Tag Soup

web comments edit

Jeff Atwood posts about the exact thing I thought when I saw the MVC tidal wave coming to overtake web forms. It feels like I’m back in the 90’s, doing old-school ASP, because of the tag soup.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m all about separation of concerns and such, but every time I look at something like MVC, I see all roads leading to web forms. Maybe different web forms, but web forms nonetheless.

  • Too much tag soup? Package stuff up in helper methods.
  • Oh, wait, the helper methods that generate control structures aren’t really flexible enough to allow overridden behaviors or wire things up (like validation). Let’s make them instance methods on objects.
  • Hmmm, there’s sort of an object lifetime to manage here, and wouldn’t it be nice if the packaged widget could be a little smarter about handling view data? Like dynamically populating itself based on data and letting me know if the user changed stuff, because writing that every time is such a pain.
  • Hang on, that’s web server controls.

Some folks argue they want that “tighter control over the HTML” that the tag soup provides. I, personally, am much less interested in hacking HTML. Let the framework do it for me. I’m more concerned with the business logic anyway.

I’ve done my share of classic ASP style development in lots of different server side languages, and it always ends up that to get rid of the tag soup, you head towards web forms.