Sunday, May 31, 2009

Further Thoughts on ModalPopupExtender to ThickBox Conversion

I added an important paragraph to my earlier post on this subject, which reads as follows:

Let me also say from the outset that not all dialog boxes can be converted over easily. To date I have not found a way to get rid of the Modal Popup Extender if the dialog box depends on server-side code for its operation. The basic problem is that if a postback has to occur then the ThickBox dialog box will disappear, at least temporarily, which is unacceptable. Perhaps there's a way around this but I have not yet discovered it. So make sure you have a good backup before you proceed with any conversion attempt!

ThickBox was clearly not created with ASP.Net in mind. My conclusion is that it works great for simple dialog boxes. You'll end up with a smaller footprint, which will speed up your app. But if there's something more sophisticated necessary, whether it be more complex validation or any server-side code that needs to be run, then I do believe that the ModalPopupExtender is the preferred choice.

I hate the idea of having to include both jQuery and the AJAX Control Toolkit but I don't see a way around it at this time. Perhaps a developer, much more Javascript savvy than me, will build a jQuery Plugin that will truly replace the ModalPopupExtender!

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