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Q&A About the Community Starter Kit

Thursday, October 7, 2004
Here are some questions I received after last night’s presentation on the Community Starter Kit.

Q: Where does the WYSIWYG editor come from?

A: The WYSIWYG editor is an HTML component (HTC). In the CSK, you can find a file named HtmlTextBox.htc that implements the HTML editor component. The HTC file uses a mixture of HTML, JavaScript, styles, and object tags to implement the editor.

It looks as if Paul Abraham has broken out the HtmlTextBox.htc file from the CSK and repackaged the component into a standalone assembly. I haven’t tried this but it looks interesting. Another editor I've seen in applications is the control from from FreeTextBox.com. There is also an assortment of editors and other controls in the ASP.NET content management control gallery.

Q: Can we port the CSK to Oracle?

A: Backend portability was not in the design goals for the CSK. It is possible, but requires some work. First, there is a total of about 200 stored procedures and user defined functions (UDFs) in the SQL Server database you’ll need to port over to Oracle. Each class representing a content type in the domain model architecture of the CSK will also need to be modified – as they are using the SQL Server specific SQL provider classes of ADO.NET. The good news is, once you get all that done – it’s all downhill!

Q: Why do the ASCX files have no code-behind?

A: Unfortunately, I tried to cover too much in this presentation and didn’t get to address this issue properly. Usually when we build ASCX files, we drop controls in the ASCX and in the code behind the ASCX we tell the controls what to display. The CSK works a little differently. We still put controls into the ASCX but the controls themselves are highly customized and already know what they need to display.

The ASCX files then strictly serve as skins. They are simply there to layout where the controls will appear. There is no logic associated with the ASCX file – no code. Each control is customized to do a specific duty. For example, when you plop a community:Author control on the page, the Author control knows it has to display the author’s name for a piece of content. All of the logic is inside this web control - the skin file determines where the control will display.

Q: Are there any sites supporting fixes and customizations of the CSK?

A:  Three I know of, there could be more…

Stephen Redd’s Site (full of CSK Articles, Mods, and Fixes)
Dave Rank’s Personal Web Site
Matthew Roche’s CSK Resources

Q: What is the ASP.NET vulnerability you were rambling about?

A: This is not related to the CSK – it’s a bug in the ASP.NET runtime and is very serious. You need to view the following Microsoft documents and implement the suggested fix as soon as possible until a patch can be provided.

What You Should Know About a Reported Vulnerability in Microsoft ASP.NET
Programmatically check for canonicalization issues with ASP.NET