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Lost (Sk)in Translation [AJAX Control Toolkit update!]

A short while ago we made available the 10301 release of the AJAX Control Toolkit. With this release, we managed to add some great core functionality, a couple of new controls, and a bunch of bug fixes for popular issues (as identified by our user community in the support forum and online issue tracker).

The 10301 release includes two new controls:

  • ListSearch (by contributor Damian Mehers) - A handy enhancement to ListBox/DropDownList controls that allows the user to select items by typing the first few characters
  • SlideShow (by our own Kirti) - A visually pleasing slide show of automatically sized images and captions with optional automatic looping or manual control

We also managed to add three pieces of core functionality that users have been asking for:

  • Localization support - The Toolkit now has an infrastructure for localizing the text in JavaScript files using the standard ASP.NET/AJAX support for resource files. There are placeholder files for the following 14 languages: Arabic, German, English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), and Chinese (Traditional). Complete localization of all strings hasn't been done yet, but our most popular request by far is for the string "Today:" at the bottom of the Calendar's popup - and that has already been localized to all of the above languages. Just set your system/browser's language settings to one of the supported languages and visit the Calendar sample page for a demonstration.
  • JavaScript comment/whitespace stripping - People are always interested in keeping the download size of their pages as low as possible, and the Toolkit goes the extra mile to help. When compiled in "Release" mode (as the official releases on CodePlex always are), all of the JavaScript files in the Toolkit automatically have all comments and unnecessary whitespace removed. Ted, the author of this functionality, was careful to adhere to the ECMA-262 ECMAScript Language Specification, so the modifications are both safe and effective.
  • ASP.NET Theme/Skin support - Central control is usually best, so it's nice to be able to use ASP.NET's theme/skin support to specify properties for controls across an entire web site in one central location. Toolkit controls didn't used to be skinnable (i.e., support the SkinID property) but now they are, so go ahead and start skinning your site. In fact, we used this new ability to style the CollapsiblePanels that we use for descriptions/properties/known issues on every sample page.

And, with the help of our contributors, we fixed a bunch of bugs along the way...

We hope you like the new release!!

Recall that you can sample any of the controls right now (no install required). You can also browse the project web site, download the latest Toolkit, and start creating your own controls and/or contributing to the project!

If you have any feedback, please share it with us on the support forum (or email me)!