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URL rewriting breaks ASP.NET 2's themes

If you try to use URL rewriting and ASP.NET 2 themes at the same time, you will likely get broken pages, because the two don't mix very well.
A typical link to a theme's stylesheet looks like this in the generated HTML:
<link href="App_Themes/Theme1/StyleSheet.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" />
The problem is that these links to CSS documents are using relative paths, which is not going to work fine if you use RewritePath on your web requests.

Update: as Scott and Wilco wrote in comments, a much simpler solution is to use the new overload of the RewritePath method that takes one additional parameter named "rebaseClientPath".

Thomas Bandt has a solution, described in German (the source is available), that relies on response filters.
Here is another solution I use. It consists on overriding the Render method in a base page or in a master page:

protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)
  foreach (Control control in Page.Header.Controls)
    HtmlLink  link;

    link = control as HtmlLink;
    if ((link != null) && link.Href.StartsWith("~/"))
      if (Request.ApplicationPath == "/")
        link.Href = link.Href.Substring(1);
        link.Href = Request.ApplicationPath+"/"+link.Href.Substring("~/".Length);


Scott said:


I remember a similar issue on a project using one of the early 2.0 builds.

There is a new overload for ReWritePath which seemed to fix my issue. I will have to dig through some old notes to remember what it was, but it may be worth a shot.

I remember my change was to set the second paramter of HttpContext.RewritePath (String, Boolean) to false.

# January 11, 2006 1:19 AM

Fabrice said:

Great! That's much better.
It would have been surprising if the ASP.NET team did not provide a solution for this.
# January 11, 2006 4:54 AM

Tim said:

Hey guys, I added the line to the code: app.Context.RewritePath(destinationUrl, false); but the themes still does not load :( Any help?
# October 18, 2006 9:20 PM

Tim said:

Actually my mistake, it does load with one exception if you add an ending "/" to the url, it will break the theme. For example, www.domain.com/tim will work but www.domain.com/tim/ will load the correct page, but the themes are missing. The path to the CSS file is missing an extra "../" to find the correct location Any ideas?
# October 19, 2006 6:28 PM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

Tim, I had the same problem. What I do to resolve this is to do a (permanent) redirection to URLs without the ending "/".

Here is the regular expression I use: ^(.*)/(\?.*)?$

I redirect to: $1$2

You can notice that this expression also supports URLs with parameters.

# October 19, 2006 8:23 PM

Yisman said:

Hi Fabrice,

i have a similar problem, though i am not using rediredtion.

i am trying to override a page's render method and send the html string via email.

though, i have easily succeeded in getting the html sting like this:

       Dim aStringBuilder As StringBuilder = New StringBuilder

       Dim strWriter As IO.StringWriter = New IO.StringWriter(aStringBuilder)

       Dim aHtmlTextWriter As HtmlTextWriter = New HtmlTextWriter(strWriter)


       Dim st As String = aStringBuilder.ToString


SendMail is my own mailing function. the problem is that the rendered HTML disregards the theme i have set for this page. any ideas? i'm really scouring the net on this one. thanks.

# December 11, 2006 12:31 PM

Bryce said:

Cheers, solved my problem, great work.

# March 20, 2007 6:31 PM

Gabriel said:

Where does the HttpContext.RewritePath line go?  How does it know to only modify the them path, or does it modify all paths?

# May 16, 2007 5:56 PM

johny.cz said:

hi, i had problem with images in web controls with skinid. I solved it with this simple redirection int application_beginreguest :

Dim appt = "App_Themes"

If url.Contains(appt) And Not url.StartsWith("/" & appt) Then

Response.Redirect("/" & url.Substring(url.IndexOf(appt)))

End If

# April 24, 2008 3:50 AM

veerukk said:

hi , i had problem with loading image & .js files after changing the url. plz anybody can help me if u come across this problem.

# June 23, 2008 10:16 PM

pratikmehta921985 said:

Many many thanks, this working like charm. i stucked with this problem. you are my hero............. thanks again.

# November 26, 2008 2:41 AM

Franz43 said:

Solved my problem using Page.ResolveUrl("~/someurl") for the relative path in the master page.

# December 29, 2009 7:23 PM