I’ve created my share of umbraco packages and thought I’d try to share some tips/insights.
Creating packages is easy, the built-in package creator makes it super simple and with package actions you can perform additional common tasks (like updating the xsltextensions) without having to write a single line of code.
It really takes a minimal effort to package something up that you made, even if it’s very project specific it should be possible to isolate the functionality and package it up.
Dare to share
Even a simple package can be a great help, so don’t hesitate and share
To avoid conflicts and overwriting other existing items when installing a package, make sure you have unique and meaningful names
Starting these with your name or company name followed by a project name should be enough to make them unique
- Stylesheets, Scripts, Document types, Templates, XSLT files, Macros
A unique and meaningful name that links them back to the package, so it easy to see that they are part of a package
FE: not style.css but starrating.css
not list.xslt but bloglistposts.xslt
placing these in a new unique folder inside the /usercontrols folder makes it easy to see that they are part of a package
- Config files
place these in the /config folder (again, with a unique and meaningful name)
Package are really easy to install but in some cases the package installation might fail. So it’s always great to provide some manual installation instructions, just in case.
You might have created a package with a simple site in mind, but don’t forget they can/will also be used on multilingual sites, site running a different database engine. Or in case it’s a datatype, will be used with Canvas, autoform, doc2form. It’s a great plus if this is taken into account.
What doesn’t work
If the package only works with a certain umbraco version and up or if it only works on sql server, don’t forget to mention this to avoid that people install it on non supported installations.
I’ve also added this post to the wiki on our.umbraco.org, if you have anything to add/change (or correct my bad spelling) please do so .