Posted 17 Aug 2009
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First, I am very sorry to hear you're having trouble with the Telerik tools and the Visual Style Builder. Obviously, our goal is to help reduce the time it takes for you to write and style a web application, so let me see if I can help.
"Empty" / "Non" Styling
I definitely understand your desire here, but unfortunately, the web standards that exist today do not enable HTML controls to automatically assume the look-and-feel of a website. If you look at the rendering of a RadControl, you'll find that is nothing more than HTML + CSS class names. The skins that Telerik provides "know" how the controls render their HTML and that governs the CSS rules that they define. The CSS transforms the known HTML structure in to the "styled" control that you see. A "generic" site stylesheet does not posses the "knowledge" to correctly style a rich HTML control.
If you want to have truly "skinless" controls, you can do that, too
! The Telerik skins are split in to two CSS files- base styles that control the layout of a control, and "theme" styles that control the look-and-feel. In most circumstances, when you're creating a custom skin, you're only modifying the "theme" styles. If you set EnableEmbeddedSkins="False"
for a control, though, and supply an empty Skin=""
property value, your control will only render the "base" styles, completey devoid of styling (a.k.a an unstyled control).
That said, the controls will probably look relatively ugly. That's why we provided the Visual Style Builder- so you could quicklky cusomtize the CSS of the "theme" styles to match your application. If you start with the "Simple" common skin (a "CSS-only" skin), you should be able to tweak the HEX color values to match your site for any of the RadControls.
We agree that ASP.NET MVC makes some of the WebForms stuff easier. Skinning is not going to be particularly easier, but the HTML rendering should at least be a bit cleaner (though Telerik WebForms controls already render semantic HTML). Telerik has announced (just last week) the beginning of our official support for ASP.NET MVC. It's a new open source project (MS-PL) that will be evolving over the next few months, and the first release will be later this year. If you're interested in MVC, it may be worth checking out:
If you will be working with WebForms, we'd love to get your feedback for what you think we can do better within the limits of WebForms. If you think there are better ways of doing some things with standards-based technology in the WebForms world, let us know! We work hard to make sure our controls render as little HTML as possible and that they use predictable CSS, but if we've missed the mark somewhere, we're always eager to fix it.