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A stupidly small and simple jQuery table sorter plugin

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Stupid jQuery Table Sort

This is a stupid jQuery table sorting plugin. Nothing fancy, nothing really impressive. Overall, stupidly simple.

View the demo here

See the example.html document to see how to implement it.

Example Usage

The JS:



      <th data-sort="int">int</th>
      <th data-sort="float">float</th>
      <th data-sort="string">string</th>

The thead and tbody tags must be used.

Add a data-sort attribute of "DATATYPE" to the th elements to make them sortable by that data type. If you don't want that column to be sortable, just omit the data-sort attribute.

Predefined data types

Our aim is to keep this plugin as lightweight as possible. Consequently, the only predefined datatypes that you can pass to the th elements are

  • int
  • float
  • string (case-sensitive)
  • string-ins (case-insensitive)

These data types will be sufficient for many simple tables. However, if you need different data types for sorting, you can easily create your own!

Creating your own data types

Creating your own data type for sorting purposes is easy as long as you are comfortable using custom functions for sorting. Consult Mozilla's Docs if you're not.

Let's create an alphanum datatype for a User ID that takes strings in the form "D10", "A40", and sorts them based on the number.

    <th data-sort="string">Name</th>
    <th data-sort="int">Age</th>
    <th data-sort="alphanum">UserID</th>
    <td>Joseph McCullough</td>
    <td>Justin Edwards</td>

Now we need to specify how the alphanum type will be sorted. To do that, we do the following:


    var pattern = "^[A-Z](\\d+)$";
    var re = new RegExp(pattern);

    var aNum = re.exec(a).slice(1);
    var bNum = re.exec(b).slice(1);

    return parseInt(aNum,10) - parseInt(bNum,10);

This extracts the integers from the cell and compares them in the style that sort functions use.

Default sorting direction

By default, columns will sort ascending. You can specify a column to sort "ASC" or "DESC" first.

<th data-sort="float" data-sort-default="desc">float</th>


To execute a callback function after a table column has been sorted, you can bind on aftertablesort.

var table = $("table").stupidtable();
table.bind('aftertablesort', function (event, data) {
    // data.column - the index of the column sorted after a click
    // data.direction - the sorting direction (either asc or desc)
    // $(this) - this table object

    console.log("The sorting direction: " + data.direction);
    console.log("The column index: " + data.column);

Similarly, to execute a callback before a table column has been sorted, you can bind on beforetablesort.

See the complex_example.html file.

Data with multiple representations/predefined order

Often we find two distinct ways of offering data: In a machine friendly way, and a Human-friendly way. A clear example is a Timestamp. Additionally, arbitrary data values may already have a predefined sort order. In either case, it's to our advantage to have a way to store the "sortable data" while letting the viewer see the Human-friendly representation of that data. While the purpose of the custom sort methods is to take data and make it sortable (machine friendly), sometimes this is too hard or too expensive, computationally speaking.

To solve this problem, you can specify a data-sort-value attribute to table cells, and the attribute value will be the basis of the sort as opposed to the text value of the table cell. See the complex_example.html file, where we sort a column of letters based not on their alphabetical order, but by their frequency in the English language. You'll still need to specify a sort type or come up with your own custom sort function, but the presence of the data-sort-value attribute tells the plugin to use the value of the attribute as the basis of the sort.


The Stupid jQuery Plugin is licensed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for full details.


Visit tests/test.html in your browser to run the QUnit tests.

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