Updated Web Connection Web Control Framework Training Videos
Over the last week I’ve finally updated the West Wind Web Connection Web Control Framework training videos to reflect changes to the Web Control framework in recent versions. The original videos were getting quite dated as they were actually created prior to Web Connection 5.0 release in late stages of Beta. In addition there had been some changes to the way pages are laid out and the default ‘ASP.NET headers’ are defined in the page which were a result of the Visual Studio 2008 release which broke the initial approach that Web Connection 5.0 used. The new videos can also be watched online with an option to download them locally.
The latest videos are fully up to date with Web Connection 5.50 and reflect the current state of the art <s>. The new videos are also a little bit longer and produced in higher video and audio quality so they should be a little more pleasant to watch and listen to I hope. The extra length of the videos is due to a little bit more in depth discussion of various steps in the process rather than just demonstrating features – I hope this will provide more information to would-be developers and isn’t too overwhelming but some of the feedback I got from the old videos was in the form of a lot of questions like why does x happen when you do this. So the new videos I take a little time to discuss some of these issues with more detail.
The videos also take a slightly different approach in that they don’t exclusively deal with Drag And Drop of controls and property settings, but rather also demonstrate using the HTML markup editor for laying out HTML and taking advantage of CSS based layout in lieu of designer created tags. I see this as an important point to make for Web Development in general and if there’s one thing that I would urge any budding Web developer to look into it’s getting familiar with CSS based HTML layout. (if you’re new get anyting from Eric Meyer: Reference or Practical Projects). It may seem like a lot to take in but trust me the biggest time saver is having some grounding in CSS concepts to make HTML do to your bidding.
There's also one new video which is an Overview of the Web Control Framework. Unlike the other ‘hands on’ videos, this video is mostly slides and discussion along with a handful of short demonstrations that discuss the Web Control framework architecture and design goals. This should fill in some of the questions for those folks who don’t just want to know how it use the framework but how and why.
The result is that the videos are 20-30% longer than the original videos, but they also cover a few additional features that the old videos didn’t cover. BTW, one trick if you’re watching these videos in Media Player (if you downloaded them) is to run them at 150% speed. You can get through them a lot faster especially if you are just watching and not ‘playing along’.
These videos are recorded live – that is they are done in 1 or 2 takes at most. They aren’t meant as marketing videos that show tons of features, but rather at a getting started tutorial and are meant to show the process of building applications in a step by step way. They are by no means comprehensive in showing all the features or all functionality/setup and steps, but rather are supposed to give you a realistic feel of what the development process with the Web Control Framework looks like.
I’m interested in feedback, although I can’t promise that I’ll be changing them until I get the inspiration to do another run on them which probably won’t be soon – the process to produce these live recorded videos is quite lengthy as it usually takes me 2 or 3 passes to get one of these recorded, but it’ll be good to know what does and doesn’t work if I end up doing future versions.
From the feedback I’ve gotten I think these video walk throughs are amongst the most useful learning tools for Web Connection and the Web Control framework and so I’m hoping that updating them to the latest version will have a few developers resisting the move to the 5.x Web Control framework taking a look at the framework and what it has to offer.