CREATING AN AREA FOR TOOL ZONES in .NET framework

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CREATING AN AREA FOR TOOL ZONES
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Figure 8.9 Moving the area for displaying Task Zones to outside the main content area means that the zones no longer interfere with the main layout area of the page.
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beside the main content area of the page. This is how the http://Live.com and http:// Google.com/ig web portals display their catalogs. For our portal we will employ the same tactic as the http://Live.com and http://Google.com/ig portals by creating a dynamic panel which collapses and expands within the page to contain each of the tool zones. Figure 8.9 shows how our page will appear when the editor zone is displayed. Notice how the area that contains the editor zone extends for the full length of the page, and is no longer restricted by the structure of the area with the content section. By having the editor zone displayed at full length, we ensure that the maximum amount of page area is available to display a tool zone which ultimately leads to less scrolling by our users. The tool panel we create for our portal will contain the Editor, Catalog, and ConnectionsZone; and when visible will appear on the left side of the page. 8.4.1 Moving our task zones Because our task zones are currently displayed within the content area of the page, we will need to create a new area to contain them and then move these zones into that area. Presently we have the rectangular regions that make up the layout for our website and these regions are contained both within the master page for the site and also in the Default.aspx page itself. The regions in the master page contain the outer elements that define the header row, the footer row, and the middle content section. Figure 8.10 shows the layout of the regions providing the main content areas for our portal.
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Figure 8.10 Presently the area for tools is heavily embedded within the rectangular regions that make up the layout of the page.
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The regions for the Page Container, Header, Footer, and the area surrounding the Left and Right content panels in the middle are contained within the master page; while the Left, Content, Right, and Tool Area panels are contained within the Default.aspx page. Our plan is to move the tool zone elements to a separate region outside the Page Container so that the tools do not interfere with our page s structure. To do this we can move the HTML elements that make up the Tool Area region into the master page outside of the Page Container. The illustration in figure 8.11 allows us to see the overall effect that this move will have on our page s structure. Before we move the EditorZone, CatalogZone, and ConnectionsZone from the Default.aspx page, we must add an HTML DIV element in the master page to
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Figure 8.11 Our task is simply to move that rectangular area outside of the main layout region.
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CREATING AN AREA FOR TOOL ZONES
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house those server controls. To do this, create a DIV with the ID of toolpanel and place it between the WebPartManager and the container DIV in the master page. The code for the DIV should now look like the code in the following snippet:
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<div runat="server" id="toolpanel"> ... ToolZone server controls go here </div>
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When we added the runat= server attribute to the DIV, the DIV became a server control; and so we could manipulate it from within server-side code. That s how we will affect the visibility of the toolpanel based on the current display mode of the page. 8.4.2 Displaying the TaskZone area Now that we ve moved the tool zones into their own region, we can work on creating the logic to ensure that this region is not displayed until the user requests that a tool zone be visible. The HTML DIV element we ve used to contain the tool zones is what is known as a block element. Block elements are HTML elements which, by default, take up 100% of the width of the allocated space. In our case this means that the toolpanel DIV element will span the entire width of the top section of the screen when it is visible, which will force the DIV element for the container to sit underneath it. This is not what we want. To display the toolpanel beside the container we will need to use some CSS code to set the width and other layout information for both the toolpanel and container DIV elements. The code in listing 8.6 shows the CSS code and server-side code responsible for selecting the right CSS class to apply to each panel based on the current display mode of the page.
Listing 8.6 CSS styles are used to control the placement and visibility of the tool zone and the main layout region.
.lzv { float: left ; width: 20% ; } .lz { display: none ; } .rzv { width: 100% ; } .rz { float: right; width: 77% ; }
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