[whatwg] Enhanced data tables
ian at hixie.ch
Tue Apr 19 03:59:22 PDT 2005
On Fri, 3 Dec 2004, Afternoon wrote:
> > The data grid idea that I assumed Ben was referring to isn't quite the
> > same as a table, although I'm finding it difficult to justify the
> > difference. From a practical standpoint the difference between a
> > <table> and a data grid is that the table's data is all in a DOM
> > content model, whereas the data grid can be dynamically populated from
> > script, one row at a time, so that only the displayed portion need be
> > in memory at any one time.
> I don't believe the data necessarily needs to be absent from the
> content, although it certainly could be.
There are cases where it must. For example, the data grid for a mail
application showing a mailbox with 10,000 mails. You simply cannot have
all 10,000 DOM rows in memory. It doesn't work.
> > Another difference is that tables have a legacy of rendering semantics
> > which we can't do much about, whereas for the data grid we want to be
> > able to use GUI-specific native controls (or native-looking controls)
> > which have features such as clickable column headers, draggable column
> > separators, etc. Also, datagrids are limited to text in each cell
> > (with one icon per row), rows can be selected, data can be marked as
> > editable, etc.
> This is my key point. These features increase the usability of data
> grids in native controls. Adding them to browsers would create more
> functional applications for less work on the author's part.
> > There is a big overlap, but they aren't the same.
> Indeed, a browser that assumed every <table> was data-bearing and should
> have controls displayed would be all but useless.
Sadly, from a pragmatic point of view this is indeed the case.
Ian Hickson U+1047E )\._.,--....,'``. fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/ U+263A /, _.. \ _\ ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer. `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
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