Selecting from a large pool of items

I have a redbox with a form in it and one of the controls in the form
would typically be a select box. However, in my select box, I want to
include every role in a given table as options, and that could get
monstrously large and hence impact load time.

In a web 2.0 world, it seems the ideal solution is an autocomplete
text box – and in most instances this solves the problem wonderfully.
However, this functionality I cannot get to work when embedded in a
form in a redbox.

So my question then is if anyone can direct me to another means (other
than the kludgy, select box with thousands of records!) that I can
accomplish a selection without using a select box – or, of minimizing
the records in the select box so as to make this workable. Are there
any other html controls I can use? What do people use when they have
thousands of options to select from? Thanks, Rvince

RVince wrote:

I have a redbox with a form in it and one of the controls in the form
would typically be a select box. However, in my select box, I want to
include every role in a given table as options, and that could get
monstrously large and hence impact load time.

In a web 2.0 world, it seems the ideal solution is an autocomplete
text box – and in most instances this solves the problem wonderfully.
However, this functionality I cannot get to work when embedded in a
form in a redbox.

Have you used Firebug or similar to figure out what’s going on? It
should be possible to get the two working together.

So my question then is if anyone can direct me to another means (other
than the kludgy, select box with thousands of records!) that I can
accomplish a selection without using a select box – or, of minimizing
the records in the select box so as to make this workable. Are there
any other html controls I can use? What do people use when they have
thousands of options to select from? Thanks, Rvince

Well, you might consider a “poor man’s autocomplete”: present a search
box, and (possibly with Ajax) display a couple of possible results,
based on what the user typed in the search box. Kind of like what
railsapi.com does.

It’s also worth remembering that Safari and Firefox both jump directly
to a row in a select box if you type the first few letters. IE doesn’t
(it only looks at the first letter), but then IE sucks anyway. :smiley:

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

On Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 6:39 AM, RVince [email protected] wrote:

What do people use when they have thousands of options to select from?

They step back and redefine the problem, because “selecting from
thousands of options” is not the correct answer to anything :slight_smile:


Hassan S. ------------------------ [email protected]
twitter: @hassan

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