An ABC of R2: E is for education tables

…which is one of the features central to the Eduction section. An example is this page of GCSE results.

Education tables are a great example of how one specialist requirement can reap rewards for so many others. We decided the Education section couldn’t be launched until we had created the ability to display and manage tables, and that’s one reason why we waited until August 2008 to launch it — there were a lot of other features to build before we got to tables.

Since launching tables for the Education section we’ve extended them for wider use. For example, they now feature more flexible formatting and the ability to click on a column for sorting. They’re also being used in other sections, such as in the Media section to display newspaper circulation, and the Football section to compare recent Spurs managers.

Journalism used to be about writing articles; these days it includes not just text, nor just audio and video, but also — as people like Adrian Holovaty and Jeff Jarvis have long said — managing and exposing data. This is one example of how that can happen.

2 thoughts on “An ABC of R2: E is for education tables

  1. Hi Nik. The triangles indicating the table sorting seem upside down: on that GCSE results table click on the ‘number of pupils’ header and the small numbers are small at the top (starting with a number of completely empty rows), getting bigger as you go down the page, but the triangle has its big end at the top and small at the bottom. Clicking again reverses the situation.

    Also, those empty rows are confusing. The first time I clicked on a column header the only rows then visible in my browser window were the empty ones. I initially thought that the entire table had been cleared in anticipation of loading the newly sorted data using Ajax or something; it took me way to long to discover that the data I wanted is actually there if I just page down.


  2. Hi Smylers. That’s a good spot on the triangle. The empty rows thing is trickier because strictly speaking an empty string comes before a non-empty string — and Excel does the same thing. But I do take your point, and I’ve suggested to the development team that empty rows should appear at the end, regardless of sort order. I’ll see what the reaction is.

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