jQuery 1.3 : Working with numeric form data (part 1) - Shopping cart table structure

12/19/2010 3:56:05 PM
We've now looked at several form features that apply to textual inputs from the user. Often, though, our forms are primarily numeric in content. There are several more form enhancements we can make when we are dealing with numbers as form values.

In our bookstore site, a prime candidate for a numeric form is the shopping cart. We need to allow the user to update quantities of items being purchased, and we also need to present numeric data back to the user for prices and totals.

Shopping cart table structure

The HTML for the shopping cart will describe one of the more involved table structures we have seen so far:

<form action="checkout.php" method="post">
<table id="cart">
<th class="item">Item</th>
<th class="quantity">Quantity</th>
<th class="price">Price</th>
<th class="cost">Total</th>
<tr class="subtotal">
<td class="item">Subtotal</td>
<td class="quantity"></td>
<td class="price"></td>
<td class="cost">$152.95</td>
<tr class="tax">
<td class="item">Tax</td>
<td class="quantity"></td>
<td class="price">6%</td>
<td class="cost">$9.18</td>
<tr class="shipping">
<td class="item">Shipping</td>
<td class="quantity">5</td>
<td class="price">$2 per item</td>
<td class="cost">$10.00</td>
<tr class="total">
<td class="item">Total</td>
<td class="quantity"></td>
<td class="price"></td>
<td class="cost">$172.13</td>
<tr class="actions">
<input type="button" name="recalculate"
value="Recalculate" id="recalculate" />
<input type="submit" name="submit"
value="Place Order" id="submit" />
<td class="item">
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<td class="quantity">
<input type="text" name="quantity-2" value="1"
id="quantity-2" maxlength="3" />
<td class="price">$26.99</td>
<td class="cost">$26.99</td>
<td class="item">
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<td class="quantity">
<input type="text" name="quantity-1" value="2"
id="quantity-1" maxlength="3" />
numeric form data, working withshopping cart, table structure<td class="price">$35.99</td>
<td class="cost">$71.98</td>
<td class="item">
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<td class="quantity">
<input type="text" name="quantity-3" value="1"
id="quantity-3" maxlength="3" />
<td class="price">$17.99</td>
<td class="cost">$17.99</td>
<td class="item">
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<td class="quantity">
<input type="text" name="quantity-4" value="1"
id="quantity-4" maxlength="3" />
<td class="price">$35.99</td>
<td class="cost">$35.99</td>

This table introduces another element rarely seen in the wild, <tfoot>. Like <thead>, this element groups a set of table rows. Note that though the element comes before the table body, it is presented after the body when the page is rendered:

This source code ordering, while non-intuitive to designers thinking visually about the table rendering, is useful to those with visual impairments. When the table is read aloud by assistive devices, the footer is read before the potentially long content, allowing the user to get a summary of what is to come.

We've also placed a class on each cell of the table, identifying which column of the table contains that cell. We demonstrated some ways to find cells in a column by looking at the index of the cell within its row. Here, we'll make a tradeoff and allow the JavaScript code to be simpler by making the HTML source a bit more complex. With a class identifying the column of each cell, our selectors can become a bit more straightforward.

Before we proceed with manipulating the form fields, we will apply a standard line of row striping code to spruce up the table's appearance:

$(document).ready(function() {
$('#cart tbody tr:nth-child(even)').addClass('alt');

Once again, we make sure to only select rows to color if they are in the body of the table:

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