Wink Wink Nudge Nudge

Todd Stone nudged me to try Wink, a free demo/tutorial creation tool that allows you to do screen capture and audio capture to produce Flash movies. I finally got around to it just now and tested it by making a quick demo of the mojoPortal personalization features. Click here to watch it.

So far I'm really impressed with Wink, its easy to use. The audio sounds a little broken up but not too bad. I'm using a really good mic and preamp, I think its just the compression that makes it sound a little choppy. I used the web safe color palette to help make the file a little smaller. Wink outputs both the.swf Flash file and a .htm file to host the Flash movie.

I'm definitely going to do more tutorials this way, hopefully I will get better at it as I go. The personalization demo I did today was unscripted and done mainly as a test to get the audio levels right.

Update: I moved the .swf file for this tutorial over to my google pages site to reduce load on the web server hosting this site since the file is almost 6MB. IE doesn't seem to want to play the movie because the html page is not in the same domain as the movie file. This is probably a security feature of IE. If you are having this trouble use this link instead, it goes directly to the .swf file and IE seems willing enough to load it without a page wrapped around it.

Mono Progress!

As you may know if you've been following my posts and the progress of this project the 2.x branch of mojoPortal has not been able to work under Mono and has been waiting for things to progress in the Mono 2.0 ASP.NET stack.

Last night with Mono built from svn r73211, for the first time a few pages in mojoPortal 2.x do work! There are still errors to be fixed but this is the first time I've been able to get any pages to work. This is very encouraging progress, I am very excited because I feel we are getting very close now to having the 2.x version working on Mono.

I will say that I had to comment out the menu binding code to get the site working at all because there is still some work to do to correctly support custom SiteMapProviders in Mono, but I was able to get to the home page and I was able to login.

Big Thanks to Marek Habersack for all the great work he is doing in Mono to help us along!

There is still a tunnel but I can see light at the end of it!


How To Develop a Feature for mojoPortal, Tutorial coming soon.

I've been thinking for a long time that we really need a walk through tutorial showing how to implement a custom feature that plugs into mojoPortal. This will be very helpful in making mojoPortal even more popular among developers.

So I've decided to write a tutorial as I implement the e-commerce feature. I've been taking notes and screen shots as I go and will probably put up a page with the beginnings of this tutorial soon for anyone who wants to follow my progress. The tutorial will evolve along with the feature. Those of you working regularly with the svn code will see my checkins and can follow my progress there too.

I'm implementing the e-commerce feature as an external module outside of the core of mojoPortal. I think this will be the most popular approach for third party developers because with your code separate from the core, you can do svn update on the core without touching your feature. So implementing a complex feature like this and having the code and the tutorial available should get most developers up to speed faster.

I've already stubbed out the needed projects and created the module control that will be the entry point to the store and plug into the content system. Its in svn branches/2.x


I've just released a new set of files version

If you are upgrading from a previous version, this is the last time you will need to run any upgrade scripts for the database. Next time that will happen automatically due to the new schema detection and upgrading system I implemented in this release.

So this time you do have to run the upradefrom2-2-1to2-2-1-5.sql
but next time there will be no need for this.

This will also make it easier for those working from svn branches/2.x as your db schema will also upgrade automatically whenever I check in new upgrade scripts.

If using MS SQL or PostgreSQL you need to also run the stored procedure script (this step also will not be needed going forward)

As always be sure and backup both your site and your db before upgrading and post in the foums if you run into any troubles.

Thanks to all for reporting bugs and making suggestions to help improve mojoPortal.
Thanks especially to Alexander Yushchenko for providing a lot of great QA and code review as well as patches.

Work continues on the Mono front. We are making progress but still have issues to work through. We are getting good help from the Mono Team, especially Marek Habersack. Thanks!

e-commerce and Site Office Features Coming Next

Just a quick post to mention the things I'm working on.

The biggest thing on the agenda is the e-commerce project which has a due date of March 1st.

I'm wrapping up some work on an automated database update system for easy upgrading. I've got the MS SQL version implemented and just need to translate it to the other data layers.

I've also implemented a few core plumbing items of the planned Site Office feature. I hope to ship a little of it also on March 1, but it will be disabled by default until its a little more complete. Those who want to enable it will be able to do so using the Web.config file. The things we have planned for the Site Office Feature are:

Private Message System
External POP Email Access
Personal File Storage
Group and User Calendars

but we will only have a little of that done by March 1

Big Thanks! go out to Alexander Yushchenko and Jesse Englert for all their help testing and reviewing the code from svn.