For sites that need to watch for slow connectivity clients, How much would this great added feature to a plain table/grid would add for the data transfer?
What will be the directories that are required to be placed on the web server?
Friday, December 10, 2004
If you are concerned about connectivity speed, I actually think you might be better off with the activewidgets grid than a standard HTML table because of the additional file code you have to emit for a table to be built in HTML. The compiled JS file is about 53k, I think, but that will only get downloaded once by the client if they have caching on. In addition, if you employ page compression on the server, the JS file gets sent out as a 6k file (all servers will get different mileage on their compression).
Once the JS file is taken out of the equation, the HTML for the grid will be less than a comparable table output, especially as the number of rows and columns increases. This, of course is dependent on how much code you need to use to get what you need to do done, but, ultimately, I doubt there would be much of a difference in actually emited HTML size.
The drawback to the grid, I think, is that it does seem to exhibit speed problems during rendering as the number of rows increases (100+) and on weak workstations this becomes apparant. Of course, one may argue that nobody wants to scroll through 100+ rows and that a better architecture would be to use paging to display the records in the first place ;). If you need to display hundreds of rows at one time or you know that many of your visitors have Pentium 200 workstations, I would think twice about using the grid and would suggest some useability testing prior to making a decision.
One other concern I might see is that the grid does not work in XHTML standards mode. This is a no-no for some of the more strict designers who wish to comply with CSS specs.
However, when it comes to size for slow connectivity clients, I doubt it should be much of an issue in making a determination as to the grid's usefulness.