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Stupid ASP.NET Tricks (Don’t try these at home)

I’ve been struggling with ASP.NET lately and wanted to offer up two things not to do …

1) Try to dynamically load another instance of the same user control from within a user control — ASP.NET gets very confused and starts loosing track of your controls in inexplicable ways.  All of the sudden the label in the partially defined class will unexpectedly be null.  (By the way, I was trying to draw “sublines“ in a shopping cart — things like free accessories I wanted to stay with the parent line.)

2) Load dynamic controls in a repeater — For some reason still unknown to me, if you dynamically add controls to a repeater (such as user controls into table rows) the post back values never come back … and the controls aren’t represented in the control tree.  I could just be missing something but I’ve decided it’s a bad idea…