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VS 2008 to Support Nested Master Pages

| by Jonathan Allen Follow 576 Followers on Jul 18, 2007. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |

One of the most lauded features in ASP.NET 2.0 is Master Pages. Master Pages serve as templates for a site, making it easier to create and maintain consistent style site-wide. They do have one drawback under VS 2005: they cannot be nested.

Nested master pages are essential for larger sites that have more than one layout. Without them, developers have to manually ensure the common elements in each master page such as banners and copyright notices are kept in sync.

It turns out that nested master pages are actually supported by ASP.NET 2.0 itself. It is only in the Visual Studio 2005 IDE where they cannot be used. Visual Studio 2008 adds full support for nested master pages, allowing developers to switch to this model without losing IDE support.

It should be noted that since this feature is in ASP.NET 2.0, developers will not need to deploy .NET 3.5 to their production servers. They merely need to ensure that the project is set to compile to .NET 2.0.

Scott Guthrie has a walk-through of nested master pages on his blog. 


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Visual visual studio? by Thom Nichols

When you say "can't be used in the Visual Studio 2005 IDE," you mean they don't work in the visual designer, right? So I can still develop nested master pages from VS2005... Right?

No matter - the visual designer is pretty crappy anyhow, I never used it :)

Re: Visual visual studio? by Eugen Anghel

I actually found nested master pages in VS2005 to be quite useful. They keep you (and your team) away from the designer :D

Re: Visual visual studio? by Jonathan Allen

You are correct, I misspoke in that regard.

Re: Visual visual studio? by John DeHope

"No matter - the visual designer is pretty crappy anyhow, I never used it :)"
I agree if we're talking about VS 2003. But the VS 2005 designer is awesome, I must say. It's very robust, and the tag breadcrumbs are great. I just wish VS 2005 would target .Net 1.1 without fiddling so I could use it with my legacy 1.1 project.

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