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|1/8/2014 10:22 AM|
UPDATE: 16-7-2008 I have updated the control and wrote a new article about it. This new release fixes a few bugs and comes with a better sample web site to try out the control. Check out the new article here.
To show visitors of your site how other visitors feel about the content you're presenting on your site, it's good idea to let your visitors rate your content.
Many web sites take this approach. For example, Amazon uses a 5 star rating approach to rate the articles they're selling. Microsoft's MSDN site uses a nine-bar graph to display the quality of their (technical) articles. My own site uses a five-bar graph to let users rate an article (in the left hand column). Since there are many uses for a rating feature, it makes sense to encapsulate the rating mechanism in a custom ASP.NET Server Control. This article shows you how to build such a control.
Server controls allow a page developer to drag and drop a page together in no to time. Most of these controls come "out of the box" with ASP.NET like the TextBox, the Label, the DataGrid and many other controls. Changing the appearance and behavior of these controls is often as easy as visually setting a few properties in the properties grid for your design application, like Visual Studio .NET or the Web Matrix.. To make this process even easier, many properties can be expanded and collapsed in the property grid. By collapsing a property like the Font style, you end up with a shorter and much cleaner property list, making it easier to locate and change your properties.
Adding these collapsible properties to your own server controls is possible as well. This article will guide you through the process of creating a simple server control that exposes a collapsible property in the property grid of visual designers like Visual Studio.NET or the Web Matrix.
Over the past few weeks, I received numerous e-mails from P2P contributors asking me how I was able to insert information in my signature at the Wrox P2P forum about the music I am listening to when I make the post. Some wondered if I had nothing to do at all, and had all the time in the world to insert this information manually. Others already had the idea I had automated this process and were interested in the technical solution of this, rather useless, feature.
In this article I'll explain where I got the idea for this automated signature, what techniques and concepts were involved, and where I found the information required to build the solution.