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Introduction

For those of you not familiar with the jQuery Featured Content Slider skin for the Aggregator module, it's a new skin that is included with Aggregator 6.0+ and converts either tabs you create or an RSS feed into a very nice content slider. I created the content slider template after I saw a similarly named tutorial. It's probably easiest to view the demo before going further. When you're done taking a look at the various elements that make up the slider, come back to the article.

In this article I'm going to show you how to properly set up an RSS feed to drive the content.

Content Slider Elements

Each frame of the slider contains common elements that are provided through the rss feed. Here is an image that shows the elements of a pane with their corresponding rss elements.



Caption is pretty self explanatory. This is just the title of your rss feed, which in turn is turned into the caption.

When the caption appears in the bottom section, it is used as a link to the actual rss article. You can't see it in this image because the link has no decoration but it's easy to see if you view the demo.

If you specify a summary in your RSS feed, then that will be used for the text body but if you leave that out it will use the rss item body. Using a summary each time is the best way to keep the text to a manageable size for the bottom body section.

RSS Setup

The biggest hurdle in setting this up correctly is providing the proper image size (400x250) and making sure the image is included as an attachment to the rss item, not embedded in the body of the rss item itself. In the Ventrian News Articles module (which I use and highly recommend) setting all this up is relatively simple. In the News Articles Admin Options, set the Syndication Enclosure Type to 'image'. The Ventrian News Articles module that I set up to run the jQuery Featured Content Slider is located here. In my case I am using this article module to run a number of different demos on DNNStuff, so for the featured content slider I have set up a category especially for that and limited the rss feed to the first 4 items because that is the limit of what the content slider will display. The url for the actual rss feed is, http://www.dnnstuff.com/DesktopModules/DnnForge%20-%20NewsArticles/Rss.aspx?TabID=390&ModuleID=1215&MaxCount=4&CategoryId=29. If you view this rss feed in your browser you should see the elements that make up the feed with the images as enclosures. There is nothing stopping you from using a different rss feed source to drive this, just make sure it creates the proper enclosures.

Try it yourself

If you want to try this yourself with my feed, please go ahead. You can either use either the registered or trial version of Aggregator for this. Just add a new Aggregator to the page, enter the above rss feed url into the rss section in Aggregator settings, and then change the style of the Aggregator to the jQueryUI/Featured Content Slider selection and save. By default, the content slider doesn't rotate but you can easily set that in the skin settings tab in Aggregator settings.

What would you like to see?

The jQuery Featured Content Slider is just a sample of what can be done with the template engine integrated into Aggregator. I created the RSS feed feature for the City of East Lansing so they could implement a similar content slider on their home page. The entire 'News' and 'Around Town' module is created using the Aggregator module.

So what other demos, tabs or content templates would you like to see? Have you seen something 'out in the wild' that you'd like to see demonstrated in Aggregator? Send me an email at support@dnnstuff.com or post your comments below.




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Comments

Mark ODonnell
# Mark ODonnell
Friday, April 23, 2010 2:42 PM
Is Ventrian the only RSS feed you tested? Will this work with DNN Blog without changes?
Richard Edwards
# Richard Edwards
Friday, April 23, 2010 3:04 PM
Yes, Ventrian is the only one so far. I haven't tested with DNN Blog yet.
Richard Edwards
# Richard Edwards
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:00 AM
I just tested with the new DNN Blog v4.0 and it doesn't look like it will support image attachments so it will not work for this particular skin. You can however manually add tabs, and fill in the image urls at the tab level in the custom properties.
tourproject
# tourproject
Thursday, July 15, 2010 5:19 AM
I remember this slider and i think i have discussed it at somewhere @ ventrian forums

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