Sunday, January 30, 2011

Formatting data - best on the server, or client?

Hi all-

I am writing a site that generates an HTML-based report that uses some
pretty complex table formatting (think of it as a web page equivalent
of the phone book). This is not a big site, and the result page is not
interactive; it's a static report.

I've mocked up the result page in an HTML page with CSS and the
formatting is fine for all browsers, but now I'm at something of an
impasse in how to implement it. In a JSP world I'd just be populating
the jsp file on the server and displaying the results in the browser.
As it is, I'm using GWT (obviously... :) ) and I'm at a loss as to how
to "properly" do this.

I looked into the UIBinder class, which would give me the HTML
template, but that means that the result set would have to be
transmitted to the client and all the work done in the browser. I
could use something like FreeMarker to format the results on the
server, and then send back the generated HTML, which is the method I'm
leaning towards, but that too seems sub-optimal.

Any assistance on the "right thing" would be appreciated.

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