Let me preface this post with the following: I have never been a fan of .NET.
My experiences with .NET started when .NET was still in beta while I was contracting at Anheuser-Busch. Another programmer, Prerit, and I decided after much deliberation that we wanted to make the application we would be working on standards compliant. That’s not too much to ask, right? We quickly discovered that using the Web Forms within Visual Studio did not produce standards-compliant source. What were we to do? The only logical thing, we abandoned the Web Forms and wrote everything from scratch. Visual Studio became somewhat of a suped-up Notepad.
And so it went, for two years of development, I never touched Web Forms. Then I left A-B and .NET, at least for a while.
Now I work for TechPhob, and I have recently been put on a C# project for a big bell. I sat in on a workshop where they were introducing us to the client’s environment, and winced (probably visibly) when I found out they would still be using Visual Studio 2003 – I had learned by then that Visual Studio 2005’s Web Forms produced standards-compliant source.
But the real shock, and I guess the point of this post, is that as I watched this workshop, I found, to my horror, that these .NET developers (client side and those working for TechPhob in California) were putting all of the style for the components directly into them. My god! No thought to the cssClass or to setting a properid on the component. These were supposed to be professional .NET developers, and they had no thought to using CSS.
Did they not see the benefits? One of the TechPhob developers had mentioned at one point of his desire to use a MVC design pattern for all new development. So he was savvy enough to recognize the usefulness of design patterns, but not of a very simple and very important one – separate presentation from structure.
So, my general question to all those professional .NET developers out there – do none of you rely on CSS for presentation, or do you just use the easy tools that Microsoft provides?