[openspending-dev] Table widget for Search and Aggregates

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich.lindenberg at okfn.org
Mon Feb 20 21:09:00 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I'm still undecided on which way to go with the new data tables in
OpenSpending. To recap the scope, they are first going to be used for
an embeddable search widget and then later also for displaying
aggregates (i.e. replace datatables). There are a couple of options
for this:

1) Use recline. Its nice because it already does a lot of what we need
and since its developed "in-house" we can influence its further
development to do more custom bits. But, to be honest, I'm also
feature-creeped out by it: going through the list of things that it is
supposed to do now or in the future, it's clear that we will have to
hack it very seriously to keep it down to match its task. (And, to be
a bit brutal, that it will not be able to do all these things well
with the resources we have and that it therefore will remain an
experiment.) This is already becoming an issue in debates about it
including multiple views or a generalized query format.

2) Use slickgrid, jqgrid or datatables. To be honest, I'm not too
excited about any of them - some (datatables) are trying to keep it
simple and then only accept APIs in a very specific format, while
others (slickgrid) are incredibly complex and try to boot what feels
like a few copies of excel in your browser. I haven't seen a nice
trade-off yet. On the other hand, you're likely to get mature code and
lots of configuration options.

3) Roll our own, probably a simplified/feature-limited fork of recline
or the old spend-browser. Of course it's tempting but also probably a
huge waste of resources. The argument here is that we don't want that
much from it, but that those things are probably going to be fairly
specific (around query state with facets and embeddability).

I honestly don't know where I stand on this, and I'd appreciate any
input. @Rufus: I know you feel strongly about recline, but please put
yourself in your OpenSpending shoes for this :)

- Friedrich

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