Support and site updates
Support and site updates
Over the last few weeks I've been working on a number of updates to the DataTables site and how support for DataTables is conducted. I've reached the point where these new features are ready to roll and the site has now been updated.
The first and most obvious change in the new "Support / Buy" button at the top of each page. It is now possible to purchase a package for DataTables support, where each package is a given amount of support time. Support is still conducted through messages in the forum, and with the new forum it is possible to send either public or private support requests to me (perfect if, for example, you are working with confidential information).
In the information bar on the left of the forums page you will see a box which links to the new support purchase page. When you purchase a support package this will change into a box showing how much support time you have available on your account, which will be updated as I go through support requests. Purchasing support can be done through Google Checkout or PayPal - whichever you prefer to use. Purchasing support for DataTables helps keeps the project going and under constant development (I learn how DataTables is being used through support requests as well, so it has a direct effect on the future of the project)!
The forum is of course still free and open for everyone to use and ask questions, post ideas and new plug-ins for DataTables. I will continue to try and provide help to all users of the forum - but with the number of questions now it is getting hard to keep of top of it all, so priority will be given to paid support.
In terms of site updates, a number of the documentation pages have been updated to add new information and give helpful pointers. However the most significant addition is a new reference page: http://datatables.net/ref . This page is designed as a quick reference for the initialisation options and API methods of DataTables - there are quite a few of them now (interestingly enough, exactly 100 at the moment!). If you know the parameter you are looking for you can go straight to it and use the information for reference or you can search of parameter for a given topic (for example 'sort'). Also an anchor used in the URL is placed into the search for the table, allowing quick reference and linking of a given property - for example http://datatables.net/ref#mDataProp shows information about mDataProp immediately.
To go with these changes we of course have the new forum, courtesy of Vanilla 2. This is a great upgrade to the forum with a number of improvements and I've integrated it closely with the site and the requirements we have as a community.
It has been quite a trip with DataTables so far, and I'm really looking forward to the future of DataTables. I've got loads of plans for the future of the project - next up is a bookmarklet to help with debugging of DataTables, providing information about the state of a table so we can get to the root of a problem much quicker.
Thanks to all for your support and please do enjoy continuing to use DataTables :-)