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Can I stop .NET eating IDs?


I'm an Information Architect and JavaScript developer by trade nowadays, but recently I've been getting back into back-end coding again. And, whilst trying to get an HTML prototype integrated and working with our C#-based CMS, I've come to blows with our programmers over the HTML ID attributes being arbitrarily rewritten by .NET for form elements.

I can understand the code-behind reasoning for .NET changing IDs, but the fact you can no longer use IDs when trying to develop e.g. jQuery enhanced interfaces is causing some friction. What can I do to work around this?

I've tried using the class attribute instead, but that's really crappy, not what it's meant for and doesn't get around that problem of .NET effectively changing rendered source on the fly. It also means that CSS is less useful now and less efficient to create and maintain.

Any tips or advice greatly appreciated--anything for a few less sleepless nights...

By : markedup


A much better approach would be to use the ClientIDMode and set it to static. You can even set it for a specific page or globally in the web.config file. Then you never have to deal with this issue again and your JQuery is much cleaner.

Top of page:

<%@ Page Title="" ClientIDMode="Static" Language="C#" CodeBehind="..." Inherits="WebApplication1.WebForm2"  %>

On control only:

<asp:Panel runat="server"  ClientIDMode="Static"></asp:Panel>

The short answer is no, with webforms the id can always be rewritten depending on the nesting of the element. You can get access to the id through the ClientID property, so you could set the ids into variables in a script at the end of the page/control then put them into jQuery.

something like this:

<asp:button id="ImAButton" runat="server">Click Me</asp:button>

<script type="text/javascript">
var buttonId = "<%=ImAButton.ClientId%>";
$("#"+buttonId).bind('click', function() { alert('hi); });

It's a hack I know, but it will work. (I should note for the un-initiated, I'm using the Prototype $ get by id method there)

I can see how the .NET system feels less intuitive, but give it a chance. In my experience it actually ends up creating cleaner code. Sure

<asp:button id="ImAButton" runat="server">Click Me</asp:button>

<script type="text/javascript">
var buttonId = <%=ImAButton.ClientId%>
$(buttonId).bind('click', function() { alert('hi); });

works fine. But this is suffers from not being modular. What you really want is something like this:

<script type="text/javascript">
function MakeAClick(inid)
  $(inid).bind('click', function() { alert('hi); });

and then later with your code on the java side or the C# side you call MakeAClick. Of course on the C# side it makes more sense, you just ClientID in there.

Maybe this is the real problem with the code you are reviewing.

By : Hogan

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