Wednesday, June 30, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Three days of Umbraco love with 250 Umbricians in Copenhagen came to a close late Friday afternoon on 25 June 2010.  A collective sigh of disappointment that Codegarden was over and a gasp of excitement about the potential for using all that was learned was felt by the crowd.  While some walked away with fabulous prizes (leather biker vest!) all left with a deeper knowledge of the Umbraco project and the technology underneath and around it.  There was no doubt the community is what makes Umbraco successful and all who came to Codegarden participated in a meaningful way.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Codegarden 2010 consisted of a one-day pre-conference focusing on ASP.NET MVC followed by a day of keynotes and sessions and a final day of open-space discussions.

ASP.NET MVC Bootcamp

We had the pleasure of hosting Simone Chiaretta, Jon Galloway and Steven Sanderson who delivered a two-track ASP.NET MVC bootcamp.  In preparation for the upcoming Umbraco 5 release, which is based on ASP.NET MVC, we offered this pre-conference day free for all attendees.  The response was very good with nearly 200 attendees present for the day.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

This day corresponded with the Scandinavian Midsummer celebration and, in true Umbraco community fashion, the entire group of attendees, speakers, and various hangers-on boarded a pair of canal tour boats for a turn around Copenhagen's canals to view the festivities from the water.  It was difficult to determine if the real spectacle was the groups of Danes gathered around bonfires burning witch effigies or the canal boats full of Umbricians flying the Umbraco Pirate flag.


Day one of Codegarden dawned bright (as expected) as the official conference (er, festival) kicked off with Alexander Kjerulf (aka The Chief Happiness Officer) talking about Happiness at Work.  The site and sound of over 250 attendees greeting each other with an enthusiastic high-five and "You Rock!" was a fitting opening to the enthusiasm of Codegarden.

Umbraco 4.5

As Niels Hartvig presented the Umbraco keynote we released Umbraco 4.5 - an amazing release that is more stable, much more performant, and has more features than any release to date.  The response was, and is, overwhelming and something the entire community can be proud of. 


Not only did we release a new version of Umbraco but we also released a new version of the Umbraco Community site, known as Our 2.0.  Taking community feedback from the past year, we gave the community site some serious attention, and it shows.  More proof that the community is the most important part of Umbraco.

Core Team Developer of the Year

While every member of the Umbraco Core Team is an exceptional developer who gives generously of his time, this year we decided to award the most productive developer (as measured by source-code commits) the title of 'Umbraco Core Team Developer of the Year.'  This year's award goes to Shannon Deminick and it is well deserved.


Most Valuable People

By community vote we awarded five Umbricians the title of MVP.  This year's Umbraco MVPs are:  Dirk De Grave, Lee Kelleher, Warren Buckley, Richard Soeteman and Doug Robar.  Congratulations to these five amazing community members!

Karma Fund

We also announced the creation of the Karma Fund.  In short, this is a 10.000 EUR fund to be awarded to the top five packages, as determined by community awarded Karma points, at next year's Codegarden.  If Umbraco Community recognition was not enough, the 10.000 EUR Karma Fund is our way of giving back to the best CMS community in the world!


Codegarden is not complete without a few rounds of Umbraco Bingo, and this year was no exception.  The fabulous prizes this year ranged from a USB vacuum signed by 'The Umbracos' to a photo-realistic painting of the core team in repose. 

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Demonstrating that we are never ones to take ourselves too seriously the bingo round was briefly interrupted by Niels shouting 'bring in the horns' and the entrance of a brass band which proceeded to march through the conference venue come bingo hall.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

Open Space

This year the second conference day was again given over to the community as the day's agenda was defined by the attendees.  Forming what may well have been one of the largest open-space opening circles ever the agenda quickly filled up.

(all photos courtesy of Doug Robar - thanks Doug!)

There was some incredible output from the open-space day.  Some of our favorites are the Umbraco Core Values and the multi-node picker source

Packages and Skins

The final (official) event of Codegarden is the package and skins contest…always an entertaining exercise in how many things can go wrong in a seven-minute demo.  The package contest winner was Shannon Deminick's multi-node tree picker and the skin contest winner was Warren Buckley's retro theme.


The Best CMS Community in the World

Umbraco Codegarden is truly the community's event and the Umbraco Community again demonstrated why this is the way it should be.  We at Umbraco HQ are honored that such a large, diverse, and generous community has chosen Umbraco and supports the project and the rest of the community with generous contributions of time, effort, money, and humor. 

Can't wait to see you at Umbraco Codegarden 2011 - 15-17 June 2011 in Copenhagen.


Monday, June 21, 2010 by Niels Hartvig


Codegarden 2010 is only a couple of days away and to help you prepare we've put together a list of essential knowledge and survival tips from seasoned CodeGarden veterans. The conference SOLD OUT so we'll be 250 Umbracians together for three awesome and packed days. Here's how you'll survive:

Finding the venue

The venue is called "Kedelhallen" (The kettle hall) and is located on Nyelandsvej 75A, 2000 Frederiksberg. BUT Google Maps got it mapped wrong! Here's the street view of the venue location and the venue has a huge chimney (see the picture above), so you can use that as a landmark.

Be there before 8:45

The Conference starts at 9:00 sharp, but registration opens at 8.00. So help everyone by coming early and make the registration go as smooth as possible. We're 250 people so it may take a little time to get everyone through.

Remember cash

While food, water, coffee, etc is on the house, you might want to buy snacks or something else at the cafe. BUT the Cafe only accepts the Danish credit card "Dankort" or cash. So make sure to bring Danish crowns in cash as most places only accept Danish cash not EUR or USD.


We've done our best to ensure as good network connections as possible and we were going to get extra DSL landlines installed at the venue. But in the middle of it all the telco workers decided to go on strike and we had to improvise by buying ten wireless 3G boxes. We'll see how that goes, but as we've said before - there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get online, so if you need that bring a 3g dongle!

Sun blocker

The venue has a large outside area which traditionally is used for sessions and the weather looks good. So remember to bring sun blocker, sunglasses and a good tan

It's a festival - not a conference; CodeGarden doesn't stop at 4'o clock

There's dinner and social events on both Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday we'll celebrate the Midsummer by touring around the canals of Copenhagen in two charted Canal boats with music and bar and Thursday there's the classic and classy Umbraco Bingo with the Umbracos. So CodeGarden does not end at 4 o'clock.

Bring your laptop

To get the most out of CodeGarden you'll need your laptop ready to run Umbraco and likely be installed with tons of new stuff during the conference. For more details see the prepare for the MVC day post.

CG10 is the official hashtag

If you're adding photos to Flickr or if you tweet about CodeGarden make sure to use the CG10 hashtag (#CG10 on Twitter) so it'll be a part of the backchannel.

Make it yours

CodeGarden is all about participation and you can already start to suggest and vote topics. So if you got anything you'd like to discuss, present or learn make sure to submit a topic today!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Finally. 18 months of hard work is coming to an end as we - the Umbraco Core Team - proudly can announce the release candidate of Umbraco 4.1 - the biggest update to Umbraco. Ever.

With the Release Candidate stamp this means that we're now recommending Umbraco 4.1 for all new projects. So get yourself indulged in all there is to love (and this is just the summary!):

Performance - it's a screamer!

  • Updated XML Schema ensuring higher performance
  • Build in caching of Members and Media when referenced via the umbraco.library methods
  • Completely new Back Office tree with caching and much clever loading of data
  • Heavily reduced http requests when working in the Back Office
  • Heavily reduced SQL queries in Back Office
  • A .NET 4.0 product that works perfectly with Visual Studio 2010
  • Updated DB schema with more constraints and indexes
  • More than a 100 unit tests written to verify API methods and datalayer
Feature packed
  • Enhanced preview. Browse your entire site as it looks in the future, including out-of-the-box support for all XSLT and NodeFactory based macros
  • SpellChecker. With support for more than ten languages out of the box!
  • LINQ 2 Umbraco. More a .NET Developer than an XSLT guru? You'll love accessing data via the all brand new .NET LINQ API
  • Examine. Ultra performant and stable index-based search engine. With a fluent API that developers will love
  • New XML Schema. Not only more performant, but makes it easier to understand your data and adds future support for Intellisense in Visual Studio!
  • Improved DLR support. Faster than ever and with support for Ruby too!
  • New Datatypes: Image Cropper for editor friendly image manipulation and Macro Container for easily handling of feature areas. (Needs to be manually created in the data type section in the RC)
  • Improved Mediapicker: Preview and advanced dialog with upload is now a part of the default MediaPicker (needs to be activated on the datatype in the RC)
  • A ton of other improvements and updates!


Umbraco 4.1RC is a HUGE update to previous versions and while we've done our best for backwards compatibility we do not recommend that you upgrade any production environments until the final release. Especially if you use 3rd party packages.

However, we'd love feedback on experimental upgrades and we've made a WIKI page on Our Umbraco to sum up what's needed to upgrade.

Gotchas and logging bugs

Remember that this is a release candidate and not a release. There will be bugs, however we haven't encountered any showstoppers for long and we're using it for a good range of our own sites! The final release however, is not far away and we're constantly ironing out bugs as they're logged. When logging bugs please take the time to search the issue tracker if the issue have already been logged, that helps the core team big time! Also, before logging a bug you should also consider discussing it in our dedicated 4.1 forum, especially if you're in doubt if it's a core bug.

Final word

Enjoy! And keep an eye on our nightly builds and our @umbracoproject twitter account for latest updates. Be nice to the Core Team - they've worked insanely hard.

Monday, June 14, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

As you probably know the day before CodeGarden kicks off we have a whole day of MVC to prepare people for Umbraco 5 coming early 2011. We've been fortunate enough to get three of the biggest capacities in the ASP.NET MVC sphere to come and talk about many different aspects of MVC, from a beginners MVC bootcamp by Jon Galloway to advanced topics by the Wrox authors Steven Sanderson and Simone Chiaretta.

What do you need to know?

The bootcamp by Jon Galloway is targeted web developers and ASP.NET WebForm people who wants to transition to MVC. So this is MVC from scratch. You don't need to know anything about MVC to join. The advanced sessions by Simone Chiaretta and Steven Sanderson is for those with some MVC knowledge or people interest in some of the specific topics such as MVC Web Security and Behavior Driven Development.

What do you need to bring?

To get the most out of the sessions, we recommend that you bring a laptop with .NET 4.0, MVC 2.0 and either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Web Developer Express (free!) installed.

Most importantly

Apart from bringing your laptop and tools, make sure to bring an open mind too. ASP.NET MVC is a different way to build websites and if you come from a Webforms background you might get frustrated at first. But there's a reason behind the madness of bringing Umbraco to the world of MVC. We simply believe that it's a better way to build websites and it's a perfect fit for Umbraco.

So leave your fear of change at home and indulge yourself with a chance to enhance your skills and prepare for Umbraco 5. Because you're worth it ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.

One of the Codegarden traditions is the offical package contest, which on the last day of the conference wraps everything up with some fast-paced and entertaining presentations from community developers, showing off new packages for Umbraco.

It is the ultimate show-off place for Umbraco companies and developers who wish to show the world what they have created, and get a shot at winning some big prizes. The winner is decided by the audience, so it all comes down to creating the best Umbraco package and presenting it with style and passion.

New this year: skin contest

The package contest has mostly been for developers being able to hack together some code. But this year, there is an option for all web-designers at Codegarden: the Skin contest.

The skin contest is run the exact same way as the package contest, and with the same rules. But instead of a package, you submit a skin into the contest.

A skin for Umbraco is a very basic thing, it consists of a CSS file, some images, and a simple manifest for installation, and should world with the pre-set Runway or blog-package CSS, so if you know your css and your way around Photoshop,

then this contest is for you.

There are the exact same huge prizes for skins as packages, so go on, fire up photoshop right away.

The Rules:

  1. The package / skin must be installable on a clean Umbraco instance, using the standard package installer or the umbraco repository and integrate nicely with the Runway package
  2. You have a maximum of 7 minutes to install, show-off and leave the stage again.
  3. Everyone uses the same laptop on stage, and installs their package live during the show-off
  4. No powerpoints, graphs or other extras, extreme body language is accepted though
  5. Skins can be submitted for either the Runway Package or the Blog Package

Points are rewarded for

Besides the functionality, the show-off is rewarded for:

  1. Clean installation
  2. Consistent UI
  3. Entertainment value
  4. Documentation
  5. Originality

The prizes

Besides the fame and being celebrated by the Umbraco community on the big stage, you will also get your hands on some neato swag.

In the past we've handed out Rockband Instruments, Xbox 360's, Nazbatag rabbits and so much more.


Contest entries are accepted all 3 days, just get a hold of one of the HQ guys and we will get you signed up. The presentation will take place at the end

of day 3 after the open space sessions has ended.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

Here's yet another reason to join Codegarden 10: On the pre-conference day of CodeGarden, Wednesday evening it's Sankt Hans - or midsummer eve - which is an old tradition to celebrate in Denmark.

We want to share this with all the attendees so we've rented two huge canal tour boats that'll take us around Copenhagen to watch the different parties where crazy Danes burn witches on bonfires - that's how civilized we are. However due to recent legislation the witches are rarely alive anymore.


Not only will it be a great way to see the Wonderful city of Copenhagen, we'll also have a great party on the boats with music and a traditional Danish alcohol policy.


Umbracians Douglas Robar, Per Ploug Hansen, Kenneth Solberg, Warren Buckley, Niels Hartvig and Casey Neehouse enjoying a canal boat tour in 2007.

Monday, June 7, 2010 by Niels Hartvig

This is a post in our series of what is going to happen at Codegarden 2010, the umbraco conference.


The Topic

If you're a .Net developer and haven't been living in a cave (without wifi), you've no doubt heard about Windows Azure.  You may have even wondered if Windows Azure and Umbraco could be combined.  The answer is that Windows Azure and Umbraco are a great match.  In this session Dirk Primbs will be discussing how Umbraco runs on Windows Azure, why using Windows Azure with Umbraco makes sense, and showing a live demo of Umbraco on Windows Azure. 

If you want to know more about Windows Azure with Umbraco straight from the official source, don't miss this session.  Feel free to bring your questions, ideas, and mis-conceptions - all are welcome.

The Speaker

Dirk Primbs works as a Developer Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Germany and is part of the partner team that works with Umbraco.  He is a fan of open-source solutions on the Microsoft stack and has a deep technical knowledge of web applications for the Microsoft platform. 

In addition to his expertise with Windows Azure, Dirk is well versed in the Web Platform Installer and other emerging technologies - some too new to disclose.  Dirk will be at Codegarden Thursday and Friday, so if you have specific technical questions he'll be around to help.