Review: AspView

November 24th, 2006

AspView is a new MonoRail view engine by Ken Egozi. First of all, I think this view engine is very promising. People used to webforms will feel home. Its strenght is its weakness, though, as it gives you the full power of the underlying language, and you might end up coding things that does not belong to the view layer. But this is a matter of discipline.

On the other hand, it does need some work. The code is confusing and there are some problems. For instance, compiling in runtime does not work. If the compiled view assembly is not found, it chokes. The external configuration is being overriden by an incorrect code. Seems that it was written in a hurry, and as a programmer I completely understand that.

The data passed from the view must be declared up-front on the view source. I understand why this is required, but cant help feeling uncomfortable. It also does not support helpers at the moment (it seems), but the coolest thing is that when helpers support is finally in place, intelisense might work, and that is a great productivity boost.

ViewComponents are not supported too. If Ken put his mind on it, he can make a wonderful job on this one, using xml nodes for viewcomponents usage. For example:

<ViewComponent:MyCoolTable Data="news" Style="bluestyle" />

I’ll follow his experiences closely, and would really love to use it for real when it gets a little more mature.

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4 Responses to “Review: AspView”

bonskijr Says:

right you are about the CompiledViews.DLL(hardcoded), spent several minutes why it’s throwing an exception, had to compile the views manually. But it looks promising especially for shared hosting where you won’t need to map a custom extension for the handler.

hammett Says:

Huh? The view engine has nothing to do with the extension.

Ken Egozi : action="post" Says:

Hammet likes AspView

Ken Egozi Says:

Messed up the last comment. Reposting it. please delete the messed one …

I’ve started to answer, but “Refactored” it to my blog

Some quicknotes though:
Helpers work, you just need to declare ‘em in the first block ( AjaxHelper AjaxHelper; etc.)

The code IS ugly. as you’ve said – it’s “hurry driven development”, since I have a little free time right now. I am working on a project for my employer (that is implemented using AspView) and I am doing only mission critical stuff.

latest revision will be posted shortly, I hope.

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