Archive for tag: blog4Umbraco

Made it to the weekend

I'm glad it is Friday.  Successfully made it to the weekend again.  Still don't have my new phone though.

On another note, I fixed another couple of issues on the blog.  Basically applied the suggested fixes on the blog 4 Umbraco issues list.  So now posts are correctly ordered on the page (most recent first) and they have the correct post time instead of midnight.  Maybe I'll try to fix a couple more issues this weekend.

Latest comments navigation issue resolved

Fixed another issue on PardonMyReach this morning.  The latest comments navigation on the right was showing an unexpected order for the comments and wasn't getting the latest ones.  It turns out that the XSLT that generates this content had a sort bug in it.  Here's the original code:


If you click on it to make it actually visible, you might spot the bug.  The key for the sort, @created, is actually a datetime, but the sort is treating it as a string and sorting it alphabetically.  Here's my fixed XSLT:


It turns out that each comment also has a sequential id, so I used that for my sort key, marked it as a number, and it works.

Some other possible solutions:

  • Parse the string into substrings (year, month, day, hour, minutes…)and sort appropriately.  I didn't do this because it looks like the string that represents the datetime created is not using fixed-width fields ("9/5/2010 11:35:23 PM" and "10/26/2010 10:08:09 PM" were demonstrate this), so it looked more challenging to do this.
  • Use XSLT 2.0 and specify these values as dates.  I didn't do this because I wasn't able to easily confirm Umbraco support for XSLT 2.0.  (A quick search on the forum indicated that it supports 1.0, but this may have changed.)

Tag issue resolution

imageAs I mentioned back in Tag filtering, anyone? I have solved the issue I found on my blog with posts not being included when using the tag filtered navigation.  Tags were being correctly counted on the navigation (shown right), but if you clicked on one of these links, only some of the appropriate posts would show up.

I should start with a little more background in case you haven't been following PardonMyReach.  I'm using Umbraco 4.5.2 and the blog4Umbraco package.  I had a really easy time getting Umbraco setup and the blog4Umbraco package installed, but there were a number of minor issues that I discovered with my new blog as I started using it, the aforementioned tag filtering issue being one of them.  Most of the time, I use Live Writer to create my posts.  I noticed that the blog posts that I was posting using Live Writer weren't included when I used the tag filtering navigation.

So one workaround (which I later found mentioned on some of the forums) would be to open each post in the Umbraco back office website for my blog and save it, which seemed to correct the issue, or simply to use the back office to create my posts in the first place.  Neither of these options was particularly appealing, so I kept looking into it.

imageIn examining the database where my content is stored, I found a table suspiciously named cmsContentXML.  Each row has two fields, intuitively named nodeId and XML.  In looking at the XML, I noticed a difference in the XML between posts.  Shown right are two such examples.  (Yes, I am lazy and just did a little image capture - someday I'll get around to writing a style for displaying code clearly in the blog.)  You'll notice that the <tags> element is actually empty (at least for all intents and purposes) on the second post.  Sure enough, when I filtered based on the appropriate tag, the second post was omitted.  Ah ha!

So for some reason, the tags weren't getting saved in the content xml in the DB when I posted using Live Writer, but the count of posts by tag were actually correctly displayed.  I also noticed in the DB that there are two other tables, cmsTags and cmsTagRelationship.  cmsTags is a mapping of tag ids to tags.  cmsTagRelationship is a mapping of content nodes to tags.  And this table was correct.  Just to see if this issue was likely an issue with the blog package or Umbraco, I created a new document type with a tag property and tried creating some content with the back office and with Live Writer and found the same result.  So I concluded the issue is actually in Umbraco and not the blog4Umbraco package.  I spent a little time looking through the Umbraco source, but the issue wasn't obvious to me and I wasn't really all that excited about patching the CMS, so I turned my attention to trying to work around the issue in the blog4Umbraco code.  (It's also possible that this is deprecated functionality and the tag relationship should be determined from the tags library instead of the content node, but this seems a little inconsistent with the other properties).

After looking at the code, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to fix up the content node.  So I looked at creating an event handler.  In blog4Umbraco, there are already several defined, so I opened up BlogDateFolder.cs and added an event handler of my own:


(Sorry again about the formatting on this - I guess I'll have to look into displaying code more clearly.  Actually, I tried to post this as code wrapped in a <pre> tag, but it caused an error.  More issues to look at…)

As you can see, I found that the umbraco.editorControls.tags.library.GetTagsFromNodeAsITags() method correctly returns the tags associated with a node.  So I created a BeforePublish event handler and wired it up in the constructor of BlogDateFolder.  The method Document_BeforePublish_Tag does the real work.  In this method, I simply get a list of tags using GetTagsFromNodeAsITags(), create a comma delimited string of tags from this list, and reset the empty tagProperty.Value to the string I create. 

I liked the idea of making this a BeforePublish event handler since it both fixes new posts from here on forward and also allows me to fix the existing posts simply by republishing my content tree.

I could probably clean this up quite a bit.  Firstly, I should probably use a string builder for better performance.  And I could also check to see if the tags need fixing in the first place.  I could also pull this out of blog4Umbraco and create a separate package that would allow a user to configure which ContentTypes to fix (in case they have more than just BlogPost that they care about).