Web Controls on dnrTV

One of the projects I’ve been thinking about for a long time is a toolbox of controls that we can reuse. I’ve had a hard time trying to explain what that would look like, but I definitely know it’s the direction that we need to go. Not only will it be good for us, but it could provide a mechanism for sharing code with other states.

A couple of weeks, I decided that it would be easier to explain if I had something tangible to show people. As a first step, I fired up episode #1 of dnrTV. In this episode, Miguel Castro builds a “contact us” web control that can be dropped into any ASP.NET web page where you want a contact us form.

As he went though the process, I’d stop the video to duplicate his steps by writing my own web control. Mine was much simpler in function, it provides a search text field and button, that will interact with our Google search appliance. I learned a lot by watching a couple minutes, then doing whatever he was talking about.

There were two more episodes on dnrTV where Miguel talked about web controls, both of which talk mostly about adding design time features to the control, meaning how the control acts in Visual Studio. These episodes are number 2, and number 31.

The best thing about these three episodes is that they help me think about how we can reuse code from one product to another. I now have a “Google Search Appliance” control that I can show. It takes a little more work initially to write the code with enough flexibility and configurations to be useful in multiple projects. However, done correctly, it will save time in the long run.

I really like the dnrTV videos. In fact, as I think about holding regular developer meetings, I’m thinking we might want to use them as the various topics. We’d watch and discuss the episodes that have topics of interest. Is this a good idea?

The people that do dnrTV, started by doing weekly podcasts at DotNetRocks. These are highly recommended for .NET developers as well.

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