ASP.NET Popup Calendar Control on gotdotnet

Ricaute Jimenez Sanchez first uploaded RJS.PopCalendarControl to gotdotnet User Samples in September of 2004. Since then, he has published a new version at least once a week, like clockwork, progressively incorporating more and more user suggestions, bug fixes, and features.  The result is a free, customizable ASP.NET popup calendar control that has attracted nearly 8,500 downloads and many rave reviews. Here's a sampling:

"Awesome!!!. Much better than Microsoft ASP Calendar Control."
"I don't have words to express that is an excellent control to use in web environment."
"A visually appealing control with fantastic functionality."
And my favorite: "Quit complaining about not having the source code. This is one of the best calendar controls on the market today. And it not really on the market, it's FREE! If you want source code then drop several hundred dollars and buy it from someone who is selling it. I've seen listing for calendar controls source code for over (US) $600.00 and up to $2000.00!
I love this control!"

RJS.PopCalendarControl is a "good buy" for ASP.NET developers more reasons than I can shake a stick at. Here are a few selling points:

  • Um, it's FREE.
  • Loads in Visual Studio 2003 (.NET 1.1) or Visual Studio 2005 (.NET 2.0).

  • C#, VB.NET, JS

  • Globalized (left-to-right, right-to-left, etc)

  • Excellent cross-browser support.

  • Calendars can be customized using CSS, have drop shadows, fade effects, multiple sizes, the list goes on and on.
  • Documentation in English y Español.

    • I bet Ricaute would invite you to translate his readme and other docs into other languages. ¿Que piensas, Ricaute? ¿Aceptarías contribuciones de documentación (traducciones) en otras lenguas?

  • And the best thing of all, if you find something broken or there's something you don't like, you can always post a comment for Ricaute and trust that he'll probably roll your suggestion into a future release.

  • Screenshots: English, Spanish-pequeno with hover text, Spanish-large, Arabic (I think)

RJS.PopCalendarControl is the epitome of "feedback-driven development", where one person or a team codes in private (isolated development) and then shares their built binaries with the general public without also sharing their source, at least not all of it. This project was exactly what we had in mind when we we designed the new gotdotnet CodeGallery. We had been hearing from customers that they liked the features and functionality of Workspaces but that its performance and reliability left something to be desired and that the presence of source control tools might (or did) lead other gotdotnet users to think that their project was open or shared source or that by becoming a member of the workspace, that they would be given access to the source.

For more information about the differences between Gotdotnet User Samples, CodeGallery, and Workspaces, see my recent post, gotdotnet CodeGallery has left the station. I'm going to contact Ricaute offline and see if he might be willing to post future versions of his calendar control over in CodeGallery.

What can the gotdotnet team (me, in particular;-) do to clearly, concisely, and unobtrusively differentiate User Samples, CodeGallery, and Workspaces? Are the differences already clear enough? Should we change their names? Should we add more explanatory text to the site or spend a million bucks on Superbowl or World Cup advertising? Something else? I'd love to hear what you think.

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