ASP.NET Controls - Improving automatic ID generation : Introduction ( Part 1)
Some time ago, while developing a large corporate ASP.NET application with high complex layout requirements and thus, many custom composite controls, I was faced with the following problem:
The generated HTML of my pages don’t meet my bandwidth constrain of 50Kb/page, even after applying the traditional ways to reduce page size (compression, viewstate optimization). Looking carefully at the HTML source I found that a big amount of size has due to the large values 'id' and 'name' attributes. The sum of all this values could be up to 40% of page size, and this became a real issue to me.
So, ASP.NET gives us out of the box a unique strategy to generate the control's ID values. Although such strategy is most of time a satisfactory approach, there are cases when it can become problematic. [more]
Let me show what I'm talking about:
<input id="ctl00_cphAdmin_cbEnableCommentsModeration" type="checkbox" name="ctl00$cphAdmin$cbEnableCommentsModeration" checked="checked" />
This line of HTML comes from my blog Settings panel (BlogEngine.NET), and, as you can see, the id and name attributes are responsible for a large part of the size of the HTML line. To be precise this two attributes length represent 59.3% of the total length.
What if, somehow, we were able to change the way ASP.NET controls ids are generated? What if we are able to generate something like C0_C3_C1 to represent the some control id?
Such approach will produce the following HTML:
<input id="C0_C3_C2" type="checkbox" name="C0$C3$C2" checked="checked" />
This way the total HTML length is almost 53% smaller than the standard ASP.NET way. Great improvement!
It seems that this approach is good enough to try an implementation, but ASP.NET presents a major obstacle to accomplish this task: All the Id generation process is done privately at Control class, without any extendibility point.
Without extension points I was forced to create a specific controls for each control I want to change the ID generation process.
Part 2 - The Concept