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Yesterdays upload of Spark CMS has several new features, although most won't be really useful until other features have been implemented. New functionality include a new method for displaying author/user information and functionality for displaying comments on blog posts. Other than this there are several minor bug fixes and general improvements to the core framework of the CMS.

A big part of the work with implementing commenting (and related author info) has been researching and determining how the markup part of it should be. Although I'm only about 90% satisfied with the end result, I honestly believe I've ended up with a schematically more correct solution than most of the 20+ solutions I looked at. My main concern is that it's built up by a number of nested lists, as such it may be a bit confusing to the novice users. Furthermore in certain configurations the schematics of lists the will be a bit off. Lastly on the big concerns list is how this will "look" to screen readers. This markup does however has its strong points, the biggest (except for the schematic nature of it) might be the possibility to style and tweak how all of this information should be displayed! Hopefully it'll grow on me ;-), or I might even be able to tweak the final results just that little bit that I feel is missing right now...

As for other updates the most exciting one might be the support for grAvatars. AFAIK it's the first official ASP implementation of the service, although nothing about this CMS is currently open to the public ;-). Other than this there's the usual list of bug fixes and minor tweaks to the code;

  • different types of error messages are better separated
  • a bug which inserted specific messages after the <body> tag has been squashed
  • markup (source code) of cached output is beautified (line breaks are re-instated)
  • time adjustments can be made more specific (seconds instead of hours)
  • IP addresses stored for comments instead of users
  • and many other...

As for upcoming features I'm starting the work on commenting and user profile/contact pages as soon as I've posted this entry!

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