SharePoint 2007 is a very extensible development platform. Thanks to its flexibility the developers keep coming with new features which extend the user experience. One of the areas where the things are still missing is the Web Content Management: accessibility in particular leaves plenty of challenges to be tackled and features to be added by the accessibility enthusiasts and developers. One of these is the W3C Validator for SharePoint 2007.
How many times did you try to incorporate some extra rules or formatting into Page Layouts? Formatting a date is just one of the many examples solving which can cause you spent many hours trying to using the out-of-the-box available controls. The SharePoint:FieldValue is probably the most commonly used control, especially in Page Layouts where you don't want to use the Edit-in-place experience. Yet this control doesn't have any customization or formatting possibilities. That's why some time ago me and my colleagues at Imtech ICT Business Solutions have thought about creating our version of this control with some more formatting properties. As soon as we have created it, we have started benefiting from it: because we had the code of it, extending it with extra functionality is just a piece of cake. Anyway, let me introduce you the Imtech:PageProperty control.
Testing the editors area in SharePoint 2007 isn't really convenient. Image you would like to check whether the overview Web Part you have made really shows 100 items per page. Copying the items in the Explorer View might be a solution, still it's that handy when it comes to testing various Content Types and Page Layouts. Another scenario you might want to test is scheduling: does my page become available at the given timestamp? Yes, you can test this using the SharePoint 2007 interface, but still I think it can be done much easier.
Last Thursday I gave a presentation about accessibility in SharePoint 2007: the existing challenges and my approach to it. I have been invited by the Dutch Information Worker User Group to share my experience with other Dutch developers. Standing on the other side on such an event was my first time. I have to admit I did find it quite exciting and didn't really know what to expect of it - being a developer it's not really your daily job to speak for a group of over 40 people. For those of you who didn't have the chance to attend my presentation let me give you a brief overview of the contents.
As I have recently mentioned, here at Imtech ICT Business Solutions we are busy with first 100% Webrichtlijnen compliant Internet facing web site based on SharePoint 2007. Earlier this week we have finished the development en begun testing the solution. Yes, we have discovered a few undocumented features which we have immediately resolved. Anyway testing for compliancy with the Dutch government's guidelines was a serious part of this project and it was my job to achieve this goal.