The Potential of Control Adapters

By Michael Flanakin @ 4:47 PM :: 2340 Views :: .NET, Development, Patterns & Practices, Microsoft :: Digg it!

I read an article, Extreme ASP.NET Mobile-ready link, in the October edition Mobile-ready link of MSDN magazine Mobile-ready link that talked about control adapters, a new feature in .NET 2.0. I've heard of control adapters and I knew about the browser capabilities, but I never put the two together like this. Actually, I have to admit that I didn't know much at all about the way the stuff worked, I just knew vague tidbits about them. After reading this article, tho, I'm amped! I can't wait to dig into control adapters!

I'm a big (read: very big) fan of applying standards to your development work. Because of this, I try to use XHTML and CSS wherever possible. The problem is that most developers in the .NET world don't care. Rightfully so, developers are more interested in getting features implemented. I completely understand that and can't argue it -- heck, that's what we get paid to do. But, I can't help but get aggravated when I open a .NET project in Firefox, for instance, and it goes haywire. This is probably more common than you think, too. I admit that IE does add some great features; however, standardization shouldn't be an optional thing. If Microsoft believes so heavily in the added features, then push for them in the W3C. Actually, I can't say too many bad things about Microsoft's lack of applying standards because there has been a huge improvement over the last year or two. I am proud to say that, as a company, we are making great strides in the right direction. Believe it or not, everything's not all about the money... but it does put food on our tables. Anyway, back to control adapters...

One great control adapter implementation is the CSS Control Adapters Mobile-ready link, which was recently released. In a nutshell, control adapters allow you to give a control a completely new look and feel. This set of control adapters resolves non-standard coding practices built into the existing set of ASP.NET controls by providing a standards-based implementation. I love it! I still need to play with it, but I'm merely excited to have the capability.