with some complexity in implementation in order to allow for extreme flexibility, but the part that you use to expose a new feed is extremely simple and light: declare that you want your content exposed as a feed and you’re done. There are cases where you’ll have to dive in and provide new implementations for some or all of the interfaces involved, but that requirement will only arise as needed. For example, you might need to create a new feed item builder to include your custom content type but that effort will be extremely focused on the specialized task at hand. The rest of the system won’t need to change. So what do you think?

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  • RSS feeds in Orchard

    - by Latest Microsoft Blogs
    When we added RSS to Orchard , we wanted to make it easy for any module to expose any contents as a feed. We also wanted the rendering of the feed to be handled by Orchard in order to minimize the amount of work from the module developer. A typical example Read More......(read more)

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  • My Body Summary template for Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    By default, when Orchard displays a content item such as a blog post in a list, it uses a very basic summary template that removes all markup and then extracts the first 200 characters. Removing the markup has the unfortunate effect of removing all styles and images, in particular the image I like to add to the beginning of my posts. Fortunately, overriding templates in Orchard is a piece of cake. Here is the Common.Body.Summary.cshtml file that I drop into the Views/Parts folder of pretty much all Orchard themes I build: @{ Orchard.ContentManagement.ContentItem contentItem = Model.ContentPart.ContentItem; var bodyHtml = Model.Html.ToString(); var more = bodyHtml.IndexOf("<!--more-->"); if (more != -1) { bodyHtml = bodyHtml.Substring(0, more); } else { var firstP = bodyHtml.IndexOf("<p>"); var firstSlashP = bodyHtml.IndexOf("</p>"); if (firstP >=0 && firstSlashP > firstP) { bodyHtml = bodyHtml.Substring(firstP, firstSlashP + 4 - firstP); } } var body = new HtmlString(bodyHtml); } <p>@body</p> <p>@Html.ItemDisplayLink(T("Read more...").ToString(), contentItem)</p> .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } This template does not remove any tags, but instead looks for an HTML comment delimiting the end of the post’s intro: <!--more--> This is the same convention that is being used in WordPress, and it’s easy to add from the source view in TinyMCE or Live Writer. If such a comment is not found, the template will extract the first paragraph (delimited by <p> and </p> tags) as the summary. And if it finds neither, it will use the whole post. The template also adds a localizable link to the full post.

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  • How Orchard works

    - by Latest Microsoft Blogs
    I just finished writing a long documentation topic on the Orchard project wiki that aims at being a good starting point for developers who want to understand the architecture, structure and general philosophy behind the Orchard CMS. It is not required Read More......(read more)

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  • The best way to learn how to extend Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    We do have tutorials on the Orchard site, but we can't cover all topics, and recently I've found myself more and more responding to forum questions by pointing people to an existing module that was solving a similar problem to the one the question was about. I really like this way of learning by example and from the expertise of others. This is one of the reasons why we decided that modules would by default come in source code form that we compile dynamically. it makes them easy to understand and easier to modify for your own purposes. Hackability FTW! But how do you crack open a module and look at what's inside? You can do it in two different ways. First, you can just install the module from the gallery, directly from your Orchard instance's admin panel. Once you've done that, you can just look into your Modules directory under the web site. There is now a subfolder with the name of the new module that contains a csproj that you can open in Visual Studio or add to your Orchard solution. Second, you can simply download the package (it's NuGet) and rename it to a .zip extension. NuGet being based on Zip, this will open just fine in Windows Explorer: What you want to dig into is the Content/Modules/[NameOfTheModule] folder, which is where the actual code is. Thanks to Jason Gaylord for the idea for this post.

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  • Adding RSS to tags in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    A year ago, I wrote a scary post about RSS in Orchard. RSS was one of the first features we implemented in our CMS, and it has stood the test of time rather well, but the post was explaining things at a level that was probably too abstract whereas my readers were expecting something a little more practical. Well, this post is going to correct this by showing how I built a module that adds RSS feeds for each tag on the site. Hopefully it will show that it's not very complicated in practice, and also that the infrastructure is pretty well thought out. In order to provide RSS, we need to do two things: generate the XML for the feed, and inject the address of that feed into the existing tag listing page, in order to make the feed discoverable. Let's start with the discoverability part. One might be tempted to replace the controller or the view that are responsible for the listing of the items under a tag. Fortunately, there is no need to do any of that, and we can be a lot less obtrusive. Instead, we can implement a filter: public class TagRssFilter : FilterProvider, IResultFilter .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } On this filter, we can implement the OnResultExecuting method and simply check whether the current request is targeting the list of items under a tag. If that is the case, we can just register our new feed: public void OnResultExecuting(ResultExecutingContext filterContext) { var routeValues = filterContext.RouteData.Values; if (routeValues["area"] as string == "Orchard.Tags" && routeValues["controller"] as string == "Home" && routeValues["action"] as string == "Search") { var tag = routeValues["tagName"] as string; if (! string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(tag)) { var workContext = _wca.GetContext(); _feedManager.Register( workContext.CurrentSite + " – " + tag, "rss", new RouteValueDictionary { { "tag", tag } } ); } } } The registration of the new feed is just specifying the title of the feed, its format (RSS) and the parameters that it will need (the tag). _wca and _feedManager are just instances of IWorkContextAccessor and IFeedManager that Orchard injected for us. That is all that's needed to get the following tag to be added to the head of our page, without touching an existing controller or view: <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="VuLu - Science" href="/rss?tag=Science"/> Nifty. Of course, if we navigate to the URL of that feed, we'll get a 404. This is because no implementation of IFeedQueryProvider knows about the tag parameter yet. Let's build one that does: public class TagFeedQuery : IFeedQueryProvider, IFeedQuery IFeedQueryProvider has one method, Match, that we can implement to take over any feed request that has a tag parameter: public FeedQueryMatch Match(FeedContext context) { var tagName = context.ValueProvider.GetValue("tag"); if (tagName == null) return null; return new FeedQueryMatch { FeedQuery = this, Priority = -5 }; } This is just saying that if there is a tag parameter, we will handle it. All that remains to be done is the actual building of the feed now that we have accepted to handle it. This is done by implementing the Execute method of the IFeedQuery interface: public void Execute(FeedContext context) { var tagValue = context.ValueProvider.GetValue("tag"); if (tagValue == null) return; var tagName = (string)tagValue.ConvertTo(typeof (string)); var tag = _tagService.GetTagByName(tagName); if (tag == null) return; var site = _services.WorkContext.CurrentSite; var link = new XElement("link"); context.Response.Element.SetElementValue("title", site.SiteName + " - " + tagName); context.Response.Element.Add(link); context.Response.Element.SetElementValue("description", site.SiteName + " - " + tagName); context.Response.Contextualize(requestContext => link.Add(GetTagUrl(tagName, requestContext))); var items = _tagService.GetTaggedContentItems(tag.Id, 0, 20); foreach (var item in items) { context.Builder.AddItem(context, item.ContentItem); } } This code is resolving the tag content item from its name and then gets content items tagged with it, using the tag services provided by the Orchard.Tags module. Then we add those items to the feed. And that is it. To summarize, we handled the request unobtrusively in order to inject the feed's link, then handled requests for feeds with a tag parameter and generated the list of items for that tag. It remains fairly simple and still it is able to handle arbitrary content types. That makes me quite happy about our little piece of over-engineered code from last year. The full code for this can be found in the Vandelay.TagCloud module: http://orchardproject.net/gallery/List/Modules/ Orchard.Module.Vandelay.TagCloud/1.2

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  • Orchard CMS translation in Macedonian language

    - by hajan
    In the past two weeks I have been working on translating Orchard CMS in my native (Macedonian) language. Finally, the translation is completed and it is available for download in the Orchard Localization page. About 90% of the strings are translated. If you are Macedonian native speaker, you can take a look at it and if you have any remarks or have better translations for some phrases or strings, please provide me your feedback on my mkdot.net email: hajan[at]mkdot.net. I would also like to thank my friend Jane Stanojovski for his contribution in this project. He has translated part of the modules and the themes translation files. You can find the same blog post in Macedonian language here. Regards,Hajan

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  • Migrating a blog from Orchard 0.5 to 0.9

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    My personal blog still runs on Orchard 0.5, because the theme that I used to build it is not yet available for more recent versions, but it is still very important for me to know that I can migrate all my content and comments to a new version at any time. Fortunately, Nick Mayne has been consistently shipping a BlogML module a few days after each of the Orchard versions shipped. Because the module gallery for each version is behind a different URL and is kept alive even after a new one shipped, it is very easy to install the module for both versions. Step 0: Setting up the migration environment In order to do the migration, I made a local copy of the production site on my laptop (data included: I'm using SQL CE) and I also created a new local site with a fresh install of Orchard 0.9. Step 1: Enable the gallery feature on both versions From the admin UI, go to Features and locate the Gallery feature under "Packaging". Enable it. You may now click on "Browse Gallery" on the 0.5 instance and "Modules" under "Gallery" for 0.9: Step 2: Install the BlogML module on both versions From the gallery page, locate the BlogML module and install it. Do it on both versions. Then go to Features and enable BlogML under "Content Publishing". Do it on both versions. Step 3: Export from the 0.5 version Click on "Manage Blog" then on "Export using BlogML" from the 0.5 version. The module then informs you of the path of the saved file: Step 4: Import into the 0.9 version From the 0.9 version, click "Import under "Blogs". Click the button to browse to the file that you just saved from 0.5. Then click "Upload file and Import" Step 5: Copy the 0.5 media folder into 0.9 Copy the contents of the 0.5 version's media folder into the media folder of the 0.9 version. Once that is done, you can delete the "Default/Blog Exports" subfolder. Step 6: Configure the target blog Click "Manage Blog", then "Blog Properties" and restore any properties you had on the source blog. For me, it was the title and URL as well as to set the blog as the home page and show it on the main menu: Step 7: Republish the new site to the production server Once this is done and everything works locally, you are ready to publish to the production site. I use FTP. Note: this should work just as well for any couple of versions for which the BlogML module exists, and not just for 0.5 and 0.9.

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  • Orchard shapeshifting

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    I've shown in a previous post how to make it easier to change the layout template for specific contents or areas. But what if you want to change another shape template for specific pages, for example the main Content shape on the home page? Here's how. When we changed the layout, we had the problem that layout is created very early, so early that in fact it can't know what content is going to be rendered. For that reason, we had to rely on a filter and on the routing information to determine what layout template alternates to add. This time around, we are dealing with a content shape, a shape that is directly related to a content item. That makes things a little easier as we have access to a lot more information. What I'm going to do here is handle an event that is triggered every time a shape named "Content" is about to be displayed: public class ContentShapeProvider : IShapeTableProvider { public void Discover(ShapeTableBuilder builder) { builder.Describe("Content") .OnDisplaying(displaying => { // do stuff to the shape }); } } .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } This handler is implemented in a shape table provider which is where you do all shape related site-wide operations. The first thing we want to do in this event handler is check that we are on the front-end, displaying the "Detail" version, and not the "Summary" or the admin editor: if (displaying.ShapeMetadata.DisplayType == "Detail") { Now I want to provide the ability for the theme developer to provide an alternative template named "Content-HomePage.cshtml" for the home page. In order to determine if we are indeed on the home page I can look at the current site's home page property, which for the default home page provider contains the home page item's id at the end after a semicolon. Compare that with the content item id for the shape we are looking at and you can know if that's the homepage content item. Please note that if that content is also displayed on another page than the home page it will also get the alternate: we are altering at the shape level and not at the URL/routing level like we did with the layout. ContentItem contentItem = displaying.Shape.ContentItem; if (_workContextAccessor.GetContext().CurrentSite .HomePage.EndsWith(';' + contentItem.Id.ToString())) { _workContextAccessor is an injected instance of IWorkContextAccessor from which we can get the current site and its home page. Finally, once we've determined that we are in the specific conditions that we want to alter, we can add the alternate: displaying.ShapeMetadata.Alternates.Add("Content__HomePage"); And that's it really. Here's the full code for the shape provider that I added to a custom theme (but it could really live in any module or theme): using Orchard; using Orchard.ContentManagement; using Orchard.DisplayManagement.Descriptors; namespace CustomLayoutMachine.ShapeProviders { public class ContentShapeProvider : IShapeTableProvider { private readonly IWorkContextAccessor _workContextAccessor; public ContentShapeProvider( IWorkContextAccessor workContextAccessor) { _workContextAccessor = workContextAccessor; } public void Discover(ShapeTableBuilder builder) { builder.Describe("Content") .OnDisplaying(displaying => { if (displaying.ShapeMetadata.DisplayType == "Detail") { ContentItem contentItem = displaying.Shape.ContentItem; if (_workContextAccessor.GetContext() .CurrentSite.HomePage.EndsWith( ';' + contentItem.Id.ToString())) { displaying.ShapeMetadata.Alternates.Add( "Content__HomePage"); } } }); } } } The code for the custom theme, with layout and content alternates, can be downloaded from the following link: Orchard.Themes.CustomLayoutMachine.1.0.nupkg Note: this code is going to be used in the Contoso theme that should be available soon from the theme gallery.

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  • Caching items in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    Orchard has its own caching API that while built on top of ASP.NET's caching feature adds a couple of interesting twists. In addition to its usual work, the Orchard cache API must transparently separate the cache entries by tenant but beyond that, it does offer a more modern API. Here's for example how I'm using the API in the new version of my Favicon module: _cacheManager.Get( "Vandelay.Favicon.Url", ctx => { ctx.Monitor(_signals.When("Vandelay.Favicon.Changed")); var faviconSettings = ...; return faviconSettings.FaviconUrl; }); .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } There is no need for any code to test for the existence of the cache entry or to later fill that entry. Seriously, how many times have you written code like this: var faviconUrl = (string)cache["Vandelay.Favicon.Url"]; if (faviconUrl == null) { faviconUrl = ...; cache.Add("Vandelay.Favicon.Url", faviconUrl, ...); } Orchard's cache API takes that control flow and internalizes it into the API so that you never have to write it again. Notice how even casting the object from the cache is no longer necessary as the type can be inferred from the return type of the Lambda. The Lambda itself is of course only hit when the cache entry is not found. In addition to fetching the object we're looking for, it also sets up the dependencies to monitor. You can monitor anything that implements IVolatileToken. Here, we are monitoring a specific signal ("Vandelay.Favicon.Changed") that can be triggered by other parts of the application like so: _signals.Trigger("Vandelay.Favicon.Changed"); In other words, you don't explicitly expire the cache entry. Instead, something happens that triggers the expiration. Other implementations of IVolatileToken include absolute expiration or monitoring of the files under a virtual path, but you can also come up with your own.

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  • Effortlessly resize images in Orchard 1.7

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    I’ve written several times about image resizing in .NET, but never in the context of Orchard. With the imminent release of Orchard 1.7, it’s time to correct this. The new version comes with an extensible media pipeline that enables you to define complex image processing workflows that can automatically resize, change formats or apply watermarks. This is not the subject of this post however. What I want to show here is one of the underlying APIs that enable that feature, and that comes in the form of a new shape. Once you have enabled the media processing feature, a new ResizeMediaUrl shape becomes available from your views. All you have to do is feed it a virtual path and size (and, if you need to override defaults, a few other optional parameters), and it will do all the work for you of creating a unique URL for the resized image, and write that image to disk the first time the shape is rendered: <img src="@Display.ResizeMediaUrl(Path: img, Width: 59)"/> Notice how I only specified a maximum width. The height could of course be specified, but in this case will be automatically determined so that the aspect ratio is preserved. The second time the shape is rendered, the shape will notice that the resized file already exists on disk, and it will serve that directly, so caching is handled automatically and the image can be served almost as fast as the original static one, because it is also a static image. Only the URL generation and checking for the file existence takes time. Here is what the generated thumbnails look like on disk: In the case of those product images, the product page will download 12kB worth of images instead of 1.87MB. The full size images will only be downloaded as needed, if the user clicks on one of the thumbnails to get the full-scale. This is an extremely useful tool to use in your themes to easily render images of the exact right size and thus limit your bandwidth consumption. Mobile users will thank you for that.

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  • Dynamically switching the theme in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    It may sound a little puzzling at first, but in Orchard CMS, more than one theme can be active at any given time. The reason for that is that we have an extensibility point that allows a module (or a theme) to participate in the choice of the theme to use, for each request. The motivation for building the theme engine this way was to enable developers to switch themes based on arbitrary criteria, such as user preferences or the user agent (if you want to serve a mobile theme for phones for example). The choice is made between the active themes, which is why there is a difference between the default theme and the active themes. In order to have a say in the choice of the theme, all you have to do is implement IThemeSelector. That interface is quite simple as it only has one method, GetTheme, that takes the current RequestContext and returns a ThemeSelectorResult or null if the implementation of the interface does not want to participate in the current request (we'll see an example in a moment). ThemeSelectorResult itself is just a ThemeName string property and an integer Priority. We're using a priority so that an arbitrary number of implementations of IThemeSelector can contribute to the choice of a theme. If you look for existing implementations of the interface in Orchard, you'll find four: AdminThemeSelector: selects the TheAdmin theme with a very high priority (100) if the current request is for a page that is part of the admin. Otherwise, null is returned, which enables other implementations to choose the theme. PreviewThemeSelector: selects the preview theme if there is one, with a high priority (90), and null otherwise. This enables administrators to view the site under a different theme while everybody else continues to see the current default theme. SiteThemeSelector: this is the implementation that is doing what you expect most of the time, which is to get the current theme from site settings and set it with a priority of –5. SafeModeThemeSelector: this is the fallback implementation, which should almost never win. It sets the theme as the safe mode theme, which has no style and just uses the default templates for everything. The priority is very low (-100). While this extensibility mechanism is great to have, I wanted to bring that level of choice into the hands of the site administrator rather than just developers. In order to achieve that, I built the Vandelay Theme Picker module. The module provides administration UI to create rules for theme selection. It provides its own extensibility point (the IThemeSelectionRule interface) and one implementation of a rule: UserAgentThemeSelectorRule. This rule gets the current user agent from the context and tries to match it with a regular expression that the administrator can configure in the admin UI. You can for example configure a rule with a regular expression that matches IE6 and serve a different subtheme where the stylesheet has been tweaked for such an antique browser. Another possible configuration is to detect mobile devices from their agent string and serve the mobile theme. All those operations can be done with this module entirely from the admin UI, without writing a line of code. The module also offers the administrator the opportunity to inject a link into the front-end in a specific zone and with a specific position that enables the user to switch to the default theme if he wishes to. This is especially useful for sites that use a mobile theme but still want to allow users to use the full desktop site. While the module is nice and flexible, it may be overkill. On my own personal blog, I have only two active themes: the desktop theme and the mobile theme. I'm fine with going into code to change the criteria on which to switch the theme, so I'm not using my own Theme Picker module. Instead, I made the mobile theme a theme with code (in other words there is a csproj file in the theme). The project includes a single C# file, my MobileThemeSelector for which the code is the following: public class MobileThemeSelector : IThemeSelector { private static readonly Regex _Msie678 = new Regex(@"^Mozilla\/4\.0 \(compatible; MSIE [678]" + @"\.0; Windows NT \d\.\d(.*)\)$", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase); private ThemeSelectorResult _requestCache; private bool _requestCached; public ThemeSelectorResult GetTheme(RequestContext context) { if (_requestCached) return _requestCache; _requestCached = true; var userAgent = context.HttpContext.Request.UserAgent; if (userAgent.IndexOf("phone", StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase) != -1 || _Msie678.IsMatch(userAgent) || userAgent.IndexOf("windows live writer", StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase) != -1) { _requestCache = new ThemeSelectorResult { Priority = 10, ThemeName = "VuLuMobile" }; } return _requestCache; } } .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } The theme selector selects the current theme for Internet Explorer versions 6 to 8, for phones, and for Windows Live Writer (so that the theme that is used when I write posts is as simple as possible). What's interesting here is that it's the theme that selects itself here, based on its own criteria. This should give you a good panorama of what's possible in terms of dynamic theme selection in Orchard. I hope you find some fun uses for it. As usual, I can't wait to see what you're going to come up with…

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  • Storing non-content data in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    A CMS like Orchard is, by definition, designed to store content. What differentiates content from other kinds of data is rather subtle. The way I would describe it is by saying that if you would put each instance of a kind of data on its own web page, if it would make sense to add comments to it, or tags, or ratings, then it is content and you can store it in Orchard using all the convenient composition options that it offers. Otherwise, it probably isn't and you can store it using somewhat simpler means that I will now describe. In one of the modules I wrote, Vandelay.ThemePicker, there is some configuration data for the module. That data is not content by the definition I gave above. Let's look at how this data is stored and queried. The configuration data in question is a set of records, each of which has a number of properties: public class SettingsRecord { public virtual int Id { get; set;} public virtual string RuleType { get; set; } public virtual string Name { get; set; } public virtual string Criterion { get; set; } public virtual string Theme { get; set; } public virtual int Priority { get; set; } public virtual string Zone { get; set; } public virtual string Position { get; set; } } .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } Each property has to be virtual for nHibernate to handle it (it creates derived classed that are instrumented in all kinds of ways). We also have an Id property. The way these records will be stored in the database is described from a migration: public int Create() { SchemaBuilder.CreateTable("SettingsRecord", table => table .Column<int>("Id", column => column.PrimaryKey().Identity()) .Column<string>("RuleType", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) .Column<string>("Name", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) .Column<string>("Criterion", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) .Column<string>("Theme", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) .Column<int>("Priority", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault(10)) .Column<string>("Zone", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) .Column<string>("Position", column => column.NotNull().WithDefault("")) ); return 1; } When we enable the feature, the migration will run, which will create the table in the database. Once we've done that, all we have to do in order to use the data is inject an IRepository<SettingsRecord>, which is what I'm doing from the set of helpers I put under the SettingsService class: private readonly IRepository<SettingsRecord> _repository; private readonly ISignals _signals; private readonly ICacheManager _cacheManager; public SettingsService( IRepository<SettingsRecord> repository, ISignals signals, ICacheManager cacheManager) { _repository = repository; _signals = signals; _cacheManager = cacheManager; } The repository has a Table property, which implements IQueryable<SettingsRecord> (enabling all kind of Linq queries) as well as methods such as Delete and Create. Here's for example how I'm getting all the records in the table: _repository.Table.ToList() And here's how I'm deleting a record: _repository.Delete(_repository.Get(r => r.Id == id)); And here's how I'm creating one: _repository.Create(new SettingsRecord { Name = name, RuleType = ruleType, Criterion = criterion, Theme = theme, Priority = priority, Zone = zone, Position = position }); In summary, you create a record class, a migration, and you're in business and can just manipulate the data through the repository that the framework is exposing. You even get ambient transactions from the work context.

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  • Writing an unthemed view while still using Orchard shapes and helpers

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    This quick tip will show how you can write a custom view for a custom controller action in Orchard that does not use the current theme, but that still retains the ability to use shapes, as well as zones, Script and Style helpers. The controller action, first, needs to opt out of theming: [Themed(false)] public ActionResult Index() {} .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } Then, we still want to use a shape as the view model, because Clay is so awesome: private readonly dynamic _shapeFactory; public MyController(IShapeFactory shapeFactory) { _shapeFactory = shapeFactory; } [Themed(false)] public ActionResult Index() { return View(_shapeFactory.MyShapeName( Foo: 42, Bar: "baz" )); } As you can see, we injected a shape factory, and that enables us to build our shape from our action and inject that into the view as the model. Finally, in the view (that would in Views/MyController/Index.cshtml here), just use helpers as usual. The only gotcha is that you need to use “Layout” in order to declare zones, and that two of those zones, Head and Tail, are mandatory for the top and bottom scripts and stylesheets to be injected properly. Names are important here. @{ Style.Include("somestylesheet.css"); Script.Require("jQuery"); Script.Include("somescript.js"); using(Script.Foot()) { <script type="text/javascript"> $(function () { // Do stuff }) </script> } } <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>My unthemed page</title> @Display(Layout.Head) </head> <body> <h1>My unthemed page</h1> <div>@Model.Foo is the answer.</div> </body> @Display(Layout.Tail) </html> Note that if you define your own zones using @Display(Layout.SomeZone) in your view, you can perfectly well send additional shapes to them from your controller action, if you injected an instance of IWorkContextAccessor: _workContextAccessor.GetContext().Layout .SomeZone.Add(_shapeFactory.SomeOtherShape()); Of course, you’ll need to write a SomeOtherShape.cshtml template for that shape but I think this is pretty neat.

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  • Overriding the Pager rendering in Orchard

    - by Bertrand Le Roy
    The Pager shape that is used in Orchard to render pagination is one of those shapes that are built in code rather than in a Razor template. This can make it a little more confusing to override, but nothing is impossible. If we look at the Pager method in CoreShapes, here is what we see: [Shape] public IHtmlString Pager(dynamic Shape, dynamic Display) { Shape.Metadata.Alternates.Clear(); Shape.Metadata.Type = "Pager_Links"; return Display(Shape); } .csharpcode, .csharpcode pre { font-size: small; color: black; font-family: consolas, "Courier New", courier, monospace; background-color: #ffffff; /*white-space: pre;*/ } .csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; } .csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; } .csharpcode .str { color: #006080; } .csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; } .csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; } .csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; } .csharpcode .html { color: #800000; } .csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; } .csharpcode .alt { background-color: #f4f4f4; width: 100%; margin: 0em; } .csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; } The Shape attribute signals a shape method. All it does is remove all alternates that may exist and replace the type of the shape with “Pager_Links”. In turn, this shape method is rather large and complicated, but it renders as a set of smaller shapes: a List with a “pager” class, and under that Pager_First, Pager_Previous, Pager_Gap, for each page a Pager_Link or a Pager_Current, then Pager_Gap, Pager_Next and Pager_Last. Each of these shapes can be displayed or not depending on the properties of the pager. Each can also be overridden with a Razor template. This can be done by dropping a file into the Views folder of your theme. For example, if you want the current page to appear between square braces, you could drop this Pager-CurrentPage.cshtml into your views folder: <span>[@Model.Value]</span> This overrides the original shape method, which was this: [Shape] public IHtmlString Pager_CurrentPage(HtmlHelper Html, dynamic Display, object Value) { var tagBuilder = new TagBuilder("span"); tagBuilder.InnerHtml = Html.Encode(Value is string ? (string)Value : Display(Value)); return MvcHtmlString.Create(tagBuilder.ToString()); } And here is what it would look like: Now what if we want to completely hide the pager if there is only one page? Well, the easiest way to do that is to override the Pager shape by dropping the following into the Views folder of your theme: @{ if (Model.TotalItemCount > Model.PageSize) { Model.Metadata.Alternates.Clear(); Model.Metadata.Type = "Pager_Links"; @Display(Model) } } And that’s it. The code in this template just adds a check for the number of items to display (in a template, Model is the shape) and only displays the Pager_Links shape if it knows that there’s going to be more than one page.

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  • Fix: Orchard Error ‘The controller for path '/OrchardLocal/' was not found or does not implement IController.

    - by Ken Cox [MVP]
    Suddenly, in a local Orchard 1.6 project, I started getting this error in ShellRoute.cs: The controller for path '/OrchardLocal/' was not found or does not implement IController. Obviously I had changed something, but the error wasn’t helping much.  After losing far too much time, I copied over the original Orchard source code and was back in business. Shortly thereafter, I further flattened my forehead by applying a sudden, solid blow with the lower portion of my palm! You see, in testing the importing of comments via blogML, I had set the added blog as the Orchard site’s Start page. Then, I deleted the blog so I could test another import batch. The upshot was that by deleting the blog, Orchard no longer had a default (home) page at the root of the site. The site’s default content was missing. The fix was to go to the Admin subdirectory (http://localhost:30320/OrchardLocal/admin) . add a new page, and check Set as homepage. Once again, the problem was between the keyboard and the chair. I hope this helps someone else. Ken

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  • Any known orchard cms case studies ?

    - by Georges
    Hi, We're looking into using orchard cms for a project. I know the CMS hasn't been around for a long time, but I was wondering if there were any known high profile and successful case studies using orchard cms or its predecessor Oxite ? Thanks.

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  • Anybody using Orchard CMS?

    - by Clarence Klopfstein
    This question is a bit subjective in nature, but I am unsure if there is a better place to ask this in the family of sites. Is anybody using the new Orchard CMS on a public facing site? For those that don't know, Orchard is basically the replacement for Oxite. It is an ASP.NET MVC based CMS. I've pulled it down and compiled it, but it seems pretty far away from being used on an actual site. If you are using it, would love to know.

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