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WebControls Beta version 0.5 Comparison Introduction

by Minh Truong

In March of of this year, the Microsoft WebControls team released the ASP.NET WebControls Beta version 0.5.  The WebControls package included the TreeView, ToolBar, TabStrip, and MultiPage controls. This wasn't the first time a TreeView, ToolBar, nor Tabs control was seen on a web page, but there's something exciting about putting a TreeView control into your ASPX page with a simple <mswc:TreeView ...> ... </mswc:TreeView> syntax.

These controls are attempting to duplicate the rich functionality of the desktop controls we all are used to.  One of the difficulties that these WebControls face is the diversity of browsers out there today. The WebControls seek to overcome this partiular challenge by targeting their content to just two types of browsers.

This early version of the WebControls recognizes the "uplevel" browsers and the "downlevel" browsers.  At this time, "uplevel" is defined as MS Internet Explorer 5.5 and above, and "downlevel" is defined as everything else.  These server-side controls would detect the browser type and send back IE 5.5-specific DHTML or HTML 3.2 accordingly.

This article will show you how IE 5.5 renders these controls as an "uplevel" browser as well as how the different "downlevel" browsers render the HTML 3.2.  And they all do it differently.  Screen activity recordings of some of the included examples also show you how the pages act.

Let's see those WebControls

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