2009's Most Popular ArticlesBy Scott Mitchell
The end of the year is upon us, 2009 is about to be in the books. When closing out a year I like to take a look back at the articles I wrote over the year and see which ones resonated the most with readers. Which ones generated the most reader emails? Which ones were read the most? Such a retrospective analysis highlights what content was of most interest to developers in the trenches, and this data is used to guide article topics in the new year.
While cataloging this year's most popular articles I thought others might find the data interesting. Such a "Best Of 2009" list would give both regular and new readers a chance to discover (or rediscover) the most favored content from the year. So here it is - a list and synopsis of the 2009's most popular articles on 4GuysFromRolla.com.
Implementing Incremental Navigation with ASP.NET
Traditionally, website navigation has been focused on minimizing the number of clicks required to open a given page. For instance, menu controls strive to compact as much data into a single, expanding menu. This goal of minimizing clicks has nothing to do with the real purpose of navigation, which is to make finding information easy, consistent, and transparent to the user. Implementing Incremental Navigation with ASP.NET, by author Andrew Wrigley, looks at how to build an incremental navigation style where users find information by clicking through a series of lightweight pages, with each click resulting in a small, but highly visible change to the navigation user interface.
In a nutshell, this article shows how to build a powerful, incremental navigation user interface using the existing
SiteMap class and the configured sitemap provider.
Long story short, with Andrew's code you implement this navigation system using your existing
Web.sitemap file. To see the incremental navigation system in
use, take a look at the The Encephalitis Society website, which consists of hundreds of pages nested in a hierarchy that is up
to five levels deep. The site's navigation is implemented using three user interface elements that work in concert: site tabs along the top of the page; a section menu, which
appears beneath the selected tab; and a menu on the left.
Read More >
An Extensive Examination of LINQ
LINQ, or Language INtegrated Query, is set of classes added to the .NET Framework 3.5 along with language enhancements added to C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9, the versions of the language that ship with Visual Studio 2008. An Extensive Examination of LINQ is a multi-part series that explores the basics and motivation behind LINQ, the core classes and language enhancements that comprise LINQ, and different ways to use LINQ in an ASP.NET application.
The first installment in the series, An Introduction to LINQ was first published in February 2009. Between then and the end of the year I authored seven additional installments:
- Extension Methods, Implicitly Typed Variables, and Object Initializers
- Lambda Expressions and Anonymous Types
- The Ins and Outs of Query Operators
- The Standard Query Operators
- Using the Query Syntax
- Grouping and Joining Data
- Introducing LINQ to XML
Read More >
Using Microsoft's Chart Controls In An ASP.NET Application
In September 2008 Microsoft released a free charting suite named Microsoft Chart Controls for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, which are also part of the upcoming .NET 4.0 Framework. The Chart Controls include an encompassing set of charts for both WinForms and ASP.NET applications. The Chart Controls offer all of the standard chart types - line charts, bar charts, pie charts, and so forth - as well as more specialized ones, like pyramid and bubble charts. They also offer a comprehensive set of charting features, including support for multiple series, customizable legends, trend lines, and labels.
Using Microsoft's Chart Controls In An ASP.NET Application is a multi-part article series I started in July 2009 that looks adding charts to an ASP.NET application using the free Microsoft Chart Controls. By the close of 2009, the series has grown to following eight installments:
- Getting Started
- Plotting Chart Data
- Rendering the Chart
- Sorting and Filtering Chart Data
- Programmatically Generating Chart Images
- Creating Drill Down Reports
- Adding Statistical Formulas
- Enhancing Charts With Ajax
Read More >
Exception Handling Advice for ASP.NET Web Applications
Exceptions are a construct in the .NET Framework that are (ideally) used to indicate an unexpected state in executing code. For example, when working with a database the underlying ADO.NET code that communicates with the database raises an exception if the database is offline or if the database reports an error when executing a query. In my experience as a consultant and trainer I have worked with dozens of companies and hundreds of developers and have seen a variety of techniques used for handling exceptions in ASP.NET applications. Some have never used
Try ... Catchblocks; others surrounded the code in every method with one. Some logged exception details while others simply swallowed them. Exception Handling Advice for ASP.NET Web Applications presents my views and advice on how best to handle exceptions in an ASP.NET application.
Read More >
Creating a Filtering User Interface With jQuery In a Web Forms Application
Part 1 walks through the nuts and bolts of the collapsible filtering user interface and includes a primer on
jQuery. Part 2 looks at how to extend the collapsible filtering user interface functionality so that it remembers
the collapsed/expanded state on a user-by-user basis.
Read More >
There you have it, 2009's five most popular articles! If you missed any of the above articles, there are a couple of ways you can keep abreast of the latest 4Guys content. There's our weekly newsletter, WebWeekly, as well as our RSS feed.
Happy Programming and Happy New Year!