Retooling for a Mobile-first Apollo Education Group 2013 CSR Report

Screenshot of csrreport.apollo.edu home page.

My employer, Apollo Education Group, published our 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Annual Report in February of this year. The project, like our 2012 report, was a fantastic team effort and fun project for me personally. From a web development perspective, my team added a lot of tools and techniques to our repertoire during this project, […]

JoshMcCarty.com Redesign for 2014

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013 was to redesign my personal website. It didn’t happen. I think most web developers tend to neglect their personal site a bit because they are always working on other projects. At least that seems to be the consensus with my coworkers. Well, it’s still pretty rough around the […]

My 2011 Year in Review

This is my first “year in review” style blog post. I feel that this year was particularly eventful for me in terms of my web designer/developer career and my personal life, and I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect on those events and capture it here for myself and any interested readers. (more…)

A jQuery UI Theme for SharePoint 2007

I’ve been using jQuery UI in a few recent projects on my department’s SharePoint® site. In order to provide a consistent user experience, I used the excellent ThemeRoller to create a custom theme that matched our branding. We have a custom master page, custom page layouts, and our own color scheme, fonts, etc. so I wasn’t trying to match the OOTB look and feel of SharePoint.

However, it recently occurred to me that although I’ve seen a few articles about people using jQuery UI to enhance SharePoint, they usually go with a pre-built theme that doesn’t quite blend with the rest of SharePoint. With that in mind, I decided to see how closely I could match the default SharePoint look and feel using ThemeRoller. I’m limiting this to just SharePoint 2007 for now, although I may do a follow-up for 2010 if enough people find this useful.

What if I don’t like the default look of SharePoint?

First, let me say that although I don’t think SharePoint looks terrible (although many would disagree with me on that!), it does look pretty dated. However, I would rather have a SharePoint site look consistently dated than have a cool-looking, modern tab widget in the middle of a SharePoint page; it would stick out and break the flow of the page design.

There is an argument to this of course—you might want your widget(s) to stick out so that users are drawn to them and don’t lose track of what they’re doing in a complex web application. I recognize the potential value in that. However, if that were the case for me, I’d still want the theme to blend, but I’d probably do something like reverse the primary and accent colors or find a complementary color scheme to use.

Second, I’m not criticizing anyone’s efforts in using jQuery UI without a custom theme. The functionality is the important thing. In fact, I’d encourage anyone using jQuery UI to get things working first and worry about a custom theme as the last step. The great thing about jQuery UI is that it’s set up to be themed by simply swapping out a CSS file and a few images. You won’t need to make any edits to your HTML or JavaScript/jQuery to use a custom theme at a later date (although if you’ve done some additional customization to jQuery UI, you may need to tweak a few things). (more…)

Organize Series Plugin for WordPress

I just installed the Organize Series plugin for this site. Right out of the box it comes with everything needed to organize related blog posts into a “series” of posts with a specific order. I’ve seen this on a lot of other WordPress sites when people do a series of articles about a specific topic. […]

Create an Organization Chart in MOSS 2007 Using a Contacts List

Org Chart Chrome

Note: This article was originally posted on NothingButSharePoint.com, but some of the code snippets were unescaped when it was published, so I decided to post it on my own blog with the correct code snippets.

I was recently tasked with finding a way to maintain an org chart for my department. If this were a single-use resource that didn’t need to be updated frequently, I would have chosen to create it in a program such as Visio or Adobe Illustrator (even PowerPoint would work well with its SmartArt capabilities). However, this is something we want to be as maintenance-free as possible so we aren’t rebuilding it as people come and go.

The department’s operations team already maintains a list of everyone in the department by using a SharePoint Contacts list, so we can pull data from that and build the org chart dynamically. This method does not require any custom code or web parts, so there’s no need to deploy anything on the server!

Sample Org Chart
This is the org chart that will be generated.

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Glass Theme

I’ve just finished a new theme called “Glass” and activated it on this site. This is my second attempt at a WordPress theme, and I re-used many of the lessons learned from my first WordPress theme. It uses a basic two-column layout with a minimal header and footer. The template is compliant with XHTML 1.0 strict, but I may convert it to HTML 5 in the future. It is also mostly valid CSS 3, although because CSS 3 is not finalized I did have to use some non-valid vendor-specific styles for cross-browser compatibility. Check the XHTML and CSS links in the footer to validate the site with the W3C validation tools.

Glass Theme Screenshot
Screenshot of the Glass Theme

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