I’ve spent some time over the last couple of months working with Chameleon, the new theming engine introduced in Community Server 2007. I was highly confused at first, even after reading Ben’s great blog series, Introduction to Chameleon. However, after digging in and working with it the info from the introduction started making sense. I started seeing examples in the code that reminded me of the things I had previously read.
By now many of you CS Community members are starting to get your hands dirty working with Chameleon, too. I’m sure you’re probably feeling like I did when I first started. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of the Chameleon documentation. It will help a ton.
The going is slow, but eventually you’ll get that breakthrough moment. Below is a copy of an email that I sent off to Ben after obtaining that level of zen:
I just wanted to take a second to let you know that Chameleon is badass! I was a bit worried at first because it was so different, but after having a chance to work with it for a while, I am convinced.
I was trying to add the thread author under the subject name like you see here:
I first started by adding a ThreadData control, and I could get it to show the thread author’s name, but not link to the user’s profile. MostRecentPostAuthor is one of the items in the enumeration for the ThreadLinkTo, but the thread author is not.
So I thought, “What the hell, this Chameleon thing is supposed to be context aware. I’ll drop a CS UserData control in there and see if it just works”. Guess what, I’m sure it is no surprise to you, it did just work! The auto databinding and context awareness is freakin’ awesome!
Hugs and Kisses,
I don’t usually sign my posts to the CS team members with “Hugs and Kisses”, but that time I felt compelled to.
I recently started on a journey that will grow my knowledge of Chameleon hundred-fold. I’m not sure what I can tell you about it at this point, but when the time comes I will sing it from the mountaintops. I will highly recommend that anyone who works with, customizes, or even just plays with Community Server join me on that journey. Chameleon is truly amazing - the deeper I get the more I realize how amazing it is.