DHTML behaviours allow a surprising degree of modularity in site designs, simplifying updates and alterations.
Fundamentally, DHTML behaviours represent the marriage of cascading style sheet (CSS) formatting and HTML Components functionality. By assigning DHTML behaviours to any element found on an HTML page, it offers incredible flexibility in content presentation.
DHTML behaviours are the result of an evolutionary process of Web design under Internet Explorer. Previously, if we wanted to add functionality to IE, we had to use ActiveX controls, which raised a number of troubling security and architecture issues. Microsoft developed the HTML Components standard (still awaiting World Wide Web Consortium adoption) as an XML replacement for ActiveX controls.
Think of HTML Components as encapsulated DHTML—we can implement them as reusable, self-contained files. HTML Components are usually coded using VBScript or JScript. More advanced behaviour-driven applications can be scripted using Windows Script Components (WSC) or any ActiveX-enabled programming language.
The importance of HTML Components
DHTML behaviours provide numerous advanced programming tools, including extended browser methods, properties, and scripting access across domains. Behaviour functionality can be attached and detached dynamically from HTML elements using script. Moreover, Microsoft has made HTML Components an integral part of its .NET Web services strategy.