The Challenges of Skinning in CS

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been spending mucho time in the CommunityServer.org forums, getting quite a bit of help on making various skinning modifications on my site.  Much of this has been spurred on by things I’ve seen on the websites of various Telligent members and Community Server MVPs.

With lots of help, plus a judicious dose of trial and error (most error Big Smile), I’ve been able to add some Feedburner enhancements, and make some other cosmetic changes.   There are still a couple of things that I want to accomplish, but I’m going to have to learn a bit more about the underlying code in CS before I can successfully tackle them.   Outside of some rudimentary scripting, I haven’t tried to do anything approaching real development in years!

Love the challenge, though.

The more I play with it, the more I can see that a new skinning mechanism is needed for CS — at least for us average, non-CSS wizard types.  As I mentioned one time on the CS forums, it would be cool if the skinning functionality proposed for version 2.2 of the Community Server platform were similar to the Themes functionality in Microsoft FrontPage, where not only can you easily select a set of themes for your site, but you can easily alter elements as desired, and save them as a whole new theme.

In any event, this is a very extensible platform, and if I were more of a developer, I’d be able to address some of these perceived shortcomings myself.  Alas, my skills lie elsewhere in the computing realm…

I just noticed something:  I wish that Windows Live Writer (of course I’m using it, what did you expect?) would allow you to generate new tags with your posts, as opposed to simply choosing from the existing list.  Best complaint I can come up with for now….  Smile

I’m getting so used to posting pictures with my post, that I’m inclined to post a picture each time I blog — for no apparent reason.   I’ll get over it, I’m sure.

For now, I have a few more site modifications to try out, before I am satisfied with the results.

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