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ASP.NET 2 - C# users can now particpate

ASP.NET 2 introduces the concept of "page-based" assemblies.  In Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer Express 2005, you can right-click on a page in the Solution Explorer and build the page by selecting "Build Page".  This action will only cause the page selected, as well as any dependent code in App_Code, to be built.  To be more precise, this behaviour is also available for User Controls (.ascx files).

One side-effect of this behaviour is that a website can now consist of pages in multiple languages, Page1.aspx can be a VB page and Page2.aspx can be a C# page.  This is because the restriction on using mixed languages is one language per assembly NOT one language per project.

But what about App_Code.  By default all the code files build into one assembly, so this would restrict us to one language.  However, by using sub-folders we can configure ASP.NET2 to build multiple assemblies and therefore support multiple languages.

For example, consider the following structure for the App_Code folder:

App_Code
    Folder1
        Class1.vb
    Folder2
        Class2.cs
    Folder3
        Class3.js

As mentioned above, by default this would not build as there are three languages and one assembly.  However, by adding a node to the node in web.config, ASP.NET2 will now build 3 separate assemblies, one for each folder, thus allowing our example above to work.

     
       
       
       
     


We cannot get carried away, however, we can only define a codeSubDirectory node for direct children of App_Code.  The defined folders can have a deep structure, but we can only define separate assemblies at the top-level.  Thus, if we have the following structure

App_Code
    Folder1
        Sub-Folder1
            SubClass1.vb
        Class1.vb
    Folder2
        Class2.cs
    Folder3
        Class3.js

Class1, and SubClass1 will be built into the same assembly.

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