Some of us have known about this for a while but we’ve been unable to talk about it until now – Microsoft released the following article two days ago: The CustomListView rule in Pre-Upgrade Checker can warn that customized list views that will not be upgraded. Read this article closely because for those of you that hate the List View Web Part as much as I do you’ll be extremely pleased to hear about the future direction of it. Here’s a snippet from that article:

The following will not be upgraded to the new XSLT-based list view:

  • A list view that uses custom Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML)
  • A list view that is not associated with a feature
  • A list view that is associated with a custom feature

A list view that is not upgraded will still render properly in Windows SharePoint Services 4.0. However, it will not inherit any benefits of the new XSLT-based list view, such as SharePoint Designer customization support, conditional formatting, and improved developer experience with XSLT standard-based language support.

The new XSLT-based list view is the default view that will be used in the next version release of Windows SharePoint Services. It will replace the existing list view in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

So there’s a couple of significant things with this article – the first is that we can now officially say that the List View Web Part, as a CAML based web part, is dead in the next version and will be replaced with a much better XSLT-based List View Web Part. The second is that you now have some valuable information to keep in mind when doing custom development – avoid creating custom list views if you plan to upgrade to the next version. To clarify the bullets above – based on my understanding (which could be wrong or could change) if you’ve customized a view via the browser you’re safe – but if you’ve customized the CAML directly using a tool or the API (within a Feature for example) then you will have to manually upgrade those views.