Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dotnetnuke 5.0 skin packaging

Hey, Welcome back!
I'm learning Dotnetnuke 5.0 skinning, and I think I must share some of the beautiful things I like about dotnetnuke 5.0 skinning and packaging.
When I come to know that dotnetnuke 5.0 skinning introduces a new packaging for skin install and that includes xml file with .dnn extension. It contains license, release notes and version text. Another thing was, each file you want to include in package should have an entry in .dnn xml file. So that is really a boaring task. Creating node and adding and tags for each of the package file.
So I thought we can just write a console application that generates the .dnn file for us. And thinking about using System.IO and System.Xml namespaces of .net framework to do so. But you know, I then come across a feature. If you login to host and go to Host > Skin and if you are in edit mode, it will show you an option 'Create Skin package'. That will help you create a skin package for your existing skin.
So here is how I develop a new skin:
  • Create a folder for skin, copy version.txt, releasenotes.txt, license.txt and a single .ascx control with
  • Copy .dnn file from existing skin, and rename it by your skin name.
  • Remove all file entries in the skin section and add your 5 entries.
  • zip and install skin.
  • start developing skin, add images and css.
  • use create package wizard to regenerate the dnn file again with all your files.

Hope this helps

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