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The BlogEngine.NET 1.5 final release is now available for download at CodePlex. Since the RC1 was released a little more than a week ago, we have had some great feedback from the community - most of it positive, but there were also a few hiccups that needed to be fixed. The BlogEngine.NET team worked very hard on those fixes and I believe they were all taken care of properly.

Our main concern was around deployment on different server setups. That was basically why we decided to make the release candidate this time. You could run IIS 7 in Classic or Integrated Pipeline Mode with various restrictions or you could run IIS 6 maybe even more restricted. We got all those issues fixed by the help of the community. Thank you all for that.

New stuff in version 1.5


There are many new features, tweaks and improvements including:

  • Nested comments
  • Superb Windows Live Writer integration (including tags)
  • Latest TinyMCE text editor
  • Mono 2.4 support that just works
  • Doesn't screw with jQuery and Prototype anymore
  • Better database support out of the box
  • Higher performance
  • ...and of course a lot of general improvements, tweaks and bug fixes


All in all a very stable, high performing and versatile product.

Getting started


If you’re new to BlogEngine.NET or interested in upgrading then take a look at Al Nyveldt’s screencast that shows you how easy it is.

Performance tweak


If you are using IIS 7 and want to squeeze every little inch of performance out of your BlogEngine.NET 1.5 installation, then you need to tweak the web.config a bit. In the bottom you’ll notice some elements (staticContent and httpProtocol) that are commented out. The reason for this is that some hosting providers don’t allow them, so that’s why they are commented out by default. If you enable them you will get an YSlow score of 92.

BlogEngine.NEXT


The future of BlogEngine.NET looks bright and we have a lot of ideas we want to implement. At this point we haven’t updated our roadmap, but we will soon so you can see the good stuff we are planning for.

Another point is that version 1.5 will probably be the last release supporting IIS 6 and .NET 2.0. We are not all clear on that, but personally I would like to only focus on IIS 7 and the upcoming IIS 7.5 because that will give us extra possibilities like extension-less URLs even on hosted environments.

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Yesterday evening, the BlogEngine.NET team released a release candidate of BlogEngine.NET 1.5. It is available for download at CodePlex.

It is the first time we have made a release candidate, so I hope as many as possible will play around with the bits and report any bugs or issues back to us. It has been tested by all the team members and no breaking bugs where found. However, there is always an edge case scenario or server setup you can't account for.

Try it out now!

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Some exiting things have been going on with BlogEngine.NET lately.

Theme-pack

13 new and very slick looking themes have been cleaned up, bundled and released on CodePlex. Since we decided not to include more than a couple of themes with BlogEngine.NET 1.4 we knew a theme-pack was necessary. Thanks to Janko for gathering the themes and cleaning them up. Download the theme-pack.

.NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008

The current version 1.4.5 is the last official version on .NET 2.0 and in Visual Studio 2005. Right now the team is already working in Visual Studio 2008 and will upgrade to .NET 3.5 during Christmas. A lot of people asked for this, so now we are giving it to you.

Windows Live Writer 2009

Al Nyveldt has been in contact with the Windows Live Writer team to ensure that the BlogEngine.NET will support the new features of WLW 2009 and vica versa. Only BlogEngine.NET and Wordpress has been given special attention by the WLW team which we are very proud about. Read more on Al’s blog.

TinyMCE upgrade

For those of us who don’t use Windows Live Writer, but prefer the online HTML editor, there is good news. We are upgrading the TinyMCE implementation to the newest version and it should work much smoother. It’s not only prettier, it’s also better. Hopefully, this will happen over Christmas as well.

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It’s about 1½ year since BlogEngine.NET saw the light of day, and one person has been on the team almost from the very beginning. Of course, I’m talking about Al Nyveldt. We’ve been planning, designing and developing BlogEngine.NET all this time, but never actually met since I live in Denmark in him in Pennsylvania.

Well, now it’s about to change because I leave for New York City in a few hours and Al has agreed to meet up with me there. If you want to have a talk about the past, present and future of BlogEngine.NET, then meet us at noon in the Hilton hotel near Central Park – it’s this Friday, October 3rd.

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The hCard microformat is used to make contact information machine readable. In BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 this is being supported in the post comments. However, if you are writing your own custom theme, you need to add a little bit of code to your CommentView.ascx theme file.

The themes bundled in BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 already have these small pieces of code embedded, so let’s take a look at the Standard theme’s CommentView.ascx file.

The containing <div> now have two classes: vcard and comment. The vcard class is new and is the one that triggers the hCard microformat. It looks like this:

<div id="id_<%=Comment.Id %>" class="vcard comment...

If the vcard class is added, machines will expect to find an hCard microformat within that <div>, but we need to add one more class to make it a valid hCard – the fn class name.

In the Standard theme’s CommentView.ascx file you can see where the name of the comment author is written. If it author supplied her website URL an hyperlink is created, otherwise a span tag. The hyperlink has a class attribute with two class names: fn and url. This tells the hCard crawlers that this is both the full name and the URL of the contact. In the span, only the fn class name is needed.

So, if you want to support microformats in your custom themes; take a look at the Standard theme’s CommentView.ascx file and make the appropriate modifications. BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5 already adds the appropriate classes to the avatar image and country flag, so you don’t have to do anything there.