eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

Released to Public: Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, RC2

May 23, 2006 08:14 by matthaw

I’m happy to announce the public release of Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, RC2! While there haven’t been many changes since the RC1 release, there was a notable change that I believe a lot of users would benefit from if the control set was released. If you’re new to the next version or Release Candidates, please read my RC1 release post.

If you’re interested in test-driving, I’m waiting for you! Help continue flushing out bugs in Server Controls v2.0 prior to it going RTM.

Enjoy this new Release Candidate community!



Survey: Make SelectedDate Nullable of DateTime?

May 17, 2006 08:33 by matthaw

So ever since I introduced the concept of “nullability” for the CalendarPopup and TimePicker controls, everyone has continuously asked the same basic question:

“Why is it when I try to bind my data source to SelectedDate, I get the error ‘The type DBNull cannot be converted to the type DateTime’? How can I bind it to this field?”

So the answer is, well you have to make a method call to see if the value is NULL, and return DateTime.MinValue instead. Wow, it seems so simple – this is where I believe the design flaw comes in…if it’s so darn simple, why do I keep getting asked the same question?

So, obviously, with the advancements in .NET 2.0, and the introduction of Nullable<T>, I have the opportunity to nick this in the butt so I don’t have to field this question so often. However, this would require a huge breaking change from the current version to Server Controls v2.0 in the sense that SelectedDate / SelectedTime would now become Nullable<DateTime>.

Now, if you know your CLR internals well enough, typeof(Nullable<DateTime>) != typeof(DateTime). This means that existing code where you could do .SelectedDate.ToShortDateString() no longer “just works” because you have to take it 1 step further: .SelectedDate.Value.ToShortDateString().

So, being that I develop the controls for the community, how big of a hit would it be if modifying the current signature of SelectedDate / SelectedTime to be Nullable<DateTime>? Let me know by utilizing the comment’s feature to leave your vote. Thanks, and I appreciate your honesty.


Are you living under a rock? No? Did you see that Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, RC1 is out in public? Check it out!

Released to Public: Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, RC1

May 14, 2006 00:23 by matthaw

I’m proud to announce the public release of Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, RC1! With a complete rewrite from .NET 1.1 to .NET 2.0, over 120 bug fixes or new additions, 2 alpha releases, 2 beta releases, and full reimplemented design-time support, it’s been a long time in the waiting for all! Today marks the day that Excentrics World moves into vNext.

So, if you’re interested in test-driving, great! Excentrics World is looking for the public to help flush out any of the final kink’s prior to Server Controls v2.0 goes RTM.

Thanks again to all of my beta testers! Enjoy the release candidate community!



Released: Excentrics World Server Controls v2.0, Beta 1

March 25, 2006 09:33 by matthaw

Pulling a late night tonight to get the official Beta 1 out the door! I’ve locked the control set, which will include the following controls:

  - CalendarPopup
  - CollapsablePanel
  - CompareValidator *
  - CustomValidator *
  - FaqRepeater
  - ListTransfer
  - MaskedTextBox
  - MultiTextDropDownList
  - MultiTextListBox
  - NumericBox
  - RangeValidator *
  - RegularExpressionValidator *
  - RequiredFieldValidator *
  - TimePicker

* These validation controls only add support for use with the CalendarPopup / TimePicker controls, however work independently with other controls as well.

I will be continuing to fix bugs, tidy up the API, and clean up the design-time experience from now until I release. I will be taking the month of April off, as it’ll be a much deserved break, but I do have a good reason as I’ll be getting married and taking my honeymoon! So until later, I’m tired & need to hit the sack! Enjoy beta testers!



Release - Excentrics World Controls - Beta 1 Preview, Refresh 1

March 20, 2006 00:47 by matthaw

Ahh, another week another beta. I just dropped my Beta 1 Preview, Refresh 1 to my beta testers, and boy does it feel great. This beta drop included support for 2 more controls from my collection, as well as some breaking of backwards compatability. In summary, I’ve removed AccordianPanel and OrderedListBox. However, I implemented the

  • “Grouping” feature of the AccordianPanel into the CollapsablePanel control
  • Added support for “sliding” for FireFox
  • Fixed the ever-so-painful Nested Sliding Panel’s issue.

As far as the OrderedListBox, well that’s a whole different story. I’ve disbanded from the Composite Control nature that it was previously in hopes that a ListTransfer control (that implements this same functionality for individually moving up, down, to another ListBox, or deleting an item) will allow developers more freedom over layout.

So, hoping that these teasers keep the community actively involved, there will definately be more of them. If you have any features you’re wishing were implemented, make sure you drop me a line and let me know. Now’s the time, since I’m re-writing the controls. Also, if you’re just dying to get your hands on the beta’s, make sure you contact me as well and I’ll add you to the contact list. Enjoy!



Released - Excentric's World Controls - Beta 1 Preview

March 13, 2006 15:35 by matthaw

Talk about a good weekend for me! I was able to prepare and release the first Beta 1 Preview to my testers. It’s been a fun couple of weeks working on re-writing the controls for .NET 2.0, and I’m just glad that the first phase is done. I figured the approach I would take for releasing beta’s would be very similar in how CTPs are launched. You’ll notice I called this a “Beta 1 Preview” because it contains a subset of the server controls. If you’re still interested in beta testing, I’m always looking for more people, so contact me. Ohh, and to the community awaiting the release, here’s a subset of breaking changes / features that went with this build:

  • Using WebResources to handle all Javascript sources, no more need for “ExternalResourcePath”.
  • No “down-level” support anymore for the CalendarPopup control, and the same will apply to the TimePicker.
  • MaskedTextBox now derives directly from TextBox, which means it’s no longer a composite control and lacks the validation controls within.
  • All controls will be themeable via skins.
  • All “text” properties will be localizable.
  • Added support to CalendarPopup for validation controls – must use those contained in eWorld.UI assembly.
  • Full support for DataSource controls with the Multi-Text list controls.

While just a teaser, there were a slew of bug fixes for all controls contained, most notably for the CalendarPopup control. So, enjoy!



Firefox Woes

March 8, 2006 07:58 by matthaw
So I've been running IE7 Beta 2 Preview since it was released, and I've not had the troubles that I've had within the last hour of installing FireFox 1.5.0.1, okay so I can't really compare them - I just gotta put the plug in. I'm currently re-writing the CalendarPopup control and got it fully functional in IE7. So, I decided to switch over to FireFox to see how it works. Well, it seems that some bug crept into FireFox that gives random errors like the following: "Error: Error in parsing value for property 'cursor'. Declaration dropped." Huh? Are you kidding me? This is simply a style being applied to a SPAN tag! Browsing the internet isn't turning up much, but I did find a few posts & newsgroup postings with the same error, heck even with other style attributes. Now that's progress - backwards, that is. Disapointing, and hopefully these things get fixed in the next build. Well, the bright side is that the control still functions as expected, you just don't get a pretty "hand" cursor. Oh well, back to it I guess.

Update: Bah, my lack of understanding w3c standards comes to bite me! BTW - new link I've never seen... www.quirksmode.org ... haven't had time to really check it out.

Beta Testing v2.0 of eWorld.UI Controls

March 6, 2006 23:44 by matthaw
While v2.0 of the eWorld.UI controls are still a bit on the horizon as of right now, I’d like to open the door to anyone wishing to beta test v2.0 of the controls. This version will be only supported on the 2.0 .NET framework, and there will be breaking changes from the current release to the 2.0 release. If you’re interested, please drop me a quick line so I can add you to the list.

Custom Controls Back Online!

February 11, 2006 06:47 by matthaw
All of my custom controls and website are now back online for download. I've also added in the ability for you to purchase the source code again as well. Enjoy! It should be noted that I had to recompile the setup, so its not nearly as pretty now, as well as the .NET 1.0 setup will not ask if you'd like to install to the GAC.

Excentrics World is back in Business!

February 10, 2006 21:42 by matthaw
Well, it’s been about 10 months since I’ve been able to do anything with Excentric’s World, but alas – I’ve finally gotten approval to resume distribution of my custom server controls and selling of the source code. I’ll be working this weekend to get my EULA and License agreement updated, not to mention the website back up. Thanks to all those that have waited, and the 2500+ people who’ve supported the site.



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