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August 2008 - Posts

IE8: now with search that doesn't suck

I installed IE8 Beta 2 and tried CTRL+F this morning and here's what I got:

Search now well integrated in IE

Finally.

Quite a lot of nice things in this beta actually...

Using the Ajax Control Toolkit in ASP.NET MVC

Stephen Walther has a pretty cool post on using the new file-only version of the Ajax Control Toolkit from an MVC application:

http://stephenwalther.com/blog/archive/2008/08/23/asp-net-mvc-tip-36-create-a-popup-calendar-helper.aspx

UPDATE: the problem with Stephen is that he writes quite fast. So pretty much in the time it took me to link to his first post, he wrote a second one, this time on using the AutoComplete behavior:

http://stephenwalther.com/blog/archive/2008/08/24/asp-net-mvc-tip-37-create-an-auto-complete-text-field.aspx

Ajax Control Toolkit released for .NET 3.5 SP1

I just released the latest version of the Ajax Control Toolkit for .NET 3.5 SP1.

This is an intermediary release that provides a version of the Toolkit that is built against the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. It contains a new control, MultiHandleSlider, built by Daniel Crenna (thanks, Daniel, you're the hero of this release) and integrates patches contributed by the community. A big thank you to all who contributed (see their names in the hall of fame).
The sample web site is not yet updated to this new release, this will be done in a couple of days. I will update this post once this is done.

In the very short term, we will provide We are also providing a client-side only version of the toolkit, similar to the Microsoft Ajax Library, that enables the development of Toolkit-based applications that do not rely on server-side ASP.NET. This version can also be used in performance-intensive scenarios where resource-based scripts and resources are not desirable, or if you simply prefer to work with files.

What's next?

Our top priority following this release is bug fixing in order to get back to a stable and low number of bugs. We also have a number of contributors working on new controls, following the priorities the community communicated us.
As usual, all feedback is very welcome.

http://www.codeplex.com/AjaxControlToolkit/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=16488

UPDATE: the file-only version of the toolkit is now available from the release page. I also added a dll-only download for people who just want the executable and no source or sample code.

I don't like Braid. What's wrong with me?

I really, really like a good puzzle game. So when I saw Braid announced and read the raving critics, I was quite sure this was a game for me. I really wanted to like it. Then I downloaded the trial version... and pretty much hated it. So here are some critic's citations and how they resonated for me:

  1. It's beautiful
    Well, excuse me but I find it ugly. To me, it looks like a Van Gogh wannabe under acid had tried to redesign Mario. But that's fine, even though I would have appreciated a saturation setting in the menu, I can love an unaesthetic, tacky game if it works well.
  2. Tight controls
    Sure, the time control works well and is quite instinctive to use, but the rest felt amateurish to me, shareware-like. And the moving jumps are just a little too long, making it counter-intuitive to predict where you'll land, especially on moving targets. The controls worked against me more than for me. That would be fine-ish if I had an incentive to get used to the controls...
  3. Compelling story
    Yeah, OK, the writing is fine. But it isn't integrated to the gameplay at all. Quite the reverse, actually, it's totally isolated from the game. The writing should serve the gameplay, and vice versa. They must be tightly woven together. So the game didn't make me want to care about the story, and the story doesn't save the game for me.
  4. It's all about the puzzles
    That's the strange one. This is the point that should have redeemed all the rest. The idea is quite good and apparently I'm the only one who didn't like its execution. The puzzles in the demo were either way too simple to be interesting or quite hard with the game giving no clue whatsoever. Compare that with a Portal that only adds one concept at a time and makes sure there never is a wall of difficulty but always a smooth progression. Here, the game did nothing to make me care enough, so I just gave up.
  5. It costs $15
    I wouldn't care about this one. I'm ready to pay for a good game, even if it's short, and $15 looks like an ok price to me for a few hours of fun.

So for me the jury's still out on this one. I'd be willing to try again but so far all the reasons I've seen people cite for loving it just didn't work for me.

Did you try Braid? Did you like it? What am I not getting in your opinion?

Posted: Aug 10 2008, 11:24 PM by Bertrand Le Roy | with 7 comment(s)
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Need a simple grid for ASP.NET Ajax?

A client grid control is probably the most requested control for the Ajax Control Toolkit. It will come eventually but if you need a simple grid control right now, DotNetSlackers' Ajax Data Controls do a pretty good job. Their grid supports pagination, sorting, drag and drop of columns, in-place edition and is server-integrated. They also provide repeater types of controls but those are made a little more complex to use because of the lack of data binding. The whole thing is open-source. w00t!

Check it out:
http://dotnetslackers.com/projects/AjaxDataControls/GridView/Default.aspx

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