A lightweight, mobile-ready, data-driven, modular grid widget designed use with the Dojo object store
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This project provides widgets for lists of data, including simple sets of scrolling rows, grids of data, on-demand lazy-loaded data, and various plugins for additional functionality. This project also provides touch scrolling for mobile devices with native style momentum, bouncing, and scrollbars.

To use this package, install it with CPM:

cpm install dgrid

Alternatively, download dgrid and its dependencies, which are:

  • xstyle
  • put-selector
  • The Dojo Toolkit version 1.7
    • Out of the DTK components, Dojo core is the only hard dependency for dgrid; however, some of the test pages also use components from Dijit, and Dojox (namely grid for a comparison test, and mobile for a mobile page).

Please note that as of the v0.2.0 release of dgrid, Dojo 1.7 is not yet final. dgrid v0.2.0 requires at least Dojo 1.7 RC2.

The dgrid project is available under the same dual BSD/AFLv2 license as the Dojo Toolkit.


dgrid's primary components fall into the following top-level modules.

Further information on these modules may be available via the API viewer, accessible via doc/api.html in the downloaded package.


This provides the basic facilities for taking an array of objects and rendering as rows of HTML in a scrollable area. This will automatically include touch scrolling capabilities (via the TouchScroll module) on mobile devices.

The List can be used to render an array of data. For example:

define(["dgrid/List"], function(List){
    // attach to a DOM id
    var list = new List({}, "list");
    // render some data

More List APIs

The base List class (inherited by all other classes) also has the following methods:

  • row(target): This will look up the requested row and return a Row object. The single parameter may be a DOM event, DOM node, data object id, or data object. The returned Row object has the following properties:
    • id: The data object's id
    • element: The row's DOM element
    • data: The data object represented by the row
  • on(event, listener): Basic event listener functionality; simply delegates to the top-level DOM element of the List, using standard dojo/on behavior.
  • renderArray(array, beforeNode): This can be called to render an array. The beforeNode parameter can be used to render at a specific place in the List.
  • renderRow(value, options): This can be overridden to provide custom rendering logic for rows.
  • sort(property, descending): This can be called to sort the List by a given property; if the second parameter is passed true, the sort will be in descending order. The Grid and OnDemandList modules further extend this functionality.


Grid extends List to provide tabular display of data in columns. The columns of the grid are typically defined via the columns property. This property can be a hash (object) or array, containing column definition objects. When columns is an object, each property's key is used as the id of the column, and each value is the column definition object. When columns is an array, the numeric indices become the column IDs.

For example, we could create a grid like so:

define(["dgrid/Grid"], function(List){
    var grid = new Grid({
        columns: {
            first: {
                label: "First Name"
            last: {
                label: "Last Name"
            age: {
                get: function(object){
                    return (new Date().getTime() - object.birthDate.getTime()) / 31536000000;
    }, "grid"); // attach to a DOM id 
    // render some data

The column definition object may have the following properties (all are optional):

  • field: This is the property from the object in the list to display in the body of the grid. Defaults to the id of the column (if no get() function is provided).
  • label: This is the label to show in the header of the grid. Defaults to the id of the column.
  • className - A DOM/CSS class to assign to the cells in the column.
  • id - This is the id of the column; normally this is determined automatically from the keys or indices in the columns object or array.
  • sortable: This indicates whether or not you can sort on this column/field. Defaults to true.
    • Note that you can always programmatically sort a Grid by a given column using the sort(property, descending) method, regardless of whether that column's sortable status or even presence in the Grid altogether.
  • get: This can be a function that will retrieve the value to render from the object in the list.
  • formatter: This can be a function that will convert the value to an HTML string for rendering.
  • renderCell: This can be a function that will be called to render the value into the target <td> for each cell. (If formatter is specified, renderCell is ignored.)
  • renderHeaderCell - This can be a function that will be called to render the value into the target <th> for the columns header.

Alternatively, the column definition may simply be a string, in which case the value of the string is interpreted as the label of the column. Thus, we can more succinctly write simple columns:

var grid = new Grid({
    columns: {
        first: "First Name",
        last: "Last Name",
}, ...);

Note that the Grid component also supports structures with multiple "sub-rows"; that is, it supports the idea of rendering multiple rows for each item. Specification of multiple subrows is very much like specifying columns, except that one uses the subRows property instead of columns, and it receives an array of columns objects/arrays.

Both the columns and subRows properties have respective setters, setColumns and setSubRows, which allow resetting the structure of the Grid at a later time.

By default, the Grid renders a header, containing cells which display the label of each column. This can be disabled by setting showHeader: false in the arguments object to the Grid; it can also be changed later using the setShowHeader method.

Specifying Columns via HTML: GridFromHtml

Some developers prefer specifying column layouts in an actual table structure because it is more convenient or semantically clearer. dgrid supports this via the GridFromHtml module. When using this module, a table element should be specified as the source node for the grid instance; it then scans for th nodes within rows (typically placed inside the thead) to determine columns.

Column properties are specified within the th, primarily via the data-dgrid-column attribute, which should contain a JavaScript object. Properties which coincide with standard HTML attributes can also be specified as such, e.g. class, rowspan, and colspan. The innerHTML of the th is interpreted as the column's label by default.

Note that unlike data-dojo-props, data-dgrid-column requires that you include the surrounding curly braces around the object - this allows alternatively specifying a column plugin instead of just a straight-up object. (Note, however, that referencing column plugins requires that they be exposed in the global scope, perhaps under a namespace.)

Examples of creating grids from HTML can be found in the GridFromHtml.html and complex_columns.html test pages.

It is also possible to specify columnsets (for the ColumnSet module) via HTML tables by using the GridWithColumnSetsFromHtml module. ColumnSets are expressed in HTML via colgroup tags. See the complex_columns.html test page for an example of this as well.

Grid Styling

dgrid components are designed to be highly CSS-driven for optimal performance and organization, so visual styling should be controlled through CSS. The Grid creates classes based on the column ids and field names with the convention of column-<column-id> and field-<field-name>. (If a className is specified in the column definition, it is used in place of field-<field-name>.)

For example, you could define a grid and CSS like so:

.column-age {
    width: 80px;
.column-first {
    font-weight: bold;
define(["dgrid/Grid"], function(Grid){
    var grid = new Grid({
            columns: [ // define the columns
                age: "Age",
                first: "First Name",

The Grid class also provides a styleColumn(colId, css) method to programmatically add styles to a column, by injecting a rule into a stylesheet in the document. This method returns a handle with a remove function, which can be called to later remove the style rule that was added.


OnDemandList extends List to provide on-demand lazy loading or paging of data as the user scrolls through the list, and interacts with a Dojo object store for querying of data. This provides a seamless, intuitive interface for viewing large sets of data in scalable manner. This also provides sorting delegation to the store.

OnDemandList requires that a store be specified via the store property, and will call the query() method on the store to retrieve the data to be rendered. OnDemandList can query() with start and count properties so as to only retrieve the necessary objects needed to render the visible rows. As the list or grid is scrolled, more query() calls will be made to retrieve additional rows, and previous rows will be pruned from the DOM as they are scrolled well out of view.

For best results, the specified store should return query results with an observe method, which enables the list to keep its display up to date with any changes that occur in the store after the items are rendered. The dojo/store/Observable module can prove useful for adding this functionality.

The given store should also support the get and getIdentity functions.

OnDemandList provides the following properties/methods:

  • renderQuery(query): Renders the given query into the list.
  • sort(property, descending): OnDemandList's version of this method defers sorting to the store.
  • sortOrder: Initially managed by List's sort() method, this stores the current sort order.
  • save(): Instructs the list to relay any dirty data (e.g. populated by instances of the Editor column plugin) back to the store. Returns a promise which resolves when all necessary put operations have completed successfully (even if the store operates synchronously).
  • getBeforePut: if true (the default), any save operations will re-fetch the item from the store via a get call, before applying changes represented by dirty data.
  • setQuery(query, queryOptions): Allows specifying a new query object (and optionally, also queryOptions) that the list will use when issuing queries to the store.
  • setStore(store, query, queryOptions): Allows specifying a new store (and optionally, also query and queryOptions) for the list to reference.


This module is simply the composition of Grid and OnDemandList. For example:

define(["dgrid/OnDemandGrid"], function(Grid){
    grid = new Grid({
            store: myStore, // a Dojo object store
            columns: [ // define the columns
                {label: "Column 1", field: "col1", editable: true, sortable: true},
                {label: "Column 2", field: "col2"},
        }, "grid");


The following modules can be used as plugins to add extra functionality to a Grid. To use these, simply add the module as a mixin in a dojo.declare inheritance chain. For example, to create a grid based on OnDemandGrid with the Selection and Keyboard handling plugins, we could do the following:

define(["dojo", "dgrid/OnDemandGrid", "dgrid/Selection", "dgrid/Keyboard"], function(dojo, Grid, Selection, Keyboard){
    // create a grid based on plugins
    var MyGrid = dojo.declare([Grid, Selection, Keyboard]);
    // instantiate it
    var grid = new MyGrid({
        store: myStore,
    }, "grid");

You can also perform inline mixin and instantiation:

var grid = new (dojo.declare([Grid, Selection, Keyboard]))({
    store: myStore,
}, "grid");

Below is a synopsis of available plugins.


The ColumnSet module provides functionality which divides a Grid's columns into multiple distinct sets, each of which manage their columns' horizontal scrolling independently. This makes it possible to keep certain columns in view even while others are scrolled out of viewing range.

When mixing in ColumnSet, instead of specifying columns or subRows, one specifies columnSets, which is essentially an array of subRows. For example, in pseudocode:

var grid = new (dojo.declare([Grid, ColumnSet]))({
    columnSets: [
        // left columnset
                { /* columnset 1, subrow 1, column 1 */ },
                { /* columnset 1, subrow 1, column 2 */ }
                { /* columnset 1, subrow 2, column 1 */ },
                { /* columnset 1, subrow 2, column 2 */ }
        // right columnset
                { /* columnset 2, subrow 1, column 1 */ },
                { /* columnset 2, subrow 1, column 2 */ }
                { /* columnset 2, subrow 2, column 1 */ },
                { /* columnset 2, subrow 2, column 2 */ }
}, "grid");

More concrete examples can be found in the complex_column.html test page.


Adds selection capability to a List/Grid. The list instance will include a selection property representing the selected items. This plugin will also fire dgrid-select and dgrid-deselect events. For example:

grid = dojo.declare([Grid, Selection])({
    selectionMode: "single",
grid.on("dgrid-select", function(event){
    // get the row that was just selected
    var row = grid.row(event);
    for(var id in grid.selection){
        if(grid.selection[id] === true){
            // iterate through all selected items
grid.on("dgrid-deselect", function(event){
    var row = grid.row(event);
    // row was just deselected 

The following properties and methods are added by the Selection plugin:

  • selection: The object containing the ids of the selected objects.
  • selectionMode: A string indicating the mode of selection. The following values are acceptable:
    • extended: The default setting; follows common ctrl and shift key practices for selection
    • single: Only allows one row to be selected at a time
    • multiple: Similar to extended, but normal clicks add selection without removing previous selections
    • none: Nothing can be selected by user interaction; only programmatic selection (or selection via selectors) is allowed
  • select(id): Programmatically select a row
  • deselect(id): Programmatically deselect a row

The select and deselect methods can be passed an object id, or anything else acceptable by List's row method.


The CellSelection plugin extends upon the functionality of the Selection plugin to provide celection at the cell level.

Whereas Selection's select and deselect methods look up the passed argument via List's row method, CellSelection looks it up via Grid's cell method.


This plugin adds keyboard handling functionality. The arrow keys can be used to navigate the focus across cells and rows, providing accessibility and ease of use.

When used with grids, this plugin references the cellNavigation property of the grid instance, to determine whether keyboard navigation and focus should operate at the individual cell level (true, the default) or at the row level (false).

Column Plugins

The following modules are plugins designed for specific columns of a Grid. These plugins are used by creating an instance and specifying it as a column in columns (or subRows).

For example, to create a column structure where the first column has a tree expander and the second column has a checkbox, we could do this:

define(["dgrid/OnDemandGrid", "dgrid/Tree", "dgrid/Editor"], function(Grid, Tree, Editor){
    grid = new Grid({
            store: myHierarchicalStore, // a Dojo object store
            columns: [ // define the columns
                // first column will have a tree expander:
                Tree({label: "Name", field: "name"}),
                // second column will render with a checkbox: 
                Editor({label: "A CheckBox", field: "bool"}, "checkbox"),
                // just a normal column:
                {label: "Type", field: "type"},
        }, "grid");


The Tree plugin enables expansion of rows to display children. It expects to operate on an OnDemandGrid, whose store is expected to provide a getChildren(object, options) method to return the children for each object. Note that for best results, getChildren should return results with an observe function as well, so that changes to children can also be reflected as they occur.

The store may also (optionally) provide a mayHaveChildren(object) method which returns a boolean indicating whether or not the row can be expanded.


The Editor plugin provides the ability to render editor controls within cells for a column. When used in conjunction with the OnDemandGrid module, edited fields are directly correlated with the dirty state of the grid; changes can then be saved back to the store based on edits performed in the grid.

The Editor module supports both standard HTML input elements and widgets. To create an Editor which uses a simple input element, simply specify the type of the input element as the second parameter. For example, the following would result in an Editor which presents a text field for each value in the column:

Editor({/* column definition here */}, "text")

To create an Editor which uses a widget, pass the widget constructor as the second parameter. For example:

Editor({/* column definition here */}, TextBox)

Additionally, arguments can be passed to the widget constructor by specifying a widgetArgs property in the column definition. widgetArgs may be a simple object, but it can also be a function, for cases where widget initialization parameters may depend on context. In the latter case, the function will be passed the data object for the current row, and should return an args object which will be passed to the widget constructor.

By default, Editors will always be active. However, a third argument may be specified to the Editor function, which indicates which event (or events, comma-delimited) should switch the cell into edit mode. In this case, the cell's data will display as normal until that event is fired, at which point the editor will be rendered, replacing the cell's content. When the editor loses focus, it will disappear, replaced by the updated content.

Please note: if attempting to trigger an Editor on focus (to accommodate keyboard and mouse), it is highly recommended to use dgrid's custom event, dgrid-cellfocusin instead of focus, to avoid confusion of events. Note that this requires also mixing the Keyboard module into the Grid.

By default, changes made to items via Editors do not immediately propagate to the store. However, this can be enabled for a particular Editor by specifying autoSave: true in the column definition.

For examples of Editor in use, see the editor.html and editor2.html test pages.


The following are additional plugins which dwell outside dgrid's core feature set. Extensions live in the extensions subdirectory; their tests and css/image resources also live under respective css/extensions and test/extensions subdirectories.


The ColumnResizer plugin can be used to add column resizing functionality (accessible via mouse drag). Originally based on the gridx ColumnResizer module, the plugin has been further developed for better performance and integration with dgrid.


The DnD plugin can be used to add row drag'n'drop functionality.


The DnD module assumes usage of the OnDemandList or OnDemandGrid module; thus, it expects a store to be in use.

The store should be order-aware, supporting the options.before parameter on add() and put() calls to properly respond to DnD operations.

Additionally, if the store supports a copy method, it will be called for DnD copy operations within the same list/grid (since a put would normally relocate the item).


dgrid automatically loads the necessary structural CSS to work properly. However, to make the component far more visually attractive and interesting, it is common to also apply one of the the included skins. There are various CSS files under the css/skins directory which can be used to skin the dgrid to a particular look and feel.

Grid Structure for custom CSS Styling

dgrid's appearance is designed to be styled and customized via CSS. Many of the classes involved can be discovered by simply looking at elements in your browser developer tools of choice. Perhaps the most important classes are the column-<id> and field-<fieldname> classes assigned to each cell in grids, which allow for per-column styling.

The following class names are used by dgrid and can be referenced from CSS:

  • dgrid: Applied to each dgrid list or grid at the top-level element
  • dgrid-header: Applied to the element which contains the header area
  • dgrid-scroller: Applied to the element responsible for scrolling the data content
  • dgrid-content: Applied to the element inside of the scroller area, which holds all the data contents
  • dgrid-row: Applied to each row element
  • dgrid-row-even: Applied to each even row element
  • dgrid-row-odd: Applied to each odd row element Applying a different color to alternating rows can help visually distinguish individual items.
  • dgrid-selected: Applied to selected rows or cells
  • dgrid-cell: Applied to each cell element
  • dgrid-cell-padding: Applied to each cell element, or to an inner element within the cell in older versions of non-quirks mode IE to properly apply padding to keep the padding within the box measurements (box-sizing is preferred by the grid).
  • dgrid-focus: Applied to the element (cell or row) with the focus (for keyboard based navigation)
  • dgrid-expando-icon: Applied to the expando icon on tree nodes
  • dgrid-header-scroll: Applied to the node in the top right corner of a Grid, above the vertical scrollbar

The following generic class names are also available for generic skinning (following the jQuery ThemeRoller convention):

  • ui-widget-content: Applied to each dgrid list or grid at the top element
  • ui-widget-header: Applied to the element that contains the header rendering
  • ui-state-default: Applied to each row element
  • ui-state-active: Applied to selected rows or cells
  • ui-state-highlight: Applied to a row for a short time when the contents are change (or it is newly created)