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Joel on Software

ASP.NET grid multiselect

At a very high level -- I am writing an ASP.NET GUI for administration of an existing DCOM server.

More specifically -- what I'm trying to display to the user is a collection of items, and about half a dozen actions performable on them.  Mostly users just want a display, but when they do an action they are likely to do it to many or even all of the items at once.  (Scope wise -- I'd expect the number of items to be somewhere between 0 and 200.)  Based on usage, I want to use more space displaying item information, providing sort options, etc. and minimal space doing actions on items.

Mentally designing, this conjured up something like a single control panel and a scrolling table with each row an item, with the first column in each row being a "selected for action" checkbox.  Like...a webmail app.  (Yeah.  This analogy is working for me.  So normal operation looks something like: Spam, spam, spam, not spam, spam, delete selected.  Get more info about this non-spam here, move to different folder.  Back to main screen, refresh for hours with no human input.  Repeat.)

Problem -- no clue how to properly structure that.  Well, honestly, not really sure where to start at all, nevermind what "proper" would look like.  I find myself in the deeply frustrating position of having 2004-era (well, I won't flatter myself, but 2002 at least) web design skills but only 1995-era web programming skills.  Which I'd very much hoped this assignment would update, but it's just such a *huge* gap.  So I'd also appreciate suggestions of useful keywords, best practices links, book recs, or anything on a conceptual level that might help me switch gears from thinking C++/COM to thinking ASP.NET...

Mikayla
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Okay, saved myself on this one eventually.  Anyone else with the same question, here's some references:

http://www.codeproject.com/aspnet/Multi-select_Dataagrid.asp#xx701924xx

http://metabuilders.com/Tools/RowSelectorColumn.aspx

Both writing about something more advanced than I wanted...  I hate it when my questions are in that sweet spot between total n00b enough to be in the manual and what a techie considers interesting enough to write about.

Mikayla
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

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