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Microsoft .NET ASP.NET suggestions

  1. Catch broken redirect statements

    When programming today it is common to use code like:

    • Response.Redirect("ScottGu.aspx");

    The problem here is that if 'ScottGu.aspx' is moved or deleted, Visual Studio doesn't pick it up. We want it to be strongly typed. A way to achieve this is to use a class name:

    • Response.Redirect(ScottGu); // 'ScottGu' is a class.

    Now, when this file is deleted or renamed, it will generate a compile error (like winforms)

    Note we would also need the following overloads:

    • void Redirect(System.Type RedirectPage);
    • void Redirect(System.Type RedirectPage, string QueryString);
    • void Redirect(string URL);

    Sample usage:

    • Redirect(ScottGu);
    • Redirect(ScottGu, CustomerID=BOLID);
    • Redirect(www.google.com.au);

  2. V2.0: No Tab Control in ASP.NET

    There is no Tab Control in ASP.NET. There are plenty of 3rd party controls but we believe that this important functionality will be built into ASP.NET. We need a tab control like the one used on www.asp.net .

  3. V2.0: No sort order indicator in GridView

    When you enable Column Sorting in a GridView you will automatically have arrows like this:

    Screen Sort Order Good

    Unlike now, which has no indication of which column is sorting and what order it's ordered in.

    Screen Sort Order Bad

  4. V2.0: TreeView Node Editor dialog needs to be resizable

    The TreeView Node Editor dialog needs to be resizable, or at least a bit larger, so you can view the text on the left and the properties on the right without scrolling up and down continually.

    Tree View Node Editor
    Figure: This dialog is far too small, but there is no way to resize it!

  5. V2.0: PlaceHolders will be able to be resized

    ASP.NET ContentPlaceHolders need be able to be able to be resized. Clearly the "Title" and "Description" below are far too big.

    Content Place Holders
    Figure: The "Title" and "Description" ContentPlaceHolders are much too big, but there is no way to resize them.

  6. V2.0: Wizard control default buttons text will be Back and Next

    According to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dnwue/html/ch13h.asp?frame=true , the commands for navigating through a wizard will be "< Back" and "Next >".


    Figure: Wizard Control in ASP .NET 2.0, the button text will be "Next >"


    Figure: Wizard Control in ASP .NET 2.0, the button text will be "< Back"

    Tip: You can change the default buttons text by adding the following text (highlighted) to your <asp:Wizard> tag:

    <asp:Wizard ID="Wizard1" runat="server" ActiveStepIndex="0" FinishPreviousButtonText="< Back"
    StartNextButtonText="Next >" StepNextButtonText="Next >" StepPreviousButtonText="< Back" >

    Read more about this on our Rules to Better Websites .

  7. BLINQ does not work with Timestamp

    The reason that Blinq does not work with Timestamps in ASP.NET 2.0 is because the ASP.NET 2.0 datasource does not support byte array serialization, even though Blinq correctly identifies timestamps as a version field. As a result, the timestamp value is null during post back, and fails the concurrency checking. Ultimately, it throws the following exception:

    The recommended workaround to current users

    • The following code changes will be rquired in YourDatabase.cs, which is located in App_Code folder of the BLINQ generated website:
      [Column(Storage="_SSWTimestamp", DBType="rowversion NOT NULL", IsVersion=true)]
      To
      [Column(Storage="_SSWTimestamp", DBType="rowversion NOT NULL", UpdateCheck=System.Data.DLink.UpdateCheck.Never)]

    The recommended solution to Microsoft

    • Add functionality to asp.net datasource, so that, it supports byte array serialization to recognize timestamp as a version field.

  8. Date/Time Picker Control

    Yep - this would be a great control to include in the box. You can simulate it today using a Calendar control with an PopUpExtender Atlas control - but I agree having one completely integrated one would be best.

    Scott Guthrie, Microsoft

    Please provide us with a Date/Time Picker Control. Rather than having Reporting Services teams find or create their own, they could use this built-in ASP .NET control. An additional benefit is that developers, like us, can have standard controls in their applications.

    Figure: Example of SSW's use of the Date Picker Control

    Tip: I find myself always using RJS - a free one.
    See http://www.ssw.com.au/ssw/Standards/DeveloperGeneral/WebdevelopmentToolsASPNET.aspx#PopupCalendar

    Figure: It would be beneficial to have a built-in Date/Time Picker control like the RJS Popup Calendar

    Moreover, it would be great to have a DateRangePicker control. Instead of picking the start date and end date in two separate controls, we can pick the start date and end date easily in the same control.

    Figure: DateRangePicker

    We also wish to see these types of controls in Microsoft SQL Reporting Services .

  9. Update Schema to Include Intrinsic Client-Side Events for ASP.NET Controls

    ASP.NET Server-side controls which render elements on the client-side will have the same intrinsic events as normal HTML elements.
    Currently there is no intellisense / schema support for these events:

    Figure: No intellisense / schema support for ondblclick event for ASP.NET ListBox control.

    Any ASP.NET control that renders to the client will include the same core events as a normal HTML element, such as this input button:

    Figure: Intelligence / schema support for "Input" html element.

    The schema for ASP.NET controls rendering to the client will include the following, where applicable, as per the W3C-Defined Intrinsic Events :

    onload The onload event occurs when the user agent finishes loading a window or all frames within a FRAMESET. This attribute may be used with BODY and FRAMESET elements.
    onunload The onunload event occurs when the user agent removes a document from a window or frame. This attribute may be used with BODY and FRAMESET elements.
    onclick The onclick event occurs when the pointing device button is clicked over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    ondblclick The ondblclick event occurs when the pointing device button is double clicked over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onmousedown The onmousedown event occurs when the pointing device button is pressed over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onmouseup The onmouseup event occurs when the pointing device button is released over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onmouseover The onmouseover event occurs when the pointing device is moved onto an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onmousemove The onmousemove event occurs when the pointing device is moved while it is over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onmouseout The onmouseout event occurs when the pointing device is moved away from an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onfocus The onfocus event occurs when an element receives focus either by the pointing device or by tabbing navigation. This attribute may be used with the following elements: A, AREA, LABEL, INPUT, SELECT, TEXTAREA, and BUTTON.
    onblur The onblur event occurs when an element loses focus either by the pointing device or by tabbing navigation. It may be used with the same elements as onfocus.
    onkeypress The onkeypress event occurs when a key is pressed and released over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onkeydown The onkeydown event occurs when a key is pressed down over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onkeyup The onkeyup event occurs when a key is released over an element. This attribute may be used with most elements.
    onsubmit The onsubmit event occurs when a form is submitted. It only applies to the FORM element.
    onselect The onselect event occurs when a user selects some text in a text field. This attribute may be used with the INPUT and TEXTAREA elements.
    onchange The onchange event occurs when a control loses the input focus and its value has been modified since gaining focus. This attribute applies to the following elements: INPUT, SELECT, and TEXTAREA.
  10. A top CheckBox to "select all" in web forms

    The header of a checkbox column (e.g. in GridView) will contain a checkbox by default. When this checkbox is checked, all checkboxes below are checked too. This checkbox is more than a check box with all things (e.g. properties, methods and events) applied to a CheckBox control.

    A top checkbox to select all checkboxes
    Figure: A top checkbox to select all checkboxes underneath it in a web form
  11. Add support for pasting in screenshots in OWA

    Outlook supports pasting an image into the content (when we create an email like this one)...... It has for more than 10 years.
    But I am yet to see this in any other application (correct me if I am wrong).
    Eg. The developers of an application I was reviewing recently wanted to improve their feedback form to allow users to include screen captures.

    Q:\ How did they do it?
    A:\ By adding an 'Attachment' button. This allows the user to save the image to their PC, click the 'Attachment' button, then browse to the file they wish to attach.
    This is a pain in the neck for the users.

    I would like both the Windows Forms and Web Forms teams to provide a form (out of the box) that will support pasting in an image from the clipboard...... like you can using Outlook
    PS: Do we need an new XHTML datatype field in SQL Server 2008?

    Add support of pasting screenshots
    Figure: The Attachment button will not be needed.

    Note: We need the same on Windows forms

Microsoft .NET AJAX suggestions

  1. Have a different icon for currently expanded pane in the ASP.NET AJAX toolkit please

    The accordion control in the ASP.NET AJAX toolkit (on CodePlex) You are going to a site outside of SSW needs to indicate visually which Panel is currently expanded. The current version of the accordion control has no distinguishing icon when expanded.

    ASP.NET Ajax - bad example
    Bad example - icons are all the same regardless. The current version of Microsoft Ajax Accodion control doesn't have properties for setting those icons.
    ASP.NET Ajax - recommended example
    Recommended example - Different icon indicates which Panel is currently expanded
        <ajaxToolkit:Accordion 
            ID="MyAccordion" 
            runat="server" 
            SelectedIndex="0" 
            HeaderCssClass="accordionHeader"
            ContentCssClass="accordionContent" 
            FadeTransitions="false" 
            FramesPerSecond="40"
            TransitionDuration="250" 
            ExpandedImage="~/images/collapse_blue.jpg" CollapsedImage="~/images/expand_blue.jpg"        
            AutoSize="None">
    Recommended code example - ExpandedImage and CollapsedImage properties are required. These properties are not available in the Accordion control of the current version of ASP.NET AJAX toolkit.
  2. Add a function to WaterMark to check the value changed by scripts.

    Watermark is an ASP.NET AJAX extender. It can be attached to an input control to get the "watermark" behaviour.
    But this can not handle the value changes made by other conrols, so that the input control's value will be lost when submitting the page.
    A better wartermark entender should check the text every time it changes.

Acknowledgements

Adam Cogan
Peter Ahn