I’m happy to announce that the Beta 3 of the CSS Friendly ASP.NET 2.0 Control Adapters is now available online at http://www.asp.net/cssadapters. For some immediate pleasure, check out some of these qucik, very cool demos:
- Go to the Menu sample. Increase your browser’s font size. In Internet Explorer use View > Text Size > Larger.
- Go to the CreateUserWizard sample. Navigate with accesskeys. If using Windows, press Alt + e to set the focus to the textbox for the Email address. (In Internet Explorer you must also hold down the Shift key to use the accesskey for the password textbox.)
- Try out the redesigned TreeView sample. Expand several nodes in the tree. Select a node to cause the page to post back. Notice that the tree maintains its expansion, visibly marks the selected node and uses its value to change the page’s sample content.
- Play with cascading checkboxes.
- Validate that these pages conform to the XHTML 1.1 Strict standard.
As we were approaching this launch, Russ Helfand at GroovyBits (the creator of the Adapters for us had some interesting comments I’d thought I’d share:
When surfing the web, pause every so often and take note:
1) If you change your browser’s font scaling, what happens? IE6: View > Text Size.
2) Does the page visually suggest any keyboard shortcuts?
The plain truth is that most sites handle font scaling very poorly, if at all. That’s incredible considering that plain old poor eyesight is the most common accessibility limitation for users of the web.
And, of course, keyboard shortcuts on the web are about as common as snowballs on the sun. Yet, for years now, every desktop app UI has included underlined characters to denote its keyboard shortcuts (Alt key + letter/number).
Beta 3 of the kit demonstrates how to overcome both of these important shortcomings.
The whole kit now serves as a sample of designing markup and CSS that scales gracefully. I’m not just talking about scaling simple text. I’m talking about menus and trees and forms that scale properly. I’m talking about web pages that you can truly use, even if your eyesight is weak.
Plus, all forms rendered by the adapters (think: membership controls) now implement a solution for the accesskey issue. It’s simple but incredibly effective… and totally addictive.
There are other things in beta 3 besides accessibility improvements. The TreeView adapter now restores the tree’s expansion state. That’s a huge usability improvement but more importantly it’s our first demonstration of an adapter that leverages the ASP.NET view state framework.
I hope you enjoy the anticipation between now and when you get your first chance to play with beta 3. Trust me: you’re going to have fun with it.
I’m very proud of where this project has gone over the last few months and think you are really going to get a ton of value out of it — let us know what you think and be sure to provide feedback/bugs/questions in the forums.