Please note, new blog at http://www.acheron.org/darryl/

AJAX Diary: Use TABLEs instead of DIVs

I've recently come the realisation that DIVs are just too much hard work when it comes to writing a stable, responsive and rapid user interface framework for AJAX-applications. Our large AJAX CRM application used DIVs and CSS Expressions heavily to achieve a "windows-like", fluid/scalable user interface. Each time a new pane was added, so were a bunch of CSS rules with expressions in them (absolute positioned elements that reference other elements to set width, height, top, left, etc).

I've now gone back to the dark ages, and converted the entire thing to use good old tables. I can tell you, it is a LOT more responsive. A lot of people may not realise the CSS expressions are evaluated each time something happens in the UI. For example, if you move your mouse, then the CSS expressions are being evaluated. So you can quickly guess that if you're adding more DIVs to the DOM with CSS expressions, you're certainly not speeding things up!

I'll also mention that I am talking about an "application" here -- not a Web site, and our standard platform is Internet Explorer (HTA). You can argue all you like that I should be using DIVs for visual layout, but I think it is more important to use what works.

Tables are just easier and quicker when it comes to GRID layouts...

By Anonymous campbell, at 5/30/2006 12:29:00 am  

Dude I think everyone would agree with you, maybe not the puritans though.



By Blogger SOSensible, at 5/30/2006 06:38:00 am  

Congradulations for realizing that the reason you couldn't see the light of pure CSS/DIV/SPAN is because there are areas of the technology that are not light! (In other words, I have felt the same way for years! We use CSS deeply in our business, but try not to go so deep that it is more of a liability than an asset. We use it for it's strengths rather than using it to obtain status.)



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By Blogger jminkler, at 11/12/2009 05:55:00 am  

Your on drugs if you think tables are easier to manage than divs. Either that or you can't code your way out of a wet paper bag.



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By Blogger Jhon, at 11/05/2010 10:06:00 am  

great said @SOSensible,

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By Blogger tania, at 11/11/2010 10:25:00 am  

some says use divs instead of table. I thing best process is that which according to your needs.

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Surely Ajax is being utilized a lot for creation of tables and making data entry in tables rather simpler. Cant even wonder how far this technology of PHP will move forward too...

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