Developing an ASP.NET AJAX Based RSS Reader
page 5 of 10
by Xianzhong Zhu
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User Interface Design

According to the general architecture introduced above, we can divide the whole user interface into three parts.

1. Add a new RSS channel info (including the name and its related URI).

2. Exhibit the RSS channel lists.

3. Display the contents (from the associated web site URL) of the specified channel.

The above-depicted figure shows the design-time user interface of the application.

As is seen from Figure 3, the upper left is an ASP.NET AJAX client-side controlListView which is used to hold and show the RSS channel list. The .gif animation (in relation to the emptyTemplate template of ListView control) below it is just for creating a friendlier user experience. The larger rectangle area (that contains several simple ASP.NET AJAX client-side controls) below the animation is a HTML div tag (named "buttonarea") which is used for the user to enter new interesting RSS channel info.  The right part of the whole page lies in the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Accordion which is introduced to display the detailed information of the specified RSS channel. 

As for the several mysterious litter dots in the div "buttonarea" and the server control UpdatePanel that encloses Accordion and its related UpdateProgress control, you can find out the related answers later on.  Now, you are sure to have noticed the Rss Toolkit control RssDataSource at the far lower left corner.  It is designed to provide data source to Accordion from the server side. In general, we can only use it at run-time from the server side since it is a server-side data source control. There exist some puzzles with it; we are also to discuss them later. Finally, all the controls we have just introduced are arranged as sub elements through a HTML table element.

Now with the data tier and presentation tier in mind, let us turn our attention to the next period of the development the logic tier design.

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User Comments

Title: Trouble with Sample Code   
Date: 2009-04-09 3:28:34 PM
Hello Xianzhong, I recently downloaded your sample code, did a little alteration to it and then compiled it. When I went to view it in a browser, after clicking on the "Add the RSS info" button, I get a javaScript error.

var datatable =g_RSSNameList.get_data(); throws a null reference exception.

After 2 days of trying to debug this, I am finally contacting you. Any ideas on how to troubleshoot this?

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