Tabulator has been built from the ground up with you the developer in mind. Its guiding principal is to make it as easy as possible for a developer to get a feature rich table up and running in their project.
Keep It SimpleEven complex operations should be configurable using simple setup options, no need to instantiate complex objects with distinct API's for every feature
Make it EasyProvide built in functionality to cover the most common usage cases for each feature
Make it ExtensibleBuilt in functionality should be easily extendable to allow for customisation to a particular usage case
Document ItProvide detailed documentation and examples for every feature so people don't have to guess how to use things
Listen to the CommunityListen to the needs of the community and add features that bring the most benefit to everyone
When I first started out on my table building journey, there were a few good table building libraries out there that offered a wide range of features. But I found that each one either required a huge amount of code to setup even the simplest table or that they were so poorly documented it was hard to get started in the first place.
At the time I had also wanted to try my hand at writing a jQuery widget and was looking for a community project that I could get involved in. So I thought I would combine both ideas and started building out Tabulator.
It started out in 2016 as just a bit of fun, having a play with setting up my own project on GitHub and tinkering around with jQuery UI to see how things worked and what I could do.
The End of jQuery
Over the next couple of years the simple project started to get community attention and so around the start of planning for the 3.0 release I had decided that this was a project that I wanted to commit considerable time to and really focus on building out a great library.
It quickly became clear that for Tabulator to gain wider acceptance it would need to move away from jQuery if it was going to get the performance and functionality it needed. This was going to be a huge undertaking as jQuery had been an excellent shortcut in the early days, providing huge amounts of functionality built-in.
This was a huge task and was split over two major versions, with v3.0 restructuring the library to be more extensible and less dependent on jQuery, working out how to replace a lot of the jQuery functionality with a vanilla JS equivalent. v4.0 then saw the complete removal of jQuery and the introduction of the extensible module configuration.
Looking to the Future
The next stage on the roadmap was v5.0, The goal of this release was a complete rebuilt of the table, to make it more performant, more extensible and easier for members of the community to get involved.
This was not just in aid of a better user and developer experience, but to really give the project a solid base on which to build in the future.
This included a move to a minimal central table core logic, with all individual table functions being abstracted away into isolated modules and renderers that can communicate through a new internal and external bus system. This release saw massive performance improvements along with centralised interaction management and comprehensive developer build tools and documentation
Tabululator is built and maintained by Oli Folkerd
Oli is the Head of Development at Event Engineering, based in England, building a range of exciting interactive marketing contraptions for large scale product launches and marketing events.
Alongside the crazy contraptions, he also spends his days architecting and building cloud analytics platforms, native Electron web servers, buisness management systems, digital conferencing solutions, distributed ad-hock networking solutions and much more...