Cascading Style Sheets or CSS and ASP.NET 4 are much better friends now. They play together a lot better than prior versions of ASP.NET did and part of the reason is that Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is now become the standard for formatting HTML output on the web for a lot of reasons. We've kind of relegated html to what it was originally designed to to the Hypertext Markup Language, not formatting language. It was a markup language and so it's job is to basically tell the browser what to put in the browser window or what to render. Cascading Style Sheets is what we're using to tell it how to color it, where exactly to place it and all that. Now this gives us good clean HTML, gives us good clean scripting Object Model to deal with and the Cascading Style Sheets gives us a lot of flexibility for changing the look and feel of our website very easily especially across really large websites. Now in the past, I've already mentioned, ASP.NET has not been a particularly CSS friendly environment. There's been a lot of reasons for this, Microsoft used Auto Generated IDs and this made CSS difficult. I talked about Auto Generated IDs where the ClientID and the ClientIDMode in some other videos in the course. Then Microsoft had this fascination with using tables, that for a lot of their Data Controls, that when it gets rendered back from the server it encloses all the data into tables. And so now our data is encapsulated inside of TRs and TDs and all that sort of thing. Then Microsoft also has automatically in some cases, rendered Inline Style Properties, in other words, they've used Inline CSS if you will and so created issues when we're trying to use external CSS which is more or less the standard now out there for most HTML and web development. Now ASP.NET 4 offers much, much better CSS Support. This is one of the main areas that Microsoft targeted as far as improvements in ASP.NET 4. Now let's talk about some of the improvements here, I'll just pick two or three out. First of all, only input type elements now have the Disabled Attribute. Now this doesn't maybe sound like a big deal but version 3.5 of ASP.NET and before added this little Attribute right here into Tags and it said disabled equal disabled whenever the Enabled Property was set to false. Now a lot of times we'll use the Enable Property to kind of turn a control off or on, if you ever see a control on a web page and it's grayed out, you can see it there but you can't click on it and do anything, it's been disabled or the Enabled Property has been set to false. Microsoft, to deal with this, has used this Disabled Attribute and set it to Disabled. The problem with that is, is it violated HTML 4.01 specs and it created problems in XHTML specs and so this had to change and then ASP.NET 4 now instead of setting the Disabled Attribute equal to Disabled on any element besides Input Type Elements, they now just simply add a Class Attribute and the class is set equal to ASP.NET Disabled. So if you're working in CSS and you want to make a change to things, you can look for the Class ASP.NET Disabled and either do things or avoid those, however you want to do it but now we have a way of identifying these things in CSS very easily. The next improvement is Microsoft's treatment of DIVs for hidden fields. All of their hidden fields for example, their View State information that they were placing or hiding out there on the web page, the hidden Tags were placed just in a standard div Tag. Well this created problems because when we're trying to create CSS rules for div Elements, guess what? We were wasting time and we were getting surprised by these hidden Tags that were out there. So now what they're doing is any div Element that is enclosing hidden fields that are generated by ASP.NET now still generates a div Tag but it generates it with a Class Attribute that says ASP.NET Hidden. So again, we can look for that class in our div Tags and not apply Cascading Style Sheets functionalities to that. Also, you're going to see that the Table Elements not used as often to format output and in a lot of different ways, we've talked about in the course, two or three places, Microsoft renders the Table Element and puts data inside it and so forth. This is just not happening. However one caveat to this, watch for this out there in the real world and on the exam, since these Controls don't render Table Elements anymore, this disables the Auto Format function in your Visual Studio 2010 Designer. So just be aware of that. On some of the controls, you can turn this Table Element creation on and off and if you turn it off, you're going to have problems with the Auto Format function because all of that rendering was based on that data being in a table. Alright. So the bottom line is, ASP.NET is kind of showing where Microsoft's headed here and that is they understand they have to make this thing CSS compliant, CSS happy. They have to conform to the developing web standards out there, whether they're formalized into specifications or not. This is how most developers are developing and they're simply going to have to make sure that they pre, created an environment where developers can use their tools and still build webs the way they need to build them. So anyway, CSS and ASP.NET 4, they've been some improvements, just wanted you to see these and be up to speed going into the exam.
|Course:||Designing and Developing ASP.NET 4 Web Apps (Exam 70-519)|
|Duration:||8.5 hrs / 108 lessons|
|Captions:||Available on CD and Online University|
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