New Token Format for DNN 5

Skinning in DotNetNuke 5 has really gotten a nice revamp. The skin package parser is easier than it’s ever been. Skins are treated as packages now so they can actually be uninstalled. Even the default skin that comes with DNN has changed (as of 4.9) to be an almost pure CSS layout.

Since I’ve been working on the DNN 5 book from Wrox, I’ve spent some time digging into the new features around skinning. Purists will be happy to know that the skinning chapter examples will teach skinning without using a single table. I will be posting over the next few weeks on XHTML and pure CSS layout as this will be covered in the book in the skinning chapter. I’ll also preview the DotNetNuke Skin Widget framework in later posts.

Today’s post (as you’ll see by the title) is about the new token format for DotNetNuke 5. The token format is still supported for legacy skins, but now HTML skinners can use the object HTML element to create tokens and include all of the parameters within the skin instead of using an external XML file.

As a consultant, I’ve helped a handful of design and web development teams establish their procedures and base template files for skinning. During the training, using the XML file to supply parameters for tokens would generally be the point where I would lose HTML developers and designers. Web developers would usually take that as their cue to work in the ASCX files without bothering with an external file to manage how the tokens in their skin should behave.

The old token format would work like the following example:

Token in the skin:

[BREADCRUMB]

Token information in a separate file named Skin.xml:

<Object>
<Token>[BREADCRUMB]</Token>
<Settings>
<Setting>
<Name>Separator</Name>
<Value><![CDATA[&nbsp;&raquo;&nbsp;]]></Value>
</Setting>
<Setting>
<Name>RootLevel</Name>
<Value>0</Value>
</Setting>
</Settings>
</Object>

The new format for using tokens in HTML skins for DotNetNuke 5 is based upon the HTML Object element. The same breadcrumb skinobject listed above can be done without an external skin.xml by embedding all params directly within the skin. Consider the following example:

New Object Skinobject Format

<object id="dnnBreadCrumb" codetype="dotnetnuke/server" codebase="BREADCRUMB" >
<param name="Separator" value="&nbsp;|&nbsp;" />
<param name="RootLevel" value="0" />
</object>

As you can see, the new format moves all of the control to within the skin making the HTML developer’s job much easier.

Happy Nuking,

Ryan Morgan
Arrow Consulting & Design

Arrow Consulting & Design is a consulting firm based in West Palm Beach, Florida specializing in DotNetNuke, ASP.NET, SQL and WPF Development with a portfolio filled with local, national, government and global enterprise clients.

Case Studies: Click Here
Main Corporate Site: www.ArrowDesigns.com
DotNetNuke Community Site: www.ArrowNuke.com
Consulting Inquiries: Click Here
Skin Design/Conversion: Click Here
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~ by dotnetnukeconsulting on October 11, 2008.

One Response to “New Token Format for DNN 5”

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