(I offered to write an entry for the Catalyst Advent Calendar based on a private wiki article I use, and wanted to break the 600+ day blogging dry spell!)

Web user interfaces have come a long way since the original publish/view model of the Internet – these days, people expect interactivity and interfaces that let them get the information they want with the minimum of effort. JavaScript libraries such as jQuery have made it easier to develop cross-platform, interactive interfaces, but tables of data have still lagged behind a bit. There is a jQuery plugin that adds interactivity to tables of data in HTML – datatables.net. The DataTables plugin allows for server-side processing of table options such as ordering, filtering and pagination, leading to much smoother feeling data tables.