Branding SharePoint 2010 My Site: Custom Master Page to replace mysite.master

We where creating a custom master page to replace the OOB mysite.master. Our plan was to use one common master for all usage scenarios. Applying our master page we got a server error:

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

in the method:

Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.MySitePublicWebPartPage.OnInit(EventArgs e)

I had no clue what the issue was before i checked the implemntation of the OnInit() method using Reflector.

I turns out that pages inheriting from MySitePublicWebPartPage MUST have the content placeholder "PlaceHolderLeftNavBar" defined - it's hardcoded and NO check on null :-(.

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