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[RFC] HTML::Dashboard (Spreadsheet-like formatting for HTML tables) - PERL Modules

I am looking for comments on a new Perl module. The purpose of the module is to take a data set (e.g. from a DB query), apply a bunch of formatting rules, and render the resulting information in the form of an HTML table. Why this module? ============= For reports delivered via the web, it is often desirable to be able to apply data-dependent formatting rules, such as: - shading every second row to make reading easier - highlighting table cells (or rows, or columns) when some condition is fullfilled (e.g. when the value of cell is outside of some ...

  1. #1

    Default [RFC] HTML::Dashboard (Spreadsheet-like formatting for HTML tables)


    I am looking for comments on a new Perl module. The purpose of the
    module is to take a data set (e.g. from a DB query), apply a bunch of
    formatting rules, and render the resulting information in the form of
    an HTML table.


    Why this module?
    =============

    For reports delivered via the web, it is often desirable to be able to
    apply data-dependent formatting rules, such as:
    - shading every second row to make reading easier
    - highlighting table cells (or rows, or columns) when some condition
    is fullfilled (e.g. when the value of cell is outside of some range)
    - passing the content through some random formatting filter (such as
    sprintf(...) or substr(...))

    It is often also desirable to be able to sort the data (on a random
    column) or to restrict the set of columns included in the report.

    It is quite painful to build and apply such rules in an ad-hoc fashion
    while building the HTML table from a data set. (In particular when
    working on a one-off report which should take no more than half an
    hour to write.)

    Hence a module to take care of all of that.


    Proposal:
    =======

    I have put together a module (tentatively named HTML::Dashboard),
    which allows the programmer to specify a number of formatting rules,
    which will be applied to the data as it is rendered into HTML. The
    module is currently in alpha, and I am looking for comments (in
    particular in regards to usability, features, doentation, bugs).

    The best way to get an idea of what the module (currently) can do is
    to look at some examples. I put together a "gallery" show-casing the
    most important features. You can find it here:
    http://www.beyondcode.org/projects/dashboard/gallery.html

    The POD can be found here:
    http://www.beyondcode.org/projects/dashboard/index.html

    and the download here:
    http://www.beyondcode.org/projects/dashboard/HTML-Dashboard-0.01.tar.gz


    Questions:
    ========

    Feel free to take a look and let me know what you think. In
    particular, I'd like to know: Is this useful? And does it work?

    Is the doentation understandable (the API is uncomfortably large,
    in my opinion)?

    Is anything missing?

    And finally, I am looking for comments on the proposed module name.
    It's not perfect - any better ideas?

    pkj Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: [RFC] HTML::Dashboard (Spreadsheet-like formatting for HTML tables)

    pkj wrote: 

    <snip/>
     

    While the solution looks fine, I do have an issue
    with the use of the term "Dashboard". Dashboard already has
    strong associations with graphical data display
    (most notably, information dashboards with, e.g.,
    gauges, sparklines, barcharts, etc.).

    Since the modulelist (http://www.cpan.org/modules/00modlist.long.html#ID15_WorldWideW)
    doesn't currently list any registered "HTML::Spreadsheet", and it doesn't seem to exist
    on CPAN, perhaps thats a more appropriate name ? (and perhaps a bit more likely to pop up
    in a CPAN search when someone is casting about for your solution.)

    My US$0.02,
    Dean Arnold
    Presicient Corp.
    Dean Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: HTML::Dashboard (Spreadsheet-like formatting for HTML tables)

    On Apr 16, 3:50 pm, "pkj" <org> wrote: 

    Well, unless I'm missing something you could call it Data::Table, :-).

    Keith

    Keith Guest

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