While this is nearly a month late in getting posted, the show isn’t any less important. Not by a longshot. In fact, it’s one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done. In this show, we speak with Ralph Williams. If you’ve been around DNN for any length of time, you know that we all know Ralph for one thing… his amazing theming (skinning) work. He’s one of the minds behind the initial Day of DotNetNuke branding, technical presentations on best practices as it relates to DNN theming, theming training at all of the recent DNNCon events, and wrote the theme chapter in the latest DNN book. In this show, we didn’t speak to Ralph about themes at all. We spoke about the MODULE that he built. Not just any module either… a SPA-based, video-centric LMS module!
One of my favorite things about the DNN community is meeting new people and learning about what they’re doing with DNN. I first stumbled across Aaron Lopez a few years ago when he submitted himself for the first DNN Super Fan Contest. Unfortunately, he didn’t win, but his entry was good enough for me to remember who he was. Since then, he has been contributing to the DNN community a lot through twitter. Perhaps other places as well, but that’s where I see him. One day, he announced a new site that their company released and I couldn’t tell it was DNN. I had to learn more. This led to him publishing a blog on the topic and then he and his brother volunteered to come on the show to talk about some of the things they’ve learned with DNN.
We’ve just gotten done with the October episode of DNNHangout – this time featuring longtime DNN community member and skin designer, Tracy Wittenkeller. You may or may not have heard of Tracy, but he’s the man behind the team that brings you T-Worx and DNN Magazine. Chance are that you’ve already used or purchase one of his skins at some point. Tracy walks us through some new and exciting techniques that his company is applying to their new skins to help use contemporary design techniques, while at the same time making the content editing experience accessible to the average content editor. From what we could see, he’s taken this a long way to fill in that gap and by using a lot of existing DNN features!
There are all kinds of ways to make a skin (or design) in DotNetNuke react in a dynamic or personalized fashion, and it can be done in any number of ways. To date, my favorite article on how to do this was written by Vassilis Terzopoulos (@thinkofdesign). As his Hook Your DotNetNuke Skins blog post illustrates, a "user control" style skin allows you to use and reuse the DotNetNuke API in your skin design. This has potentially limitless potential in customizing the user experience from a very high level across your entire site.