Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some cool things

Within the last week a lot of cool things popped out of nowhere! (well actually they didn't but it makes a better story if I told that it was right?:)

  • Servé's Theme Generator, my mate has been very busy developing a theme generator. Here is a snippet of what it can do :
  • This tool takes an original style sheet from an existing theme.

    It then simplifies colors according to the number of colors you want. Remember that a default style sheet easily has 50 unique colors it in. Try to replace those with you company colors. It takes a while. You can tell this tool to simplify the color scheme to for instance 16 colors. Then you start editing the remaining 16 colors, until you are satisfied.

    The tool also replaces general and header font definitions. Again, there are a lot of font definitions you'll have to replace. And always you will just miss those which are defined in the Core.css. This tool replaces all of them. You can define the general font family, size, color and letter spacing. Also for the header.

    Finally, you can replace all images and define your own header. Very nice feature because by just entering your new theme name, every existing image will be replaces by the same filename with your theme name added. Which makes all of the images unique. If they don't exist they won't show up and you are rid of all the background images and gradient stuff. If you for instance, want a list header gradient, just upload the image, use the original file name added with your theme name, and ready.

  • SharePoint Skinner by Doug W (SharePoint Skinner Tutorial), a bit like Serve's although slightly different is this skinner tool by Doug. The difference is that Servé's generator simplifies the color schemes whereas Doug's gives you an overview of all the color that are being used and showed real-time what the effects are if you change them. I think the combination of both them tools are superb!
  • Listas, a new tool by Microsoft Labs in which you can share a list with friends or colleagues. Here is a snippet of the listas site about what Listas really is..  (what's up with the Vista > Listas connection?!)
  • Listas is a tool for the creation, management and sharing of lists, notes, favorites, and more. It allows you to quickly and easily edit lists, share them with others for reading or wiki-style editing, and discover the public lists of other users.  We encourage you to try using it for meeting notes, bookmarks, shopping lists, to plan a night out, or whatever other creative ways you can think of.

  • PopFly, a tool that I blogged about a couple of months ago but now finally available for the public beta, is PopFly. An online mashup tool by Microsoft.. very cool shit! Check out (another) movie by Mike Gannotti : Video- Creating a Popfly Video Mashup in 4 Minutes or Less on how powerful and easy it is. I see a lot of future in this product if it's made available for offline use as well (SharePoint lists being queried and mashed up in a very sleeky looking building block?)
  • Gatineau, a web-analytics tool by MS. Maybe this is the answer from MS to Google Analytics (which is a very cool analytics tool if I say so myself!). Hopefully this tool is not only made available for web analytics but also for analytics for BI. Maybe as an add-on for Performance Point Server? Check out movie samples at The skinny on Gatineau



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