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Technology

Building a form around tables

This is a problem I have been running into a lot lately since I began using tables for tabular data.

Let’s say you have a table of data, but each ROW of data is actually editable ( a form ), like an excel spreadsheet.

Basic skeleton:

<table>
<form>
<tr>
<td><input></td>
<td><input></td>
<tr>
</form>
<form>
<tr>
<td><input></td>
<td><input></td>
<tr>
</form>
</table>

This may look harmless, and to me, almost correct, because this IS technically tabular type data. But the problem is, if you try to put anything besides ROWS and COLS inside of a TABLE, you will get all sorts of weird errors. This is especially true if you try manipulating the tables using javascript. AJAX is almost out of the question…

I could try to mimic a “table” like layout using CSS, but that just seems kinda silly. Besides, tables have unique characteristics that make them better for storing tabular data anyways.

Here’s to hoping for a better solution…