LamonteCristo LamonteCristo - 24 days ago 4
HTML Question

What HTML tag is most appropriate for display in a Grid or Table? (with specific needs)

I'm trying to build a CSS-based table that will be populated with information coming from a database.

What is the most appropriate tag to use for this structured data? I originally considered ul since each row is an unordered list of data... but then I uncovered some difficulties making it into a grid using CSS.

I'm now looking at DIV (inline?) and Span. There may be others. What tag would be considered the industry standard way of displaying a CSS based grid?

Although I'm interested in learning what's most appropriate one from a DOM-Theory perspective, ultimately I want clean code that is consistent among browsers... This may weed out the ul tag entirely.

What do the experts think?


So it seems that everyone is recommending that I use a table for (duh) tabular data. The only reason I don't feel silly for asking this question is because my grid vendor is having issues with a dynamically resizing grid... and allowing for the columns to be resized on the client.

The vendor claims that the reason columns are having issues with a resize is because of tables. They will be moving to a DIV based layout to fix the issue. I'll post a reference link shortly...

Search for the word "Based" and you will see the posting from a MVP who mentions the internal changes:

Update 2:

Perhaps a large non-table based grid will also render faster.

You might say I need a lot of scalibility (for a large rowset) and the ability to resize the panes. Very similar to how Outlook currently looks/operates:

alt text

Summary of needs:
I'm looking for a Table approach that allows for:

  • Fast Rendering

  • Large Datasets

  • Rich formatting

  • The ability to resize outer container/div

  • When changing the width/height of outer container, the columns will keep the width property or grow, as defined in HTML


If it's a grid of data, it should be a <table>. It's fair enough to avoid using tables for layout, but if you have tabular data then that's exactly what tables are for.