[ACCEPTED]-Dropdownlist control with <optgroup>s for asp.net (webforms)?-webforms

Accepted answer
Score: 47

I've used the standard control in the past, and 15 just added a simple ControlAdapter for it that would override 14 the default behavior so it could render 13 <optgroup>s in certain places. This 12 works great even if you have controls that 11 don't need the special behavior, because 10 the additional feature doesn't get in the 9 way.

Note that this was for a specific purpose 8 and written in .Net 2.0, so it may not suit 7 you as well, but it should at least give 6 you a starting point. Also, you have to 5 hook it up using a .browserfile in your 4 project (see the end of the post for an 3 example).

'This codes makes the dropdownlist control recognize items with "--"
'for the label or items with an OptionGroup attribute and render them
'as <optgroup> instead of <option>.
Public Class DropDownListAdapter
    Inherits System.Web.UI.WebControls.Adapters.WebControlAdapter

    Protected Overrides Sub RenderContents(ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
        Dim list As DropDownList = Me.Control
        Dim currentOptionGroup As String
        Dim renderedOptionGroups As New Generic.List(Of String)

        For Each item As ListItem In list.Items
            Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(list.UniqueID, item.Value)
            If item.Attributes("OptionGroup") IsNot Nothing Then
                'The item is part of an option group
                currentOptionGroup = item.Attributes("OptionGroup")
                If Not renderedOptionGroups.Contains(currentOptionGroup) Then
                    'the header was not written- do that first
                    'TODO: make this stack-based, so the same option group can be used more than once in longer select element (check the most-recent stack item instead of anything in the list)
                    If (renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0) Then
                        RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer) 'need to close previous group
                    End If
                    RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(currentOptionGroup, writer)
                    renderedOptionGroups.Add(currentOptionGroup)
                End If
                RenderListItem(item, writer)
            ElseIf item.Text = "--" Then 'simple separator
                RenderOptionGroupBeginTag("--", writer)
                RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer)
            Else
                'default behavior: render the list item as normal
                RenderListItem(item, writer)
            End If
        Next item

        If renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0 Then
            RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer)
        End If
    End Sub

    Private Sub RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(ByVal name As String, ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
        writer.WriteBeginTag("optgroup")
        writer.WriteAttribute("label", name)
        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar)
        writer.WriteLine()
    End Sub

    Private Sub RenderOptionGroupEndTag(ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
        writer.WriteEndTag("optgroup")
        writer.WriteLine()
    End Sub

    Private Sub RenderListItem(ByVal item As ListItem, ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
        writer.WriteBeginTag("option")
        writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, True)
        If item.Selected Then
            writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected", False)
        End If

        For Each key As String In item.Attributes.Keys
            writer.WriteAttribute(key, item.Attributes(key))
        Next key

        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar)
        HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer)
        writer.WriteEndTag("option")
        writer.WriteLine()
    End Sub
End Class

Here's a C# implementation of the 2 same Class:

/* This codes makes the dropdownlist control recognize items with "--"
 * for the label or items with an OptionGroup attribute and render them
 * as <optgroup> instead of <option>.
 */
public class DropDownListAdapter : WebControlAdapter
{
    protected override void RenderContents(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        //System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Response.Write("here");
        var list = (DropDownList)this.Control;
        string currentOptionGroup;
        var renderedOptionGroups = new List<string>();

        foreach (ListItem item in list.Items)
        {
            Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(list.UniqueID, item.Value);
            //Is the item part of an option group?
            if (item.Attributes["OptionGroup"] != null)
            {
                currentOptionGroup = item.Attributes["OptionGroup"];
                //Was the option header already written, then just render the list item
                if (renderedOptionGroups.Contains(currentOptionGroup))
                    RenderListItem(item, writer);
                //The header was not written,do that first
                else
                {
                    //Close previous group
                    if (renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0)
                        RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer);

                    RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(currentOptionGroup, writer);
                    renderedOptionGroups.Add(currentOptionGroup);
                    RenderListItem(item, writer);
                }
            }
            //Simple separator
            else if (item.Text == "--")
            {
                RenderOptionGroupBeginTag("--", writer);
                RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer);
            }
            //Default behavior, render the list item as normal
            else
                RenderListItem(item, writer);
        }

        if (renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0)
            RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer);
    }

    private void RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(string name, HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteBeginTag("optgroup");
        writer.WriteAttribute("label", name);
        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar);
        writer.WriteLine();
    }
    private void RenderOptionGroupEndTag(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteEndTag("optgroup");
        writer.WriteLine();
    }
    private void RenderListItem(ListItem item, HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteBeginTag("option");
        writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
        if (item.Selected)
            writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected", false);

        foreach (string key in item.Attributes.Keys)
            writer.WriteAttribute(key, item.Attributes[key]);

        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar);
        HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
        writer.WriteEndTag("option");
        writer.WriteLine();
    }
}

My browser file was named "App_Browsers\BrowserFile.browser" and 1 looked like this:

<!--
    You can find existing browser definitions at
    <windir>\Microsoft.NET\Framework\<ver>\CONFIG\Browsers
-->
<browsers>
   <browser refID="Default">
      <controlAdapters>
        <adapter controlType="System.Web.UI.WebControls.DropDownList" 
               adapterType="DropDownListAdapter" />
      </controlAdapters>
   </browser>
</browsers>
Score: 26

I have used JQuery to achieve this task. I 3 first added an new attribute for every ListItem from 2 the backend and then used that attribute 1 in JQuery wrapAll() method to create groups...

C#:

foreach (ListItem item in ((DropDownList)sender).Items)
{
    if (System.Int32.Parse(item.Value) < 5)
        item.Attributes.Add("classification", "LessThanFive");
    else
        item.Attributes.Add("classification", "GreaterThanFive");
} 

JQuery:

$(document).ready(function() {
    //Create groups for dropdown list
    $("select.listsmall option[@classification='LessThanFive']")
        .wrapAll("&lt;optgroup label='Less than five'&gt;");
    $("select.listsmall option[@classification='GreaterThanFive']")
        .wrapAll("&lt;optgroup label='Greater than five'&gt;"); 
});
Score: 20

Thanks Joel! everyone... here's C# version 1 if you want it:



using System;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls.Adapters;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Web;

//This codes makes the dropdownlist control recognize items with "--"'
//for the label or items with an OptionGroup attribute and render them'
//as  instead of .'
public class DropDownListAdapter : WebControlAdapter
{

    protected override void RenderContents(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        DropDownList list = Control as DropDownList;
        string currentOptionGroup;
        List renderedOptionGroups = new List();

        foreach(ListItem item in list.Items)
        {
            if (item.Attributes["OptionGroup"] != null)
            {
                //'The item is part of an option group'
                currentOptionGroup = item.Attributes["OptionGroup"];
                //'the option header was already written, just render the list item'
                if(renderedOptionGroups.Contains(currentOptionGroup))
                    RenderListItem(item, writer);
                else
                {
                    //the header was not written- do that first'
                    if (renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0)
                        RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer); //'need to close previous group'
                    RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(currentOptionGroup, writer);
                    renderedOptionGroups.Add(currentOptionGroup);
                    RenderListItem(item, writer);
                }
            }
            else if (item.Text == "--") //simple separator
            {
                RenderOptionGroupBeginTag("--", writer);
                RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer);
            }
            else
            {
                //default behavior: render the list item as normal'
                RenderListItem(item, writer);
            }
        }

        if(renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0)
            RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer);
    }

    private void RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(string name, HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteBeginTag("optgroup");
        writer.WriteAttribute("label", name);
        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar);
        writer.WriteLine();
    }

    private void RenderOptionGroupEndTag(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteEndTag("optgroup");
        writer.WriteLine();
    }

    private void RenderListItem(ListItem item, HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        writer.WriteBeginTag("option");
        writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
        if (item.Selected)
            writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected", false);


        foreach (string key in item.Attributes.Keys)
            writer.WriteAttribute(key, item.Attributes[key]);

        writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar);
        HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
        writer.WriteEndTag("option");
        writer.WriteLine();
    }

}



Score: 20

The above code renders the end tag for the 7 optgroup before any of the options, so the 6 options don't get indented like they should 5 in addition to the markup not properly representing 4 the grouping. Here's my slightly modified 3 version of Tom's code:

    public class ExtendedDropDownList : System.Web.UI.WebControls.DropDownList
{
    public const string OptionGroupTag = "optgroup";
    private const string OptionTag = "option";
    protected override void RenderContents(System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        ListItemCollection items = this.Items;
        int count = items.Count;
        string tag;
        string optgroupLabel;
        if (count > 0)
        {
            bool flag = false;
            string prevOptGroup = null;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
            {
                tag = OptionTag;
                optgroupLabel = null;
                ListItem item = items[i];
                if (item.Enabled)
                {
                    if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0 && item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag] != null)
                    {
                        optgroupLabel = item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag];

                        if (prevOptGroup != optgroupLabel)
                        {
                            if (prevOptGroup != null)
                            {
                                writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                            }
                            writer.WriteBeginTag(OptionGroupTag);
                            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(optgroupLabel))
                            {
                                writer.WriteAttribute("label", optgroupLabel);
                            }
                            writer.Write('>');
                        }
                        item.Attributes.Remove(OptionGroupTag);
                        prevOptGroup = optgroupLabel;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        if (prevOptGroup != null)
                        {
                            writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                        }
                        prevOptGroup = null;
                    }

                    writer.WriteBeginTag(tag);
                    if (item.Selected)
                    {
                        if (flag)
                        {
                            this.VerifyMultiSelect();
                        }
                        flag = true;
                        writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected");
                    }
                    writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
                    if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0)
                    {
                        item.Attributes.Render(writer);
                    }
                    if (optgroupLabel != null)
                    {
                        item.Attributes.Add(OptionGroupTag, optgroupLabel);
                    }
                    if (this.Page != null)
                    {
                        this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(this.UniqueID, item.Value);
                    }

                    writer.Write('>');
                    HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
                    writer.WriteEndTag(tag);
                    writer.WriteLine();
                    if (i == count - 1)
                    {
                        if (prevOptGroup != null)
                        {
                            writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }

    protected override object SaveViewState()
    {
        object[] state = new object[this.Items.Count + 1];
        object baseState = base.SaveViewState();
        state[0] = baseState;
        bool itemHasAttributes = false;

        for (int i = 0; i < this.Items.Count; i++)
        {
            if (this.Items[i].Attributes.Count > 0)
            {
                itemHasAttributes = true;
                object[] attributes = new object[this.Items[i].Attributes.Count * 2];
                int k = 0;

                foreach (string key in this.Items[i].Attributes.Keys)
                {
                    attributes[k] = key;
                    k++;
                    attributes[k] = this.Items[i].Attributes[key];
                    k++;
                }
                state[i + 1] = attributes;
            }
        }

        if (itemHasAttributes)
            return state;
        return baseState;
    }

    protected override void LoadViewState(object savedState)
    {
        if (savedState == null)
            return;

        if (!(savedState.GetType().GetElementType() == null) &&
            (savedState.GetType().GetElementType().Equals(typeof(object))))
        {
            object[] state = (object[])savedState;
            base.LoadViewState(state[0]);

            for (int i = 1; i < state.Length; i++)
            {
                if (state[i] != null)
                {
                    object[] attributes = (object[])state[i];
                    for (int k = 0; k < attributes.Length; k += 2)
                    {
                        this.Items[i - 1].Attributes.Add
                            (attributes[k].ToString(), attributes[k + 1].ToString());
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        else
        {
            base.LoadViewState(savedState);
        }
    }
}

Use it like this:

            ListItem item1 = new ListItem("option1");
        item1.Attributes.Add("optgroup", "CatA");
        ListItem item2 = new ListItem("option2");
        item2.Attributes.Add("optgroup", "CatA");
        ListItem item3 = new ListItem("option3");
        item3.Attributes.Add("optgroup", "CatB");
        ListItem item4 = new ListItem("option4");
        item4.Attributes.Add("optgroup", "CatB");
        ListItem item5 = new ListItem("NoOptGroup");

        ddlTest.Items.Add(item1);
        ddlTest.Items.Add(item2);
        ddlTest.Items.Add(item3);
        ddlTest.Items.Add(item4);
        ddlTest.Items.Add(item5);

and 2 here's the generated markup (indented for 1 ease of viewing):

 <select name="ddlTest" id="Select1">
    <optgroup label="CatA">
        <option selected="selected" value="option1">option1</option>
        <option value="option2">option2</option>
    </optgroup>
    <optgroup label="CatB">
        <option value="option3">option3</option>
        <option value="option4">option4</option>
    </optgroup>
    <option value="NoOptGroup">NoOptGroup</option>
 </select>
Score: 6

The Sharp Pieces project on CodePlex solves this (and several other) control 1 limitations.

Score: 6

I use the reflector to see why is not supported. There 9 is why. In the render method of the ListControl 8 no condition is there to create the optgroup.

protected internal override void RenderContents(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        ListItemCollection items = this.Items;
        int count = items.Count;
        if (count > 0)
        {
            bool flag = false;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
            {
                ListItem item = items[i];
                if (item.Enabled)
                {
                    writer.WriteBeginTag("option");
                    if (item.Selected)
                    {
                        if (flag)
                        {
                            this.VerifyMultiSelect();
                        }
                        flag = true;
                        writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected");
                    }
                    writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
                    if (item.HasAttributes)
                    {
                        item.Attributes.Render(writer);
                    }
                    if (this.Page != null)
                    {
                        this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(this.UniqueID, item.Value);
                    }
                    writer.Write('>');
                    HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
                    writer.WriteEndTag("option");
                    writer.WriteLine();
                }
            }
        }
    }

So 7 i create my own dropdown Control with an 6 override of the method RenderContents. There 5 is my control. Is working fine. I use exactly 4 the same code of Microsoft, just add a little 3 condition to support listItem having attribute 2 optgroup to create an optgroup and not a 1 option.

Give me some feed back

public class DropDownListWithOptionGroup : DropDownList
  {
    public const string OptionGroupTag = "optgroup";
    private const string OptionTag = "option";
    protected override void RenderContents(System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
      ListItemCollection items = this.Items;
      int count = items.Count;     
      string tag;
      string optgroupLabel;
      if (count > 0)
      {
        bool flag = false;
        for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
        {
          tag = OptionTag;
          optgroupLabel = null;
          ListItem item = items[i];
          if (item.Enabled)
          {
            if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0 && item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag] != null)
            {
              tag = OptionGroupTag;
              optgroupLabel = item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag];
            }           
            writer.WriteBeginTag(tag);
            // NOTE(cboivin): Is optionGroup
            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(optgroupLabel))
            {
              writer.WriteAttribute("label", optgroupLabel);
            }
            else
            {
              if (item.Selected)
              {
                if (flag)
                {
                  this.VerifyMultiSelect();
                }
                flag = true;
                writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected");
              }
              writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
              if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0)
              {
                item.Attributes.Render(writer);
              }
              if (this.Page != null)
              {
                this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(this.UniqueID, item.Value);
              }
            }
            writer.Write('>');
            HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
            writer.WriteEndTag(tag);
            writer.WriteLine();
          }
        }
      }

    }
  }
Score: 5

Based on the posts above I've created a 3 c# version of this control with working 2 view state.

        public const string OptionGroupTag = "optgroup";
    private const string OptionTag = "option";
    protected override void RenderContents(System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        ListItemCollection items = this.Items;
        int count = items.Count;
        string tag;
        string optgroupLabel;
        if (count > 0)
        {
            bool flag = false;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
            {
                tag = OptionTag;
                optgroupLabel = null;
                ListItem item = items[i];
                if (item.Enabled)
                {
                    if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0 && item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag] != null)
                    {
                        tag = OptionGroupTag;
                        optgroupLabel = item.Attributes[OptionGroupTag];
                    }
                    writer.WriteBeginTag(tag);
                    // NOTE(cboivin): Is optionGroup
                    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(optgroupLabel))
                    {
                        writer.WriteAttribute("label", optgroupLabel);
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        if (item.Selected)
                        {
                            if (flag)
                            {
                                this.VerifyMultiSelect();
                            }
                            flag = true;
                            writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected");
                        }
                        writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
                        if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0)
                        {
                            item.Attributes.Render(writer);
                        }
                        if (this.Page != null)
                        {
                            this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(this.UniqueID, item.Value);
                        }
                    }
                    writer.Write('>');
                    HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
                    writer.WriteEndTag(tag);
                    writer.WriteLine();
                }
            }
        }
    }

        protected override object SaveViewState()
    {
        object[] state = new object[this.Items.Count + 1];
        object baseState = base.SaveViewState();
        state[0] = baseState;
        bool itemHasAttributes = false;

        for (int i = 0; i < this.Items.Count; i++)
        {
            if (this.Items[i].Attributes.Count > 0)
            {
                itemHasAttributes = true;
                object[] attributes = new object[this.Items[i].Attributes.Count * 2];
                int k = 0;

                foreach (string key in this.Items[i].Attributes.Keys)
                {
                    attributes[k] = key;
                    k++;
                    attributes[k] = this.Items[i].Attributes[key];
                    k++;
                }
                state[i + 1] = attributes;
            }
        }

        if (itemHasAttributes)
            return state;
        return baseState;
    }

        protected override void LoadViewState(object savedState)
    {
        if (savedState == null)
            return;

        if (!(savedState.GetType().GetElementType() == null) &&
            (savedState.GetType().GetElementType().Equals(typeof(object))))
        {
            object[] state = (object[])savedState;
            base.LoadViewState(state[0]);

            for (int i = 1; i < state.Length; i++)
            {
                if (state[i] != null)
                {
                    object[] attributes = (object[])state[i];
                    for (int k = 0; k < attributes.Length; k += 2)
                    {
                        this.Items[i - 1].Attributes.Add
                            (attributes[k].ToString(), attributes[k + 1].ToString());
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        else
        {
            base.LoadViewState(savedState);
        }
    }

I hope this helps some people 1 :-)

Score: 5

A more generic approach to Irfan's jQuery-based 1 solution:

backend

private void _addSelectItem(DropDownList list, string title, string value, string group = null) {
   ListItem item = new ListItem(title, value);
   if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(group))
   {
       item.Attributes["data-category"] = group;
   }
   list.Items.Add(item);
}

...
_addSelectItem(dropDown, "Option 1", "1");
_addSelectItem(dropDown, "Option 2", "2", "Category");
_addSelectItem(dropDown, "Option 3", "3", "Category");
...

client

var groups = {};
$("select option[data-category]").each(function () {
     groups[$.trim($(this).attr("data-category"))] = true;
});
$.each(groups, function (c) {
     $("select option[data-category='"+c+"']").wrapAll('<optgroup label="' + c + '">');
});
Score: 4

I've done this using an outer repeater for 7 the select and optgroups and an inner repeater 6 for the items within that group:

<asp:Repeater ID="outerRepeater" runat="server">
    <HeaderTemplate>
        <select id="<%= outerRepeater.ClientID %>">
    </HeaderTemplate>
    <ItemTemplate>
            <optgroup label="<%# Eval("GroupText") %>">
                <asp:Repeater runat="server" DataSource='<%# Eval("Items") %>'>
                    <ItemTemplate>
                        <option value="<%# Eval("Value") %>"><%# Eval("Text") %></option>
                    </ItemTemplate>
                </asp:Repeater>
            </optgroup>
    </ItemTemplate>
    <FooterTemplate>
        </select>
    </FooterTemplate>
</asp:Repeater>

The data 5 source for outerRepeater is a simple grouping as follows:

var data = (from o in thingsToDisplay
            group oby GetAlphaGrouping(o.Name) into g
            orderby g.Key
            select new
            {
                Alpha = g.Key,
                Items = g
            });

And 4 to get the alpha grouping character:

private string GetAlphaGrouping(string value)
{
    string firstChar = value.Substring(0, 1).ToUpper();
    int unused;

    if (int.TryParse(firstChar, out unused))
        return "#";

    return firstChar.ToUpper();
}

It's 3 not a perfect solution but it works. The 2 correct solution would be to no longer use WebForms, but 1 us MVC instead. :)

Score: 1

As the answers above that overload the RenderContents 5 method do work. You also have to remember 4 to alter the viewstate. I have come into 3 an issue when using the non-altered viewstate 2 in UpdatePanels. This has parts taken from 1 the Sharp Pieces Project.

 Protected Overloads Overrides Sub RenderContents(ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
    Dim list As DropDownList = Me

    Dim currentOptionGroup As String
    Dim renderedOptionGroups As New List(Of String)()

    For Each item As ListItem In list.Items
        If item.Attributes("OptionGroup") Is Nothing Then
            RenderListItem(item, writer)
        Else
            currentOptionGroup = item.Attributes("OptionGroup")

            If renderedOptionGroups.Contains(currentOptionGroup) Then
                RenderListItem(item, writer)
            Else
                If renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0 Then
                    RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer)
                End If

                RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(currentOptionGroup, writer)
                renderedOptionGroups.Add(currentOptionGroup)

                RenderListItem(item, writer)
            End If
        End If
    Next

    If renderedOptionGroups.Count > 0 Then
        RenderOptionGroupEndTag(writer)
    End If
End Sub

Private Sub RenderOptionGroupBeginTag(ByVal name As String, ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
    writer.WriteBeginTag("optgroup")
    writer.WriteAttribute("label", name)
    writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar)
    writer.WriteLine()
End Sub

Private Sub RenderOptionGroupEndTag(ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
    writer.WriteEndTag("optgroup")
    writer.WriteLine()
End Sub

Private Sub RenderListItem(ByVal item As ListItem, ByVal writer As HtmlTextWriter)
    writer.WriteBeginTag("option")
    writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, True)

    If item.Selected Then
        writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected", False)
    End If

    For Each key As String In item.Attributes.Keys
        writer.WriteAttribute(key, item.Attributes(key))
    Next

    writer.Write(HtmlTextWriter.TagRightChar)
    HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer)
    writer.WriteEndTag("option")
    writer.WriteLine()
End Sub
Protected Overrides Function SaveViewState() As Object
    ' Create an object array with one element for the CheckBoxList's
    ' ViewState contents, and one element for each ListItem in skmCheckBoxList
    Dim state(Me.Items.Count + 1 - 1) As Object 'stupid vb array
    Dim baseState As Object = MyBase.SaveViewState()

    state(0) = baseState
    ' Now, see if we even need to save the view state
    Dim itemHasAttributes As Boolean = False

    For i As Integer = 0 To Me.Items.Count - 1
        If Me.Items(i).Attributes.Count > 0 Then
            itemHasAttributes = True
            ' Create an array of the item's Attribute's keys and values
            Dim attribKV(Me.Items(i).Attributes.Count * 2 - 1) As Object 'stupid vb array
            Dim k As Integer = 0
            For Each key As String In Me.Items(i).Attributes.Keys
                attribKV(k) = key
                k += 1
                attribKV(k) = Me.Items(i).Attributes(key)
                k += 1
            Next
            state(i + 1) = attribKV
        End If
    Next
    ' return either baseState or state, depending on whether or not
    ' any ListItems had attributes
    If (itemHasAttributes) Then
        Return state
    Else
        Return baseState
    End If
End Function


Protected Overrides Sub LoadViewState(ByVal savedState As Object)
    If savedState Is Nothing Then Return
    ' see if savedState is an object or object array
    If Not savedState.GetType.GetElementType() Is Nothing AndAlso savedState.GetType.GetElementType().Equals(GetType(Object)) Then

        ' we have just the base state
        MyBase.LoadViewState(savedState(0))
        'we have an array of items with attributes
        Dim state() As Object = savedState
        MyBase.LoadViewState(state(0))   '/ load the base state
        For i As Integer = 1 To state.Length - 1
            If Not state(i) Is Nothing Then
                ' Load back in the attributes
                Dim attribKV() As Object = state(i)
                For k As Integer = 0 To attribKV.Length - 1 Step +2
                    Me.Items(i - 1).Attributes.Add(attribKV(k).ToString(), attribKV(k + 1).ToString())
                Next
            End If
        Next
    Else
        'load it normal
        MyBase.LoadViewState(savedState)
    End If
End Sub
Score: 1
    // How to use:
    // 1. Create items in a select element or asp:DropDownList control
    // 2. Set value of an option or ListItem to "_group_", those will be converted to optgroups
    // 3. On page onload call createOptGroups(domElement), for example like this:
    //    - var lst = document.getElementById('lst');
    //    - createOptGroups(lst, "_group_");
    // 4. You can change groupMarkerValue to anything, I used "_group_"
    function createOptGroups(lst, groupMarkerValue) {
        // Get an array containing the options
        var childNodes = [];
        for (var i = 0; i < lst.options.length; i++)
            childNodes.push(lst.options[i]);

        // Get the selected element so we can preserve selection
        var selectedIndex = lst.selectedIndex;
        var selectedChild = childNodes[selectedIndex];
        var selectedValue = selectedChild.value;

        // Remove all elements
        while (lst.hasChildNodes())
            lst.removeChild(lst.childNodes[0]);

        // Go through the array of options and convert some into groups
        var group = null;
        for (var i = 0; i < childNodes.length; i++) {
            var node = childNodes[i];
            if (node.value == groupMarkerValue) {
                group = document.createElement("optgroup");
                group.label = node.text;
                group.value = groupMarkerValue;
                lst.appendChild(group);
                continue;
            }

            // Add to group or directly under list
            (group == null ? lst : group).appendChild(node);
        }

        // Preserve selected, no support for multi-selection here, sorry
        selectedChild.selected = true;
    }

Tested on Chrome 16, Firefox 9 and IE8.

0

Score: 0

I expanded upon mkl's answer to make a DropDownList 8 control to which you can DataBind. Here's 7 the result (which may be subject to improvement):

public class UcDropDownListWithOptGroup : DropDownList
{
    public const string OptionGroupTag = "optgroup";
    private const string OptionTag = "option";

    protected override void RenderContents(HtmlTextWriter writer)
    {
        ListItemCollection items = this.Items;
        int count = items.Count;
        string tag;
        string optgroupLabel;
        if (count > 0)
        {
            bool flag = false;
            string prevOptGroup = null;
            for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
            {
                tag = OptionTag;
                optgroupLabel = null;
                ListItem item = items[i];
                if (item.Enabled)
                {
                    if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0 && item.Attributes["data-optgroup"] != null)
                    {
                        optgroupLabel = item.Attributes["data-optgroup"];

                        if (prevOptGroup != optgroupLabel)
                        {
                            if (prevOptGroup != null)
                            {
                                writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                            }
                            writer.WriteBeginTag(OptionGroupTag);
                            if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(optgroupLabel))
                            {
                                writer.WriteAttribute("label", optgroupLabel);
                            }
                            writer.Write('>');
                        }
                        item.Attributes.Remove(OptionGroupTag);
                        prevOptGroup = optgroupLabel;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        if (prevOptGroup != null)
                        {
                            writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                        }
                        prevOptGroup = null;
                    }

                    writer.WriteBeginTag(tag);
                    if (item.Selected)
                    {
                        if (flag)
                        {
                            this.VerifyMultiSelect();
                        }
                        flag = true;
                        writer.WriteAttribute("selected", "selected");
                    }
                    writer.WriteAttribute("value", item.Value, true);
                    if (item.Attributes != null && item.Attributes.Count > 0)
                    {
                        item.Attributes.Render(writer);
                    }
                    if (optgroupLabel != null)
                    {
                        item.Attributes.Add(OptionGroupTag, optgroupLabel);
                    }
                    if (this.Page != null)
                    {
                        this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterForEventValidation(this.UniqueID, item.Value);
                    }

                    writer.Write('>');
                    HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text, writer);
                    writer.WriteEndTag(tag);
                    writer.WriteLine();
                    if (i == count - 1)
                    {
                        if (prevOptGroup != null)
                        {
                            writer.WriteEndTag(OptionGroupTag);
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }

    protected override object SaveViewState()
    {
        object[] state = new object[this.Items.Count + 1];
        object baseState = base.SaveViewState();
        state[0] = baseState;
        bool itemHasAttributes = false;

        for (int i = 0; i < this.Items.Count; i++)
        {
            if (this.Items[i].Attributes.Count > 0)
            {
                itemHasAttributes = true;
                object[] attributes = new object[this.Items[i].Attributes.Count * 2];
                int k = 0;

                foreach (string key in this.Items[i].Attributes.Keys)
                {
                    attributes[k] = key;
                    k++;
                    attributes[k] = this.Items[i].Attributes[key];
                    k++;
                }
                state[i + 1] = attributes;
            }
        }

        if (itemHasAttributes)
            return state;
        return baseState;
    }

    protected override void LoadViewState(object savedState)
    {
        if (savedState == null)
            return;

        if (!(savedState.GetType().GetElementType() == null) &&
            (savedState.GetType().GetElementType().Equals(typeof(object))))
        {
            object[] state = (object[])savedState;
            base.LoadViewState(state[0]);

            for (int i = 1; i < state.Length; i++)
            {
                if (state[i] != null)
                {
                    object[] attributes = (object[])state[i];
                    for (int k = 0; k < attributes.Length; k += 2)
                    {
                        this.Items[i - 1].Attributes.Add
                            (attributes[k].ToString(), attributes[k + 1].ToString());
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        else
        {
            base.LoadViewState(savedState);
        }
    }

    protected override void PerformDataBinding(IEnumerable dataSource)
    {
        base.PerformDataBinding(dataSource);

        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(DataOptGroupField) && OptGroupTitles != null)
        {
            var currentItems = Items;
            var dataSourceItems = dataSource.Cast<object>().ToList();

            var staticItemsCount = Items.Count - dataSourceItems.Count;

            for (var i = staticItemsCount; i < Items.Count; i++)
            {
                var dataSourceItem = dataSourceItems[i - staticItemsCount];
                var optGroupValue = DataBinder.GetPropertyValue(dataSourceItem, DataOptGroupField);
                currentItems[i].Attributes.Add("data-optgroup", OptGroupTitles[optGroupValue]);
            }
        }
    }

    public Dictionary<object, string> OptGroupTitles { get; set; }
    public string DataOptGroupField { get; set; }
}

Things 6 to note:

  • You can set a DataOptGroupField property, similiar to DataTextField and DataValueField. It defines which property of the databound item it should take into consideration for determining the correct optgroup.
  • You can set a OptGroupTitles property which defines to which optgroup label the property defined in DataOptGroupField should be translated.

As an example, take the following 5 code in your page or user control:

<MyControls:UcDropDownListWithOptGroup runat="server" DataSourceID="dsX" DataTextField="MyDataTextField" DataValueField="MyDataValueField" DataOptGroupField="IsActive" OptGroupTitles='<%# MyGroupTitles %>' />

Where 4 the 'IsActive' property of the databound 3 item is a boolean.

In the code-behind of 2 the page or user control, you define the 1 following property:

public Dictionary<object, string> MyGroupTitles
{
    get
    {
        return new Dictionary<object, string>
        {
            { true, "Active" },
            { false, "Inactive" }
        };
    }
}

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