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Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Design: CSS, Themes and Master Pages

Description:    Themes are a way to allow programmers to establish "skinnable" websites that can be
                programmatically adjusted for various purposes. A webmaster may decide that there should be a
                certain look and feel for site administrators while registered users see a different look and the
                remaining users see still a different view when they visit the site. This could include, among other
                things, completely different controls, graphics, and/or color schemes for each group. Users may
                want to set up a theme specifically targeted to meet the needs of the Americans with Disabilities
                Act (ADA) that removes all images and background colors and leaves the pages in stark contrast
                for that particular user group. Or maybe the developer just wants to let people choose the way they
                experience the site each time they visit.

                Themes are very powerful and this book aims to highlight the potential of ASP.NET 2.0 Themes as
                well as their relationship to master pages and CSS in web applications today and illustrate many of
                the facets that can and should be included in theme development. While not specifically a
                designer's book, an overview of good web design and even a cheater's guide to PhotoShop will be
                included with the intent of taking the average ASP.NET Programmer and given them the knowledge
                to be "Renaissance Men and Women" of web design.

                Specific topics covered in the book include:
                - Browser, bandwidth, and accessibility considerations
                - Use of color, fonts, multimedia
                - CSS classes, elements, and Visual Studio CSS tools
                - Master pages, child pages, and inheritance
                - Consistent navigation and Site Maps
                - Theme files, skin files, and applying themes
                - A mobile theme example
                - Basic PhotoShop tricks for Web Developers

                About the Author

                Jacob Sanford (Tallahassee, FL) is currently a Project Lead / Senior Developer with the Rapid
                Application Development Group at the Florida Department of Children and Families. He has been
                developing in ASP/ASP.NET for more than 8 years including the graphical design of many of the
                sites be builds. He is a well known expert on ASP.NET themes and design from his extensive
                presentations to .NET user groups and at regional Code Camps.

Contents:       Introduction

                Chapter 1: aesthNETics
                What Is aesthNETics?
                Why Is aesthNETics Important?
                Evolving Expectations of Employers
                Creating a Consistent Look and Feel for Your Website: aesthNETics Essentials

                Chapter 2: Web Design 101
                Design Basics
                Screen Resolution
                Color Depth
                CSS vs. Tables
Why Accessibility Matters
The Cost of Noncompliance
Ensuring Accessibility
Testing for ADA Compliance
AJAX 508 Compliance
The Importance of Accessibility

Chapter 3: Photoshop: Cool Tips and Tricks for Developers
Project Guidelines
Photoshop: An Overview
Your First Graphics
Image Size and Manipulation
Translucent Boxes
Saving the Image
Picking a Color Scheme
A Second Graphic
Selecting and Extracting Images
Optional Modification
Saving the Image
Color Scheme
AMobile Browser Graphic
Extending Your Photoshop Skills

Chapter 4: Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
That Looks Like Table-Based Design
CSS Basics
Creating a Stylesheet
Laying Out Your Page for CSS
The Holy Grail of CSS
Formatting the Footer
Which One Should You Use?
Browser Check
Your Final CSS File

Chapter 5: ASP.NET 2.0 CSS Friendly Control Adapters
What Is a CSS Friendly Control Adapter?
Installing the Control Adapters
Integrating the Control Adapters
A New Project
Adding the Control Adapters to an Existing Project
Using the Control Adapters in Your Project
Is It Working?
Stylin’ and Profilin’
For More Information

Chapter 6: Consistent Navigation
Overview: ASP.NET Navigation Controls
Getting Started
The SiteMapDataSource Control
The web.sitemap File
A Different Sitemap File
Lock Down!
Using the CSS Friendly Control Adapters
Adding a New web.sitemap File
Setting Up the web.config File
Adding the Menu Control and the SiteMapDataSource
Testing and Tweaking
Making It Pretty
Browser Check
But Is This Enough?
Extra Credit: Breadcrumbs

Chapter 7: Master Pages
How Did We Get Here?
What is aMaster Page?
Enough Talk; Time to Code
Partial Classes
Passing Data between Master and Child
First Things First
Option 1: Just Bring it in
Option 2: Changing Your Class Name
Option 3: MasterType
Setting theMaster Page Globally
Programmatically Setting Master Pages
Consideration #1: Design-Time Support
Consideration #2: The @MasterType Directive
Nested Master Pages
Enough Theory, on to Coding!
No Problems, Right?
One Last Concept
Bringing It All Together: Updating the surfer5 Project

Chapter 8: Themes
What Are Themes?
Your First Theme!
Okay, Time for the Details . . .
CSS in Themes
Problem: The Way Themes Apply Included Stylesheets
Adding a CSS File to Your Theme
One Solution
Other Potential Solutions
A Final Thought on CSS in Themes
Adding a Skin File
Selectively Applying Skin Attributes
Final Thoughts on Skins
Referencing from CSS
Integration within a Skin File
Hard-Coding a Path to the Theme Image
Updating the surfer5 Project
Adding the Images to Your Theme
Adding the CSS to Your Theme
Updating Your Root Files
Pulling It All Together
Final Steps 3

Chapter 9: Applying Themes
Before You Begin: Setting the Theme in the Master Page
            The Default Approach: A Refresher
            Partial Resolution #1: Setting Themes Programmatically
            The Downside to the Programmatic Approach
            Who Wins the Rendering War?
            Partial Resolution #2: Setting It Globally
            The Downside to the Global Approach
            Partial Resolution #3: The Inherited Base Class
            Less Talk, More Code
            The Hierarchy of the Base Class
            Updating the surfer5 Project

            Chapter 10: Bringing It All Together — A New Theme
            Browser Check
            Before You Begin
            Step 1: Back to the Drawing Board
            Step 2: A New Master
            Step 3: The Mobile Theme
            Step 4: Wiring It Up
            Step 5: Adding Style
            Step 6: Adding the Navigation
            Browser Check: A Final Look


            Appendix A: Microsoft Visual Studio Codename ‘‘Orcas’’

            Appendix B: An Introduction to Microsoft Silverlight


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