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Beginning DotNetNuke® Skinning and Design by Andrew Hay

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Chapter 4. Exploring Skins

From their control of the HTML structures to their ability to select from a series of controls that expose powerful features in DotNetNuke, skin designers, of all the users of DotNetNuke, have the most granular level of control over page layout. After all, the DNN skin determines the entire page layout. Administrators also have a say in the look of a page, because they can elect to enable or disable skin features through the online tools in the system.

This chapter focuses on the core of the book: understanding DotNetNuke skins. It starts with a detailed exploration of skins, panes, and containers. Skin objects and other controls within these files are covered, too.

Editing skin files is a developer-oriented task where text editors are used nearly as often as the web browser. There's a certain balance to strike in your mind between aesthetic interpretation and technical know-how. Therefore, this is a good time to discuss some developer practices that professionals use every day to protect their work and to be as productive as possible with their time.

The task of designing a skin has a fair number of considerations. One is the structure of the HTML output. The layout of the HTML can help or hinder search engine indexes as well as the design agility of the page. Search engines traverse the Document Object Model, or DOM, of web pages. This is the structure that starts with the opening <html> tag and branches out to every tag in the page in a hierarchical format. ...

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