In This Chapter
Showing stuff to the user
Getting some input from the user
Styling with the best
Making sure the site is accessible
Constructing user controls
Adding custom controls
ASP.NET is a rendering engine. It takes preset batches of functionality and renders it into HTML. For instance, ASP.NET can take a database table and a little bit of layout information and make a nice, dynamic HTML table.
Rendering engines are a good idea in the W world. With a bunch of different implementations and versions, your rendering engine can produce different user markup out of the same effective code base.
ASP.NET does this well. You can tell it to make mobile-device markup and text-only markup and rich Internet Explorer markup from the same ASP.NET file, and it will do an okay job.
Web controls aren't anything special. Basically, they show a pretty text box in the designer pane of Visual Studio, and then emit text — an
<input> tag — when called upon to do so.
ASP.NET has a lot of included controls, many other controls are available from third-party providers, and you can even build your own and base them on existing controls. It's a good system.