Technical notes

The following collection of technical notes contains information about the errors that DataTables can report, additional information about error states which are not directly reported by the Javascript (such as CSS rendering issues) and general topics of interest when working with DataTables (often extensions to forum discussion answers).

If you have encountered an issue that you think would benefit from a detailed explanation, please post a request in the forums, or send me a message.

Technical notes

1. Warning: Invalid JSON response

A warning from DataTables stating "Invalid JSON response" is one of the most common errors that can occur with DataTables. This tech note explains exactly that it means and how to diagnose what is causing the problem. Read more »

2. Warning: Non-table node initialisation

DataTables will initialise only on an HTML table element. Running DataTables on any other element type will result in an error, as detailed here. Read more »

3. Warning: Cannot reinitialise DataTable

DataTables cannot have their features dynamically altered by passing in additional options to the DataTables constructor. Once the table has been created it can be manipulated only through the API. Passing in new parameters will result in an error. Read more »

4. Warning: Requested unknown parameter

When DataTables tries to obtain data from a data source and is unable to do so, it will trigger this warning, telling you that data is not available where it was expected to be. Read more »

5. Warning: Unknown paging action

This warning will occur if the page() method is called with an action that is not known to DataTables. Read more »

6. Warning: Possible column misalignment

DataTables splits a table into two separate table elements when scrolling is enabled, and then attempts to match the column widths between the two tables. This warning can occur when DataTables is unable to match the column widths between the two tables. Read more »

7. Warning: Ajax error

When DataTables encounters a general or unknown error when making an Ajax request, this warning message is show. It requires digging into information about the Ajax request to understand why it failed, as detailed in this tech note. Read more »

8. DataTables Markdown

Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax, initially created by John Gruber and now widely used on the web. It is designed to provide an easy to use set of formatting rules which can be applied to a document, converting it from an easily readable and editable plain text format to HTML. The DataTables project uses Markdown in an number of areas. Read more »

9. JS Bin has a custom install of JS Bin available at which is customised to meet the needs of rapidly developing and testing code for DataTables. With JS Bin you can easily try out a option or API method and provide test cases when submitting issues. Read more »

10. Asking for help

If you run into a problem when using DataTables, or any of its extensions, you will want to ask for some help. We have a fantastic community here, fully of very helpful and knowledgeable people, however, it is important that you ask your question in a way that it provides enough information that it can be answered. This tech note provides guidelines on asking for help. Read more »

11. Editor: Unable to automatically determine field from source.

Editor's bubble() and inline() methods, when activated, will automatically attempt to discover which field the element that has been given to the function as the first argument relates to in the field. If it is unable to do so, Editor will emit the following error: Unable to automatically determine field from source. Please specify the field name. This tech note describes the reason for the error and how to resolve it. Read more »

13. JS/CSS file name structure

This tech note serves to formalise the file naming conventions used by the DataTables project. The details are on the dry side, but it can be useful if you are working with automated tools and DataTables. Read more »

12. Editor: A system error has occurred.

When an Editor request is made and the returned data is not in the expected format (JSON), Editor will show an error message stating that an error has occurred. This tech note explains in detail how to resolve the underlying problem that causes this general error to be displayed. Read more »

14. Editor: Unable to find row identifier

Editor requires that each row in a DataTable have a value that will uniquely identify that row. This is used when Editor submits edit and delete requests to the server so the server knows which row should be submitted. An "Unable to find row identifier" error will occur if it can't find that information. Read more »