If I had to summarize what the RadFormDecorator
control is about in a single sentence, it would be:
aims to unload yet another task from the "regular Joe" developer by reducing the need for styling elements on the page.
provide a great deal of rich UI controls allowing a developer to build
web-based applications that resemble the richness of a desktop
application. The majority of controls provided in the suite do not have
direct analogs provided by the browser - e.g. RadEditor
etc. There are also a number of controls that can be used to replace
somewhat similar browser counterparts. For example, you can use a RadComboBox
to replace a HTML <select>
element which has very limited styling abilities. You can use RadWindow
to replace the ugly browser window.open
control. You can use RadSplitter
to replace the browser <frameset>
. You can use RadToolTip
to replace the unskinnable plain-text browser tooltip.
So, what else there is on a web page that a developer cannot style adequately?
The answer is: checkboxes
- but also textareas
. This is where the RadFormDecorator
steps in to fill the gap and provide the developer with a simple to
use, flexible and configurable control that can deliver the "finishing
touch" for a true rich UI. With the RadFormDecorator
control Telerik goes a step further and provides the ability to replace
those browser "gadgets" commonly left out from control suites.
Click on each thumbnail to open a larger image in a new window
This control is currently in active development, skins as well as functionality are being added to it.
Making the control do what it does so far has by no means been trivial.
Due to browser differences in the eight (yes, eight) browsers that need
to be taken care of - IE6, IE7, IE8, FF2, FF3, Opera, Safari, Chrome -
and due to the unobtrusive nature of the RadFormDecorator
(it does not force developers to change a single line of existing code
or to use any new set of controls), a few challenges had to be
overcome. We are working on fixing all problems reported. So far we
have been able to overcome all and I am quite content with the way RadFormDecorator
has been evolving from its conception. RadFormDecorator
is a unique control that has no direct analog anywhere on the web. In
addition to having some commonalities with toolsets such as the Yahoo
Widgets and others, it also employs many unique solutions.
It might not be ideal for all kinds of scenarios - for example, having
it decorate a page with a hundred checkboxes and buttons can make the
page render slower. Also, problems still surface here and there. Yet,
by definition, no tools are universal. The decorator is an easy try -
adding it to your page takes seconds, there are only one or two
properties one might want to consider - DecoratedControls
as well as DecoratedZoneID
. It takes a minute to check what the decorator does and whether it is fit for a particular page or particular application.
I believe the screenshots provided from a test page I use for the control development speak for themselves. RadFormDecorator
simply delivers the missing 10% of styling a page that one missed so
far. It is a tool made for you, the developer, and I hope you find it