Sharepoint Meets Web Standards

Cameron Moll posted detailed tips on how to modify a standard Microsof Sharepoint 2007 installation into something with an acceptable output that’s valid XHTML and CSS, and less bloated with a much smaller footprint. In other words, a workaround for making Sharepoint work a little better out of the box.

First of all, it’s a great post, and good to know that it can really be done if clients want both Sharepoint and a web standards-based, accessible website. But, as I was reading through the (myriad of) comments, I realized that most of the exitement was that this could actually, technically be achieved to modify Sharepoint.

I think this is a wrong way to look at the issue. And I wrote this comment:

Thanks a lot for sharing these links. Sure this will come in handy at some point.

I’m a bit worried, though that the general opinion in the comments are “wow, it’s possible to change sharepoint, so it’s a great product after all”.

In my opinion, It’s the defaults that matter. If it doesn’t work out of the box, it doesn’t work. Period. I don’t care if it can be changed, it ships with the wrong defaults.

Projects are often short on time and work, and not all projects have the liberty, time and resources for using week(s) to modify the standard setup.

Microsoft should grow up and change default behaviour. That’s my opinion (slightly exaggerated so that we can have an opinionated discussion about this :)

I like defaults and worry about workarounds. Let’s have better defaults in order to spend less time on workarounds.

Let me wrap this up by saying: Great writeup. Essential links. The best thing that can happen would be that the Sharepoint development team picked this up and made a better out-of-the-box experience in the next version.

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6 Responses to “Sharepoint Meets Web Standards”

  1. Kanwal Says:

    Jesper thank you for linking to SharePoint Buzz. I do hope that you found the page useful

  2. erugalatha Says:

    Hi Jesper,

    I agree … I’m currently fighting with trying to customise the CSS for “My Sites” to make them look the same as the look & feel that I have already applied to the Portal … absolute nightmare!

    We should have to spend hours fighting with something that should be relatively simple to achieve – yet because of bad defaults ootb we waste time that could otherwise be better spent on other parts of a sharepoint rollout.

  3. Enterprise 2.0 – Midori + Sharepoint | Says:

    […] SharePoint meets Web Standards This entry was written by davidcrow, posted on June 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm, filed under Articles, Canada, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and tagged Edmonton, eneterprise2.0, midori, nform, sharepoint, socialpoint. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Anniversaries […]

  4. Canadian User Experience : Enterprise 2.0 – Midori + Sharepoint Says:

    […] SharePoint meets Web Standards Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2008 3:02 PM by davidcrow […]

  5. Tom Says:

    If you are having trouble grasping the power and feature of sharepoint check out Project Manager Reference

    It is a just released book by a guy named Dux. I just bought it and it has cleared up a lot of issues I have had. THis guy knows his stuff. If you get it, post back and let me know if it helped you too.

    Sharepoint was too bloated for me and I had a terrible time with CSS, but he laid it all out for me, so I don’t think i will get fired yet. HAHA

  6. Andreas Warberg Says:

    My company pushed out a sharepoint solution over the summer.
    As a user, I am not impressed for a number of reasons:

    – a typical workflow involves more steps than previously
    – there are few or no keyboard shortcuts
    – there are multiple ways of doing the same thing
    – steps, which should be mandatory (eg. check-out), can be skipped by unknowing users (=> non-intuitive interface, which requires more training)
    – many features require Internet Explorer, which has upset myself and many of my colleagues. The rendered layout changes from browser to browser.
    – it is SLOW requiring 3-6 seconds just to open the front page (in a preloaded browser), depending on time-of-day

    On the positive side we now have a single “repository” for documents rather than having them scattered all over branch office servers. Also, version control is a good idea although it is not nearly as well integrated as eg. Subversion with Tortoisesvn. The search capabilities are not google quality by far, but I am often able to find what I need.

    The sharepoint portal project is still in progress so hopefully some of the issues will be solved. However, as Jesper writes, sharepoint is basically a MS product and most updates/remedies should and will come from Microsoft. Knowing Microsofts strategy of vendor lock-in I doubt a number of the issues will ever be fixed.