Tables Use Templates

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Context: HL KitBasic Concepts and Terminology … Manipulation of Visual Elements … Working With Tables 


Tables make extensive use of templates. All of the objects shown within a table are viewed through a template. If the table is dynamic and allows items to be added, a separate template is used for displaying the items available for selection. If a table has a header or footer, then a template is used to display that information.

In fact, everything displayed as part of a table is accomplished using a template. The reason for this is simple. Using templates makes tables highly modular, allowing authors to readily customize the contents and re-use common templates for similar purposes.

How Templates Are Used

Every item shown within a table is either a thing or a pick. Every item that can be selected for addition to a table is a thing or a pick. Templates are an ideal vehicle for display within tables, since templates are always associated with a specific thing or pick. When used for showing a list of items, the same template is simply associated separately with each item in the list to properly render the contents of each item.

When rendering the table to the display, the HL engine will retrieve the list of objects that belong to the table. Then each of those objects is rendered, one at a time, into the table. For each object, the template defines the portals to be displayed and the object provides the appropriate fields from which to pull the information. Since the template is rendered separately for each item, it's perfectly reasonable to customize the contents of the template for each object. For example, certain portals can be hidden for some objects, while styles can be changes for certain portals on other objects.

The Show Template

Every table uses at least one template - the "show" template. This template is used to display each of the items within the table.

Reusing Table Templates In Multiple Places

Templates are not restricted to where they can be used. Consequently, you could choose to use the same template within a table and outside of that table. Or you could use the same template within multiple tables. Doing this is extremely useful. The problem is that, if you do share the template, you will probably need to make a few adjustments to how everything is handled within the template based on its context. The Kit makes this possible by providing the "intable" target reference that can be used on within the template's Position script. This target reference can be used to determine whether a template is within a table in general or to determine which specific table it is being used within.