To XSL or Not To XSL

11/6/2011

I am a big fan of using XSLT to render the UI on SharePoint pages. Nearly all my webparts generate the
necessary data as XML which then gets applied to a xslt file. It is easy to develop, easier to change and I have a
fine grained control over the rendered html.

The disadvantage of this approach lies in the fact that ASP.NET has no idea about the controls being rendered.
Since XSLT directly creates the control, you can not rely on postabacks, viewstates and other life cycles of the controls.
In simple terms, there is no easy way to hadle the button click on the server side. 
The only solution then is to use javascripts, query parameters etc to handle the business logic.


Therefore, I recommend using XSLT in case the page had very minimal user interaction ie if you are rendering
static read only content . But in case there are checkbox, button etc which user can click on, better stay with
traditional ASP.NET approach.

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