Blog 4 Umbraco Extensions Documentation

Finally, some 8 months after the Blog4Umbraco Extensions library became available, I decided to post it to the package repository on our.umbraco.org and create some actual documentation for it - this is the result...

This document may also be downloaded as a PDF from here.

Introduction

The Refactored Blog4Umbraco Extensions came about because the current version of Blog4Umbraco (currently 2.0.26) had some issues when it came to creating multiple blogs within a single website, and in addition under some circumstances creating a new blog entry would cause a "Yellow Screen of Death" (YSod).

In order to address these shortcomings this package was created, and later extended with other functionality.  The current functionality offered by this package includes:

  • Allowing Comments to be Disabled at the Blog Level
  • Enable setting a Blog-wide Category and having Tags bound to that Category

An additional Datatype called Blog Tags and derived from the built in Tags Datatype is also provided which is the basis upon which the Blog-wide Category is built.

For a more detailed and technical description of the package, the reader is directed to the blog entries found at /blog:

The Future

Work is currently underway to release a version 3 of Blog4Umbraco (B4U) which will address the issues discussed here and add other much needed functionality including Trackbacks and Comment Notifications.

Post-Installation Steps

After installing the package, additional steps are required in order to activate the features.  These involve modifying the Blog-related document types as follows:

Globally Disabling Comments

In order to be able to globally disable comments, edit the Blog Document Type by adding a new property based on the True/False data type as follows:

Blog DisableComments Property 

If the Disable Comments checkbox is checked on a Blog page then the Close comments field will be also become checked when it is saved.

Blog Categories

Updating the Blog Document Type

In order to facilitate Blog Categories, an additional property needs to be added to the Blog Document Type as follows:

BlogCategory 

Coupled with the change to the Blog Post Document type below, this will cause tags added to blog posts to use the category set in this property of the corresponding Blog.

Updating the Blog Post Document Type

Change the Tags property in the Blog Post Document so that it uses the "Blog Tags" type instead of the built-in "Tags" data type:

 blogPost Blog Tags

Enabling Time fields in the Blog Entry Post Date

In the original Blog4Umbraco package, there is no way to enable the Post Date to use time as well as date, which results in all posts being set as being posted at midnight. 

The updated Umlaut.Umb.Blog.dll file included in this package addresses this issue, but you still need to modify the Blog Post document type in order to take advantage of the change.  In order to do so, change the Post Date property type from "Date Picker" to "Date Picker with time":

blogPost PostDate Property 

Other Issues:

Blog for Umbraco generates the following error when attempting to create a new Blog:

Issue # 5612 - http://blog4umbraco.codeplex.com/workitem/5612

Operand type clash: int is incompatible with ntext
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Operand type clash: int is incompatible with ntext

Workaround:

If you encounter this type of error, double-check the Author Picker and make sure that the datatype is set tointinstead ofntext.

4 comments for “Blog 4 Umbraco Extensions Documentation”

  1. Posted Friday, July 01, 2011 at 9:42:18 AM

    There is also a razor based blog called Blogsy thats very nice!

    http://our.umbraco.org/projects/starter-kits/ublogsy

  2. Gravatar of Robert FosterRobert Foster
    Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 4:36:57 PM

    Indeed. I've checked it out, and it has some very nice features. However most of my blog implementations aren't the focus of a website but rather become sub-pages, and I need to do the whole master-page hierarchy thing etc. I haven't yet gone that deep into blogsy to do that as yet.

    Also, there's an upcoming release to Blog4Umbraco that fixes a lot of the current issues and adds some nice new features, and I'll very probably end up writing a suite of MVC-esq templates for that.

  3. Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 12:06:02 PM

    I'm very glad to see that blog4umbraco development is getting some attention with your addition to the team. I will continue to report issues on codeplex although it does feel a bit lonesome there and some of the issues seem to get carried over even though they're quite trivial.
    Looking forward to comment notifications - will these be just for the authors or also for commenters to follow discussions too?
    Can you give us any indication of release date for version 3?

  4. Gravatar of Robert FosterRobert Foster
    Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 1:55:22 AM

    Hi Claire,
    I've noticed the bug reports, unfortunately time is scarce at the moment (I only just noticed your comment - really need to get notifications happening :/ ). Will try to get back on track with it sometime soon once I have cleared off a few projects...

    CodeGecko (a.k.a. Benjamin Howarth) is the one currently driving development on version 3 - I know he's been busy too though, but he's got a test release internally - if you would like to try it out, contact him through the blog4umbraco codeplex project site, or through the our.umbraco website maybe?

Post a comment