The List Quick Helper Tridion extension gets an update

Back in October of last year I released the List Quick Helper, Tridion 2011 extension, which, in the unlikely case you’ve forgotten, looks like this:

Tridion GUI Extension Helper Item views

The helper loads within the list view of the main Tridion 2011 GUI and shows additional information about the selected item in the list so there is no need to open a new dialog window just to see the schema being used by a Component or the directory name of a Structure Group just to name a couple of examples.

When I released it the first time I considered it to be a beta as it was a little rushed. Today Im happy to announce that the Helper is all grown up now and at version 1.0, boasting a host of new features and improvements.

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Programming with the Extensions Manager

About a week ago I published my Extensions Manager, a Tridion 2011 extension that allows extensions’ creators define customizations for their users in a few lines of code. The customizations are exposed as fields to the users in a graphical interface that is easy to use and also takes care of the persistence of the values the users enter.

In my previous post I focused on the functional side of the Manager, the different features it has and the visual interaction.
In this post I’d like to focus on the programmatic side – how should an extension creator use it.

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Using jQuery for Tridion GUI Extensions

A relatively unknown feature of the Tridion CMS product is the GUI extensibility framework.

This is actually a fantastic feature which allows us to create and supplement the user interface with just about any type of addition we can think of.

It is pretty unknown because of the lack of documentation but with a little bit of investigation work it is possible to find all sorts of treasures we can use to extend the current GUI.

Here’s one example that is already available on the SDLTridionWorld website’s Community eXtensions section: “Republish from publish queue”, this nifty extension gives users the ability to republish items directly from the queue instead of the normal way of locating the item within the folder or structuregroup hierarchy.

The extension framework is quite robust (not without limitations of course) and allows us to add toolbar items, context menu options, tree nodes or simply run scripts that can do just about anything.

In this article I’m focusing on the latter, adding a scripted extension to do different tasks.

If you’ve done any kind of javascript development you know how difficult and complex it can get, that’s where jQuery comes in, jQuery being a javascript library created to ease the development of client side code.

jQuery’s CSS selectors and methods for DOM manipulation are exactly the tools to help us create Tridion GUI extensions quickly and with relative ease.

The way the extension framework is built allows us to create a jQuery extension that can be reused by other extensions.

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Creating a Gravatar client with jQuery and WCF

Introduction

A couple of weeks ago I announced the release of the first .NET implementation of the Gravatar API.

Gravatar.NET is available for download on Codeplex.

What I’d like to show in this article is how to make use of the library using jQuery and WCF to create your own Gravatar client (Ponderi.com style).

This article will demonstrate how to show a user their Gravatar account images, allow the user to activate a different image or delete it.

I will build upon many of the concepts I described in an earlier article I wrote called: “Creating a Webservice Proxy with jQuery”. So if you like, check it out first as I won’t go into the basics in this article.

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