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About the ASP+ Final Release
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About the ASP+ Final Release

Obviously, the preview version of ASP+ and the runtime framework that we are using is not absolutely complete. However, it is classed as being 'feature complete', which means that only minor changes and additions are expected between now and the final release. In this last section, we'll examine some of the things that you can expect to see in the final release that are not available, or that aren't yet working properly.

Multiple Windows Platform Support

The final version of the NGWS framework and ASP+ is aimed at all of the current and recent Windows platforms, including Windows 2000, Windows NT4, Windows 95 and Windows 98. The preview release, however, is only designed for use on Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional. The versions for Windows 95 and Windows 98 will be limited-functionality 'personal' versions, but will allow these operating systems to provide a local source for the execution of ASP+ pages. This will be useful for building applications designed for running locally.

 

XHTML Compliance

At the moment, the output generated by the server-side ASP+ controls is basic HTML 3.2, and is not XHTML compliant. Good coding practice suggests that all Web pages should be compliant with the new XHTML recommendations from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), so as to allow them to be manipulated if required by an XML parser or other application that expects content to be well-formed in XML terms.

 

A complete specification of XHTML version 1.0 can be obtained from the W3C Web site at http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1, and Microsoft will attempt to generate XHTML-compliant HTML code from server-side components in the final release of ASP+. However, as some popular browsers can behave oddly when confronted with XHTML, the final level of support is difficult to judge at the moment.

Client-Specific Output Formats

Most of the intelligent server-side controls supplied in the preview version of ASP+ only output standard HTML 3.2. However, some (such as the validation controls we look at in Chapter 4) do detect Internet Explorer 4 and above, and generate output that takes advantage of the DHTML capabilities of this browser. This provides better performance and a better user experience, as it dramatically reduces the need for round-trips to the server each time the user changes the selected data in the control.

 

In the later beta and release versions of ASP+, there will be more controls of this type. There will also be controls aimed at creating output in different formats entirely, for example Wireless Markup Language (WML). This might be a separate set of controls in some cases; however, due to the extreme incompatibilities between the user interfaces and client capabilities for these types of Internet device.

New Administration Tools

Finally, the release version of ASP+ will include administration tools allowing you to configure and maintain applications more easily. You can expect to see tools to manage the config.web configuration files and global.asax application files. There should also be graphical interfaces for viewing application performance, and examining detailed trace information while debugging complete applications.


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