I am not sure if this is going to be changed in the final version of WSS v3, but I definately have to give a pitch for why it should be.
First the issue:
When you create a WSS v3 site it starts it’s life based on the default.master located in the global folder. When you connect to that site and edit the default.master you cause that page to be duplicated and placed in the content database (a-la unghosting). You are now free to customize the default.master at the site level. Great that makes sense to me.
What doesn’t make sense to me is the fact that other pages such as viewlsts.aspx actually use a different master page, application.master. Neither of these pages are copied over at a “per site” basis to the content database, they remain global.
Basically what this means is if I customize a sites default.master, some of the pages will not be affected. The “virtual” references to _layouts/viewlsts.aspx (basetype) for example would not change. If you select a list it would be affected, but now the all lists view.
I cannot see a customer being ok with the fact that I can only customize parts of their site and not others. What reason does that give them to use a customized SharePoint site?
I’m going to post this one in the experience channels as well to see what type of response it gets. I know the guys are wanting to keep the admin pages separate, at the global level I can understand that, at a very advanced level however …
This is going to be a huge painpoint for customization, it’s something we really need to rally together on as a community now to hopefully influence more control over the application pages. Mark my words, as time goes on and more people uncover this it’s going to be a major issue.