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Zach Leatherman

Faster YUI DataTable with 5 Lines of Code

27 Dec 2007 Zach Leatherman

Holy Reflows Batman! The typical usage of a DataTable in the Yahoo User Interface JavaScript library involves passing a string into the constructor signifying the ID attribute of the container you want to attach the DataTable to. However, the YUI DataTable loves the DOM and creating nodes individually using DOM methods. Normally that’d be fine, but one of the first things it does in the constructor is create the table element and attach it to the live DOM. This is a no-no. Now, every time they append a new node (for a new row or a new cell inside of a row), it causes a reflow in the browser! What does this mean? Really bad lag when you insert 40 or 50 rows. Recognize this piece of code?

var myDataTable = new YAHOO.widget.DataTable("myContainer", myColumnDefs, myDataSource);

Straight from the docs. No no no!

Instead, you should pass in an unattached DOM node instead of a string!

Try this code on for size:

var myDataTable = new YAHOO.widget.DataTable(document.createElement('div'), myColumnDefs, myDataSource); 
myDataTable.subscribe('initEvent',function() {
    // CHANGE THIS -- match the id of the container you want.
    var d = document.getElementById('myContainer');
    // remove previous DataTables
    while(d.firstChild) { d.removeChild(d.firstChild); };
    d.appendChild(this._elContainer); });

1 Comment

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Zach Leatherman

03 Jan 2008 at 03:19PM

Outstanding bug that will be addressed in the next version:

"initEvent cannot be listened to for local sources"

Keep that in mind when using this approach.