Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Simple CSS Skin skin in SP2

One of my personal favorites from the recent Q1 2009 SP2 release is the brand new "Simple" skin for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. This brand new "common" skin (that means it's available for all RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX) lives-up to its name: Simple is a set of skins that use almost entirely CSS- no fancy background images. The only images used are those absolutely required by controls, such as toolbar icons in RadEditor and sort/filter icons in RadGrid. Otherwise, pure CSS. This is a skin I've been waiting for for a long time. Why? When skins are made entirely of CSS, it is super easy to customize them to match any color scheme you desire. You don't need to modify any gradient images- just CSS hex color values. Simple CSS-only skins also enable you to give your site that nice "minimalist" look-and-feel that Google has popularized (though even Google is now getting more "gradient" with new Gmail revisions). Professional skins like "Vista" and "Office2007" are cool, but sometimes a website needs a clean, simple presentation. I'd also say that the new "Simple" skin is also ideal for customization in the new Visual Style Builder, but really any skin is ideal with the new skin tool. Since the VSB can easily customize skin images to make the color scheme of your custom skin CSS, it has really changed the game for skin customization. Still, CSS is "pure" and a bit easier to change, so you should easily be able to take the default "Simple" skin and produce a custom CSS skin that matches any color scheme you can throw at it. The new Simple skin is available for the Q1 2009 and later RadControls. It's available in the SP2 downloads now and you can see live demos of the skin in the Online Demos. Enjoy the new skin!