Browsing .wsp files using Windows Explorer

How many times did you actually have to rename the .wsp file to .cab in order to browse its contents? SharePoint 2007 allows you to use any extension for the solution files, so you could build all your solutions with the .cab extension to support quick browsing. This has however two downsides.

Don't hide or disable menu items

Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 introduces several new possibilities of controlling how the User Interface (UI) is presented to the users. While the mechanism has definitely been improved since the previous versions, there are a few things which doesn't make working with SharePoint easier to the end users.

SharePoint 12 directory in the places bar

Recently I have noticed that quite often I need to navigate to the 12 folder using the Open/Save file dialog. While I have already created a shortcut to 12 directory on the taskbar, which is sufficient in many cases and provides me quick access to all SharePoint system files, I was still left with the Open/Save file dialog. To get the quick access to the SharePoint system files in the Open/Save file dialog, I have decided to customize the Places bar and replace one of the locations with the 12 directory.

Adding new locations to the Look In dialog

Recently I've been asked by one of our customer whether it would be possible to add a new location to the Look In dialog. In their SharePoint solution they're using a custom Image Library for storing images which are being used across the whole Site Collection. Adding a shortcut to their custom library would definitely simplify their editors work and would improve the editing experience.

Performance of content aggregation queries on multiple lists

Recently I got the task of creating a custom content aggregation Web Part which would roll up content from two lists. As this can be done in many different ways, I've decided to do a little research on which of these methods would perform the best.