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Asp.net Summit, ScottGu, UrlRewriting and Control Adapters and more oh my!

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Asp.Net | Posted on 21-09-2006

On Wednesday I left the warm comforts of Hattiesburg, Ms and headed to Redmond, WA for the Asp.Net Microsoft Web Dev Technology Summit.  Upon arrival guess what the weather was?  Rainy.  Guess what today’s weather is?  Rainy.  Guess what tomorrow’s weather is?  Rainy.  Ok, so it is rainy here, you get the idea and needless to say I miss my 90 degree weather and sunshine.  But I am not here to talk about the weather, I’m here to talk about the summit. 

Asp.Net Summit Wednesday

Last night we had a meet and greet at the hotel and I got to meet a lot of the guys attending.   At the meet at greet I got to finally meet Joe Stagner.  It was an earth shattering experience as the clouds parted in Seattle and the sun shown through.  I think I even heard singing as we shook hands.   Ok, so it wasn’t quite like that but it was great to finally meet him.  And of course I couldn’t go without mentioning Drew being here as well (even though I shouldn’t mention him because he has the Ohio State ring tone on his phone).  At the greet I got to talking to Susan and Dan who had a great interest in hosting.  Having years of experience I showered them with thousands and thousands of things they could do better in the hosting space. Hopefully they didn’t hit information overload.  Toward the end of the meet and greet I got to talking to Reg Cheramy.  We decided to go get some wings down the street since both of us enjoyed spicy food.  Reg told the waitress to insult the cook and make them as hot as they could.  She thought we were joking so when the wings came out, they were mildly hot.  The wings were so good in flavor we decided to get another round and we really told her to insult the cook.  She came back and said “Game on!”.  They threw everything they had at us on the second round.    While they were hot, they were not earth shattering, but worthy of a runny noise and eyes nonetheless.

ScottGu in Action

Thursday morning we took the shuttle to the Microsoft Campus where we had breakfast.  After breakfast Scott Guthrie showered the summit with about 2 hours of Asp.Net 2.0 and IIS 7 goodness.  There are a lot of PHP programmers at the summit that were seeing Asp.Net 2.0 for the first time so it was cool to see them going “cool, wow, ahhhhh, hmmm”.  And who better to show them .Net but Scott.  After Scott’s session I was talking to a few of the guys that introduced themselves as PHP developers and asked what they thought about the session.  The common response was they were shocked at what Scott was able to build in just a few hours complete with database updates, Ajax, etc.  A couple of takeaways that should be noted were URL rewriting and Control Adapters (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/67276kc5.aspx) . 

URL Rewriting Example for web.config


<rewrite url=”/products/(.+)” to=”/catalogue.aspx?category=$1? />


In the above example it would turn a URL like this:

http://mysite.com/catalogue.aspx?category=1  (which isn’t the prettiest URL) to….

http://mysite.com/products/refinance  (which is much more user friendly)

The rewriting example Scott showed is done with http://www.urlrewriting.net which is community sponsored and a free download.  But as Scott said, this will be baked into the system later on.

Control Adapters 

Another takeaway of Scott’s session was Control Adapters.  Microsoft got a lot of feedback about controls that send their output such as tables.  For those junkies that want to do extreme compliant HTML but want to still have properties of the object to use control adapter is the answer.   For example the TreeView control renders itself as a table.  While the control is extremely powerful, what if you wanted it to render itself with dvi tags?  Essentially what the control adapter allows you to do is override the output of a control like the TreeView and have it output the HTML as div, ul, and li tags. 

Other Sessions Today

Bill Wilson presented on http://www.codeplex.com which is a web site that Microsoft launched to provide developers familiar with windows software an easy way to build and publish an open source project.  Similar to http://www.sourceforge.net but SF is primiarly Unix driven which if you don’t know Unix, CVS etc you aren’t going to have a clue how to use SF.  CodePlex fills the gap for developers by using Team Foundation Server as the source control system and provides an easy way for developers to host an open source app.  Good stuff.

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