June 20, 2003
It sucks at first, but pays off later.
Thanks for the sympathetic shoulder Jeffrey, but at the root of this whole dot-conundrum is that I personally don’t have a choice of development platforms. Recess has started and sides have already been picked for this game of kick ball. This is what I’ve got to work with. However, encouraging advice has been sliding through the mail slot even as we speak. Chris Laco writes:
"Here’s what I’ve seen done. It sucks at first, but pays off later. Take each server control, inherit it and override it’s render method(s) to output XML, and add an additional property to specify an XSL/XSLT. That way, the same control always outputs useful, consistent XML, and it can be transformed into Text, HTML3, HTML4, XHTML, PDF, etc. on the fly at the component level or the page level. That doesn’t say much for out of the box usability, but it does provide a great long term solution."
And old friend Tim Au Yeung adds:
"For your application, stick with the Repeater object and create your custom control objects and you should be fine. It’s a bigger hit up front to roll your own controls but once you’ve built up a library, the development goes by pretty quick and it’s nice because you really do get a separation of code from layout, especially if you’re doing it in a code behind fashion. It’s a shame to give up something like the Datatable class purely from a speed of development perspective but after awhile, classes like the Datatable start to feel pretty heavy-weight and straight-jacketing anyways."
I’m not going to pretend that I understood every nuance of that last paragraph, but I get the point and it’s been taken. I seem to have a bit more evangelizing to do around the developer pods. Fortunately, we’re all aiming for the same target. [ Update ] Chris also let me know that he ranted about the innane disconnects between ASP.NET, server controls, and W3C compliant pages in his weblog a few weeks ago. I like it when people tell it like it is.
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