TRex Logo Ideas

Been having fun with the new SDL Tridion Stack Exchange (currently private) beta site.

The site has a Meta site where we can ask, answer, and discuss things like what's in scope for the Q&A answer and what our logo should be.
I played with Paint.Net and made a few variations on a Jurassic Park + Tridion logo concept from Rob Stevenson-Leggett.

Get it? TR + ex?

Don't Let a Format Dictate Your Content Model

In the SDL Tridion workshops I've given, developers sometimes ask fairly technical questions on everything from publishing to rendering to architecture. I understand it's hard to grasp a content management system in a few sessions. And maybe I get the questions because I offer answers ("I'm just functional" doesn't seem to work anymore)?

At the 2012 MVP Summit, Nuno Linhares pointed out the related technologies on StackOverflow's #tridion tag. The snap shot to the right is already outdated by the time you read this and it doesn't even include concepts and "basic" Tridion terms nor the architecture options. Bart Koopman points out these questions reflect complexity of the product (though not necessarily its difficulty).

Navigation for One Structure Group

"Find a CMS that won't take over our ASP.NET sites." This was one of the major research and writing prompts I had in my research associate / corporate ninja days.

I'd eventually like to get a sample going, but want to point out that SDL Tridion does not have to take over everything or anything you don't want it to. So although you may have seen or written site Navigation logic that generates an XML or .sitemap file for an entire Tridion website, not all customers want or need SDL Tridion to manage all pages.

This MSDN article describes how to configure multiple Site Maps. The useful part for SDL Tridion implementations is:
<siteMapNode siteMapFile="MySiteMap.sitemap"/>
You can use nested site map nodes, which means if you're using this XML file for navigaiton, Tridion doesn't have to take over your whole site or whole navigation. You can start one Structure Group at a time.

Mind-Shifting Tridionauts

Once in awhile you get the opportunity to spend time with people that shift your perspective.
I got the opportunity to meet several mind-shifting Tridionauts while delivering training in the office last week. We reviewed the difference between SDL Tridion 2011 and past versions before their BA certification exams. In a future post, I'll tell you how to pass the SDL Tridion Business Analysis Exam. ;-)
I helped consultants with much more experience than me, got a refresher lesson from a colleague, and reminisced about my own TridionWorld schooling.

SDL Tridion and Alt Text. You're probably wrong, but still doing it right.

Alt text is fairly important to companies concerned about accessibility and Web standards. In the United States, companies that provide services for the federal government must comply with Section 508 laws, which are roughly equivalent to the W3C's Web Accessibility Content Guidelines 1.0's Priority 1 items.

The half-dozen customers I worked with last year were all interested in alt text, and most seemed to understand it. Only a few called it an "alt tag" (it's really an attribute).

Common Practice (it's "wrong")

However, I often see this setup and by itself, it's "wrong."

Adding an alt text to Multimedia components seems to be correct, right?

The correct place for alt text is in the context an image is used. So the SDL Tridion (or any CMS) "best practice" should be to set alternative text from the linking component or rich text format area.

Where Do We Place SDL Tridion Keywords?

"You can't stay here. You belong to someone else," Categories told Keywords.
SDL Tridion Categories allow you the ability to create re-usable lists for Content Management System (CMS) fields as well as classify content for search in the CMS and querying in content delivery. In terms of BluePrinting, it should be clear we need Categories in our Schemas publications, if not higher, otherwise we can't use them in schema field definitions.

But what about Keywords?

  • Non-changing, developer-controlled keywords should go in the same publication as their Category (typically a Schemas publication).
  • Author-controlled keywords should go in your Content publications.
So although the BluePrint diagram may describe a publication level with "Categories and Keywords," not all keywords need to go there. It depends on who the keywords belong to.

Tic Tac Tridion

At last year's SDL Tridion California User Event at Ditafest, I presented on a seemingly random assortment of topics. One of them was Tic Tac Tridion, basically a content modeling exercise.

How would you do this in Tridion?

Tic Tac Toe, Naughts and Crosses, or X's and O's with... Tridion?

Before you say "multimedia component via WebDAV," let's confirm what I mean by "this?"


I'm definitely not the fastest, brightest, or smartest, but sometimes I manage to surprise colleagues with clever tricks and things I've picked up from experience as a knowledge worker.

I have a bad habit of generating huge amounts of documentation. It seeps into emails and pours out onto this blog. Next one-on-one or interview I'll give "writes lots" as my best and worst trait, my goal might be to, "spend more time writing less."

So these two methods seem to get the occasional, "how'd you do that so fast?"

Alvin.getUrlByTopic(string anythingYouWant)

Alvin.generateWords(double weightInKilos)


In a past career path, after serving nine months as a Web development intern back in 2005, I was brought on and promoted to a Corporate Ninja in a mid-sized, corporate environment. Well, I was really an "Internet Research Associate."

Typical tasks included: