Visual Studio 2008 Review
I know it’s a bit late, but as promised here’s a review of Visual Studio 2008. I’ve had it for a while now, but I wanted to wait until I’d worked on a few projects with it before I offered my opinion.
Overall, it’s a solid improvement over 2005. The guys at Microsoft have made some good changes that actually improved the development experience rather than just adding a bunch of fluff.
Microsoft is finally adapting
Let me start of by saying that I’m a proponent of a lot of the development tools that Microsoft makes. Some might go so far as calling me a Microsoft fanboy in some cases. However, my feelings toward Microsoft technology is far from blind about it’s shortcomings. I’ve spent hours getting my CSS layouts to […]
Creating a Tactile Interface
As AJAX has come into the spotlight over the past few years, many web developers have been creating some great applications that handle data more like a desktop application. However, much of the interface mechanisms from the desktop have not been brought to the web. Here are a few techniques to make your web application feel a bit more like a desktop application.
What to Expect With SilverLight 1.1 Alpha
Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has been making a lot of announcements about SilverLight (formerly WPF/E). At NAB, they showcased some of its video abilities and at MIX, they announced that it would have CLR support within browsers. After talking to some of the people that developed SilverLight at MIX and working with the beta and alpha tools over the past week, I’ve come to a few conclusions about SilverLight.
ASP.NET and CSS with Expression Web
Recently, Microsoft came out with a new tool for HTML and CSS called Expression Web. Microsoft hasn’t exactly had a good track record with web design; in fact I have had a few projects focused solely on fixing sites made with FrontPage. Since I do a lot of work with ASP.NET and most of my own design work, I put aside my fears and gave it a try.
I used it for a few basic projects and was initially not very impressed. For the most part it felt like a less refined version of Dreamweaver. The However, when I started poking around a bit I found that it was pretty good.
Markup Separation with Template IT
One of the more challenging things I’ve run into while doing PHP development is effectively separating presentation from program logic. In many projects, I felt I was doing a great job until I had to do a markup change and jump through a lot hurdles to make it happen. In my recent projects, I’ve starting using the HTML Template IT extension in PEAR, and its made things a lot easier.
The HTML Template IT extension provides a solid template system that allows complete separation of code and presentation. Rather than placing markup in your PHP files, the markup is contained within separate template files. Within the markup of these templates are variables that can be replaced by dynamic data when the template is parsed.
Better Markup with Control Adapters
Of all the prominent server-side languages, ASP.NET definitely has the worst reputation amongst designers. Many of the controls in ASP.NET rely on table structures, inline styles and various other things that make a web designer’s life difficult. In an effort to alleviate this in ASP.NET 2.0, Microsoft introduced a new theme system. Unfortunately, the only thing you could really do with these themes was change the class names assigned to the table structures.
Fortunately, ASP.NET does have a great feature called control adapters that allows developers to have more control over the markup generated by the controls. In fact, a few months ago Microsoft released an entire set of pre-built CSS friendly control adapters. These pre-built adapters are a great way to cleanup the markup of many of the ASP.NET server controls, but they may not be exactly what you’re looking for. This post will shed some light on the process of building your own control adapters.
A Simple Introduction
My name is Ian Muir, and I’m a new blogger here at SitePoint, so I thought I’d take a minute to introduce myself and let you all know what to expect. During the day, I’m a mild-mannered web applications developer for a news clipping service. At night, I do a variety of freelance projects and direct client work. My development work is generally in ASP.NET or PHP with frequent forays into ColdFusion. I also consider myself somewhat of a standards evangelist.