Creating A User Control With Variable Layout?

Oct 13, 2010

I have a user control which contains a number of child controls. I want to be able to change the layout of the control (i.e. change the markup surrounding the child controls) via a property of the user control, but I don't want to have to duplicate the child controls themselves. This precludes using, say, a MultiView with different versions of the layout in each view, since in that case I'd have to duplicate the controls. I'd also rather use markup than emit the code for the control directly (as you'd do in a server control).

To give a contrived example, say I have a label and a textbox. In one layout, I want the label and textbox to be contained by divs and laid out on top of each other. In an alternate layout, I want them to be contained side by side in a table.

Should I just go ahead and duplicate the controls between each view? It seems like a violation of the DRY principle, but I'm not sure if I have much choice. A partial solution would be making the views of a multiview into naming containers so that I could at least save myself the time of having to prefix the duplicate control IDs with something to make them unique.

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