KISS Datatable

Recenlty I’ve faced a problem with sorting columns in Datatable.

What is Datatable?

Datatable is a plug-in for Jquery library. It provides a lot of features like pagination, quick search or multi-column ordering. Besides, you can develop easily Bootstrap or Foundation ui css styles. There are also more other option but It doesn’t make sense to list it here, because you can visit their site and you can read clearly documentation. On Datatable website you can see a lot of examples. First of them shows how to improve your ordinary table to awesome and rich of features table. One function changes everything, It’s fantastic!  


Returning to my problem which I’ve faced, as I told it was problem related to sorting column in table.

I know sorting is a trivial thing. I hope that everyone knows it 🙂 Sorting by a date is also implemented in a datatable library. So everything is clear when we don’t change date format to human readable format. I mean something like this ‘3 hours ago’, ‘1 year ago’.

When Open Event team tested how datatable manages ordering columns in that format it didn’t work. It’s quite hard to sort by that format, So I’ve invented an idea. Surely you are wondering what i’ve invented. I’ve postponed my minds about sort by this values. It can direct to overwork. When I thought about it, weird ideas came to my mind, a lots of conditions, If statements… Therefore I’ve resigned from this. I’ve used KISS principle. KISS means ‘keep it simple stupid’. I like it!

Therefore that sorting is implemented on frontend side. I’ve decided not to display human readable date format at the beginning. I find  all dates which have format “YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm” then I replace that format to human readable format. So it’s very quick and comfortable, and doesn’t require a lot conditions to write. Of course I’ve tried to implement it in Datatable library. I suppose that it would  require more effort than it’s now.

Below You can see great function which changes a date in frontend side but does not change data in a datatable. So sorting process takes place in a datatable using format  “YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm” but user see human readable format. Isn’t it awesome?!

function change_column_time_to_humanize_format(datatable_name, column_id) {
  $(datatable_name).each(function( key, value ) {
    $(value).children().each(function( key1, value2 ) {
       if(key1 === column_id ){
          var current_value = $(value2).text().slice(0, 16);
          var changed_value = moment(current_value, "YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm").fromNow()
          var isValid = moment(current_value, "YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm", true).isValid()
          if (changed_value !== current_value && isValid === true){


Creating Dynamic Footer with Popover

In Open-Event Webapp generator, the track page height varies according to the popover that appears on hovering the tracks. The problem with this design was the footer of the page that always remains static and produce a bad UI to user.


So, I have decided to make footer dynamic so that it varies it’s position according to the popover appeared on hover. The approach was a bit tricky but the diagram below will make it easy to understand.

Dynamic footer

The following code will work on hovering the track.


var outerContheight= $('.main').offset().top + $('.main').outerHeight();
var tracknext= $(track).next();
var tracktocheck= track.offset().top + track.outerHeight() + 
 tracknext.outerHeight() + 15;
 var shift= tracktocheck - outerContheight;
 if(shift > 0){
 'top': outerContheight + shift,
 'z-index': '999'

If shift > 0 which is calculated as shown in the above code it means that the footer needs to be shifted and hence we shift the footer by setting absolute position in CSS. Else we set position: static for footer.


After following the above approach the footer position changes according to the popover. Here is the screencast for the approach.