My presentation layer of choice: Brail over Castle's MonoRail


I’ve evaluated some methods to rail and to MVC in the .NET world, without using webforms.

The first method I tried was to treat aspx’s kind’a like old ASP, no server controls, allowing multiple forms, no __VIEWSTATE __EVANTVALIDATION __UGLYHIDDENFIELD in the generated markup, and calling actions on the server, implemented as Controllers over ashx’s, or directly linking to a new .aspx view (if no operation is required).It allowed me to create super clean html, but it has it’s limits, since I’ve had to implement a mechanism for MasterPages and UserControls, and that suck.There is BooWebness. Seams like a great effort, and I like the natural .ashx approach, but I am not very into its whole framework there.

Then I’ve went after MonoRail.Cool.Has a lot out-of-the-box, including MasterPages(Layouts), UserControls(ViewComponents), Markup Helpers, AjaxHelpers, and a large community. Being part of Castle is a Big Bonus. I believe in Castle. I’ve been using Castle’s ActiveRecord for a while and I find it almost too good to be true. So MonoRail fits well in Castle’s world, so I’m into it.

Now I needed to choose a view engine.NVelovity was disqualified for its discontinuesness, and the need to learn something new and narrow. Not to mention the fact that it’s interpreted.The WebForms hybrid just doesn’t look too good.Brail from Ayende is very nice. Learning Boo isn’t like learning a new thing, since I’ve had a little taste of it in the past, and since it’s .NET, and since it has a very readable syntax that any C#/VB.NET/Python/Perl/java/you-name-it developer can learn in minutes. Brail is a lovely name, and I can count on Ayende to keep developing it as much as it’s needed.

So Brail over MonoRail it is.

Posts about the matter will come shortly.

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