Thursday, May 21, 2009

Looking through the source of SharePoint on SharePoint

Microsoft launched their new SharePoint site a few days ago, and for the first time the SharePoint site is actually hosted on SharePoint (!).  It’s a nice looking site, with a dynamic user interface, courtesy of AJAX and Silverlight.  I decided to take a closer look at the visible source code – that is, the rendered HTML, JS, CSS, and Xap files.

Below are some observations:

  • They’re first loading the OOTB stylesheets, including HTML Editor and core.css (all 4K+ lines of it), completely unmodified, then they override the defaults with additional stylesheets (the MSCOMP_Core.css is another 4K+ lines of css) – seems inefficient?
  • They only load Core.js if authenticated, through a custom server control:
    <!-- RegisterCoreJSIfAuthenticated web server control -->
    <span id="ctl00_RegisterCoreJsIfAuthenticated1"></span>
  • Interestingly MS uses Webtrends
  • They use custom js to get around the name dll:
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/_catalogs/masterpage/remove_name_dll_prompt.js"></script>
  • There’s extensive Control look and feel customization through Control specific CSS
  • A lot of their stylesheets reference slwp_something – SilverLight WebPart perhaps?
  • The viewstate looks pretty nasty but in the end is only 61KB, which I guess is acceptable
  • The page includes the standard minified versions of MicrosoftAjax.js, MicrosoftAjaxWebForms.js, and SilverlightControl.js
  • The on-page Silverlight initialization code is NASTY, not sure if this is standard for Silverlight, or if this is an ugly exception.  Why not use JSON?  Why use encoded javascript?  Here’s a very short random sample – note that they didn’t bother getting rid of spaces (%20) before encoding:
    Best of luck debugging that.
  • There’s a mix of absolute and relative references to the same image library, (but that’s a very picky observation)
  • YSlow result:  D, pinging it on number of HTTP requests, lack of a CDN (why doesn’t MS have a CDN?), Expirations headers, ETags and not minifying JS and CSS, but overall size is not bad for a MOSS page, especially not one this visually engaging – but then it turns out YSlow does not account for loading of Silverlight content – the Xap files for the Top Nav and main control are 240KB and 632KB, respectively:
  • The XAP files also contain some interesting content, like this test image for the header – but they’re not actually using fast for the search…
  • They use an Image Transitioner component from Advaiya (sidenote – pure Silverlight websites are just as annoying as pure Flash websites), who has supported MS on other Silverlight initiatives – wonder if the SL pieces were outsourced to them?

So – all in all a nice looking site, but I have some questions as to the completeness of the project.  Maybe it’s just me, but if I was Tony Tai (MS SharePoint Product Manager), I would spend another week finishing things up a bit…

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  • This caught my attention too. I was impressed... until my browser crashed when I clicked on the "printer friendly" link on the footer.

    I have to admit that I did commit the deadly sin of browsing the site in FireFox.

    Just checked again, and issue seems to have been corrected.

    By Blogger Jesse FitzGibbon, at Friday, May 22, 2009 8:09:00 AM  

  • And guess what.. It failed the W3C Validation with 266 errors. Not even close to validate. That is really not how MS wants to market Sharepoint.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, June 23, 2009 5:24:00 AM  

  • MAPILab Statistics for SharePoint is another analytics solution. It can be useful for SharePoint projects: more than 40 customizable interactive reports about SharePoint internal/external portals, great features like full integration with MOSS/WSS/AD, simple implementation and excellent price.

    By Anonymous Nick Kharchenko, at Monday, July 13, 2009 2:23:00 AM  

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