Description: Repeated tables are a key feature of the data binding functionality included in Dynamic HTML. Repeated tables allow a page author to merge data with an HTML table on the client. The HTML table is used as a template. The content of the table is repeated once for each record in the data set and the data set is supplied by a data source object on the page. The table (template) is bound to the data source using the DATASRC attribute on
. (DATASRC is a W3C-proposed extension to HTML.)
The key advantage of repeated tables is that the repetition is done on the client without requiring round-trips to the server or storing state on the server. The data can subsequently be sorted, filtered, or manipulated in any fashion, and the page will dynamically be redrawn to reflect the changes -- without writing complicated scripts, server-side CGI processes, or Java code.
Today, only Internet Explorer 4 and greater support data binding. It is possible to use server-side scripting to provide similar functionality, but you must keep track of the client state and perform the table expansion and table manipulation on the server.
Sites that already support server-side data access might include a single page that takes advantage of the Internet Explorer 4 and greater data binding features as well as supporting down-level browsers. In general, this takes about 10 percent more effort than building the page to support server-side data access alone. This cost can be quickly recovered when considering the decreased number of server hits and usabililty benefits to Internet Explorer 4 and greater users.
Repeated tables can be used to display items from a catalog, a list of stock quotations, a list of files, or a table of mortgage rates.