The table tag in HTML has a bit of a sordid past. Once tasked with laying out websites the table tag has been dragged through an identity crisis. As the sun set on web 1.0 – the over reaction was to remove all instances of tables. But I would argue that tables have their place. The fact of the matter is that tables are good for displaying tabular data – that was their intended purpose.
Flexigrid is making it even easier to feel comfortable with the table tag again. Flixigrid is a jQuery plugin that, in its most basic example, converts an HTML table into an interactive spreadsheet in the browser with expandable columns, alternating row treatments and a resizable frame. It takes the table tag with all of the trs and tds therein and converts them into divs – so if you are still on the fence about using tables, you can feel good about the fact that this plugin only uses it only to read the data and removes it from the DOM.
What I like about Flixigrid is the breadth of usage. As mentioned above Flixigrid in its simplest form is easy to implement. However the very same plugin can blow the lid off the tabular data with by offering the ability to display paginated rows with a pagination toolbar pulling from an XML feed via JSON.
If tabular data is on the menu in the feast of HTML you are serving up than there is no doubt that Flixigrid is sure to enhance your user’s experience.