Extended Functionality in graspx

To fine-tune the steps to automatically build a Visual Studio solution, I needed to implement some long-planned features: One of the targets in writing graspx was to extract all displayed text from the various controls on each ASP.Net form.

UI texts can be stored in a wide array of different controls and their attributes: label Text, hyperlink innerText, page Title, gridview EmptyDataText, validators ErrorMessage, and so on.

To make things more complicated, a control may not be found differently by its ID, but rather one needs to walk the form’s control hierarchy, if a control is placed within a FormView or GridView. Some texts may even be stored in a tag without an identifier, as is the case with ListItems in a DropDownList, or Columns within a GridView.

The new functionality in graspx covers these cases:

The LL command lists the value of all tag/attribute combinations listed in a separate parameter file, and thus equals the sequential execution of single L commands (uppercase “L” is used here for clarity).

The option -nc allows to define naming containers. If a control is found, the ID of the control is composed of the IDs of the parent controls. As an example from the setup files:

asp:GridView    .id
Columns         ix
asp:FormView    .id
ItemTemplate    tag
asp:Content     .ContentPlaceHolderID

For a GridView, the value of the ID attribute is used as naming ID, whereas for the Content (masterpage mechanism), it is ContentPlaceHolderID. Columns within a GridView are addressed by their index. A FormView may hold 3 different templates which are distinguished by their tag.

The working directory, which was the current directory in previous versions, can be set using the -d option; -r allows recursive searches through subdirectories.

The -nodyn option excludes all dynamic expressions ( < % # … % > ) from the search result.

The -utf8 option forces output in UTF8 encoding, which is not the default even for .Net console applications.

graspx is available for download here.

1 thought on “Extended Functionality in graspx

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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