This blog has moved

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Using PageDataSource (was ParentDataSource) with ASP.NET Web Site projects

I got a request today from somebody who was trying to use my ParentDataSource (now called PageDataSource) control in an ASP.NET Web Site project and was running into problems. The bound control kept throwing an InvalidOperationException saying it couldn’t load the type. Turns out the problem is with the difference in the way that pages and assemblies are dynamically compiled and loaded by the BuildManager in web site projects. The fix involves simple adding the dynamic assembly name to the type name so that the BuildManager can locate it correctly when the bound control asks for it:

if (ctl.Parent == null)
{
    // At the top of the control tree and user control was not found, use page base type instead
    this.TypeName = Assembly.CreateQualifiedName(
        this.Page.GetType().Assembly.FullName,
        this.Page.GetType().BaseType.FullName);
    _parentHost = this.Page;
    return;
}

You can download the updated control class file from here.


What have I been up to?

I’ve moved this blog to https://damianedwards.wordpress.com. I won’t be updating this space any longer.
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I haven’t posted here in a long time so I thought I’d do a quick heads up of what I’ve been doing lately:

On top of that I finished up a long term gig I’d been on and took a couple of weeks off to unwind.

What’s on my radar for the coming months?

Phew, that looks like enough! If you want to know what I’m thinking at any given time I can usually be heard chirping over on Twitter.


AccessKeyHighlighter v1.0.1 released

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I’ve released an update to the AccessKeyHighlighter to resolve a couple of issues and add some new features. Check it out on its CodePlex page.


Announcing the AccessKeyHighlighter control for ASP.NET AJAX

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I’ve finally managed to get the first release of my AccessKeyHighlighter control for ASP.NET AJAX published. When the control is placed on a form it highlights the access keys assigned to form fields when the user holds down the access key shortcut key in their browser (Alt for IE & Safari, Shift+Alt for Firefox). You can see a live demo of it in action here.

If you find it useful, be sure to leave me a note on the CodePlex site, and if you find any issues or have any suggestions for improvements or new features, please create a feature request on the Issue Tracker page.


ReMIX08 Australia Welcome to Internet Explorer 8 session content

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Thanks to all those who attended my and Lachlan’s session on IE8 at ReMIX in Sydney and Melbourne. We hope you got something out of it. You can download the deck and demo from the session below.


Suggested improvements for CSS editor in Visual Web Developer and Expression Web

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People who know me will know that I love CSS and that I can often be found with my head deep in a CSS file in Visual Web Developer (the web tools in Visual Studio). Recently I’ve been thinking about how Microsoft could make the support for editing CSS files directly in these tools more conducive to discovering features of CSS you don’t know about, improving productivity through better contextual awareness, and offering insight as to real world issues such as browser compatibilities.

So I’ve put together a series of mock-ups that illustrate some of the ideas I have for improving the support for CSS file editing:

  • Inline RGB colour picker
  • Ability to define colour swatches in XML comments including name, RGB and category
  • Inline colour swatch picker with $ keyboard shortcut that replaces name with hex RGB value on completion
  • Inline named colour picker with preview of named colour in pick list
  • Ability to choose browsers to warn of incompatibilities with when schema checking CSS
  • Green "squigglies" under CSS selectors and properties know to be unsupported or have issues in chosen warning browsers
  • ToolTips for CSS properties showing description and browser compatibility summary with hyperlinks to further information
  • ToolTips for CSS selectors showing description of what elements it will select, browser compatibility summary and specificity score with hyperlinks to further information on each
  • ToolTip preview of url resources (images) showing file size and image dimensions
  • ToolTip preview of font-family showing font source (TrueType, W3C, etc.) and font rendering preview
  • Support for automatic indenting of style declarations based on descendant or child selectors if they appear after each other

Hopefully somebody on the appropriate teams in Microsoft will here me 🙂