Thursday, July 31, 2008


I have been developing application from .NET framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 - so pretty much from the begining. Nowadays, what really excites me (as far as programming goes) is ASP.NET MVC. The MVC model has been out there for a while in the Java world or Ruby world (with rails). But it is only since .NET Framework 3.5 that Microsoft ASP.NET starts to pick it up.

One thing that I really like about MVC (compared to ASP.NET webform) is the ability to control your HTML directly. This therefore empowers you to create your own Javascript component easier. In a way, it is a bit more manual then webform, but the total control and flexibility really pays off.

AJAX therefore then can become TRUE AJAX, rather than "fake" AJAX like webform's UpdatePanel. Payload is much smaller between client and server - which makes MVC app super fast (if done right, especially with AJAX).

ASP.NET MVC also enables you to have a TDD (test driven development) approach to UI development. Since all "controls" or "pages" are rendered by invoking an "Action" methods - which is just a regular method - there those methods can be called by a Unit Test of your choice and checked.

.NET framework 3.5 allows you to have pretty URL too. Initially baked into MVC assemblies, but in SP1 it will be released as part of the framework itself.

So, how do you code MVC? Is it really any different than C# or VB? Well, here is the thing, MVC is not a language or third party tools. It is more of a UI development framework. So you still use the same language (like C#, VB, etc).

For me, development in MVC pattern have been quite an experience. It really brought back the true power of separation between your model to your view/presenter but in a very powerful manner. Having a strong tight and concise HTML combined with the ability to maximize your Javascript without the use of 3rd party controls really opens tons of possibilities - this is really where you can fully utilize AJAX, in which I choose to use JQuery.

JQuery is a javascript framework. It is really powerful because it has a superb selectors - therefore with concise code, you can really do a lot of stuff that normally will take tons of code. So, what does it look like?

Here is the code to do that (just 1 line):


In JQuery website, you can read about all the APIs and its capabilities. It is quite amazing and opens new possibilities for your UI development.

You can read more about ASP.NET MVC:
Code Plex
An Architectural View of the ASP.NET MVC Framework
ASP.NET page
Scott Gu's Blog


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