On a side-not, working with ASP.net so far has been an enjoyable experience. It resembles Windows Forms in many ways, which is a bit of a double-edged sword. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this blog, however, so I won’t go into too much detail. Right now, I’m building the site to be rather modular. Most controls are custom controls with properties that can be accessed through server-side C# code. Events are present to handle the expected behavior and injecting the information (user name, title, achievements, posts, etc.) from the database is as easy as setting the HTML properties through those I created in the C# code. The biggest snag is one’s dependency on sticking to asp controls once you start. Because the C#code can only really interact properly with asp controls, making any important control an asp one will force you to start changing other, simpler and faster HTML controls into asp’s as well (the ViewState makes them generally larger and slower than their HTML counterparts). Because optimilization is not a main concern here, I can temporarily set this aside, however, in favor of usability and the advantages the Visual Studio Web Designer offers.
Either way, in the next view days I will upload more screenshots and a user evaluation is forthcoming, which will allow for the application to undergo a more proper test run. I learned a lot from the paper prototype, but actually seeing the application on a computer screen and having the tester use a mouse and keyboard is very different and more telling of the end product then any printed paper can ever be.
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