Wednesday, July 30, 2008

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

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.

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