Chapter 3. Controlling Your Development Experience

In This Chapter

  • Showing stuff to the user

  • Getting some input from the user

  • Binding

  • 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.

This is possible because of Web controls. Web controls are controls that ASP.NET renders into client-side markup, like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Well-programmed controls protect the developer from the implementation details but can still do what is needed to be done when the time comes.

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.

Showing Stuff to ...

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