W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > November 2004

[whatwg] Enhanced data tables

From: Matthew Thomas <mpt@myrealbox.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 16:19:48 +1300
Message-ID: <0BF1DCCA-3135-11D9-ABBD-000A95AD3972@myrealbox.com>
On 8 Nov, 2004, at 7:35 AM, Afternoon wrote:
> ...
> Proposed addition to Web Controls 1.0.
>
> Separate designation for data bearing tables

All HTML tables are already data-bearing, unless they're 
non-conformant. (<td> stands for Table Data.) You might make a case 
that <table> is more often used incorrectly than correctly, but you 
would then also need to make a case that creating a "separate 
designation for data-bearing tables" would solve the problem.

The latter would have two main pitfalls. Firstly, authors who had used 
<table> properly in good faith would be annoyed that *they* were the 
ones having to change their markup, rather than the authors who had 
used <table> wrongly to begin with. Secondly, the mistaken authors 
might *also* start using the new syntax just because it's the cool 
thing to do, even when it's inappropriate (just like they jumped from 
using <b> to using <strong> even when it was inappropriate, or from 
using <i> to using <em> even when it was inappropriate, or from 
producing "HTML" to producing "XHTML" even when it was not 
well-formed).

> that allow browsers to provide extended data manipulation features 
> such as:
>
>      * Sorting
>        Standard controls for sorting by each column/asc+desc

There's no reason browsers couldn't have implemented this already, 
except for lack of demand. (If an author is smart enough to use the 
<th> element, they're smart enough not to mind that a browser makes 
most <th>s clickable and reserves space for a sorting indicator 
triangle.)

>        Native code for fast sorting of many data

Web Controls 1.0 should include native code for fast sorting of many 
data? Why, and under what license?

>      * In-browser pagination
>        If the dataset is small, there is no reason why a larger number
>        of data can't be sent to the browser, to allow greater sorting
>        functionality there.

Do you mean something like <th sortorder="S,M,L,XL,XXL,XXXL">Size</th>?

>                             Usable display of larger datasets would be
>        assisted by pagination.
> ...

I don't know what you mean by that. (If you mean that <thead> and 
<tfoot> should, if there is room, remain visible while a table is being 
scrolled, like they do in spreadsheets, I think browsers should be 
doing that anyway. <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=53702> 
Merely inventing new syntax for it wouldn't make it easier to 
implement.)

-- 
Matthew Thomas
http://mpt.net.nz/
Received on Sunday, 7 November 2004 19:19:48 UTC

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