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.


If you attempt to initialise DataTables on any other type of element, rather than failing silently, you will receive an error from DataTables stating:

DataTables warning: Non-table node initialisation ({tag}).

where {tag} is replaced with the node name (i.e. div, h3 etc) of the element that was used to try and initialise the table.


When it occurs, this error is normally due to a selector error in the jQuery selector that was used to initialise the DataTable. This might be simply from a selector pointing to the wrong element type or the selector being too broad.

As an example of these two cases, if we consider the HTML:

<div id="demo" class="display">
    <table class="display">...</table>

Then the following selectors will result in an error:

// Select wrong element
// Error as #demo is the `div` element

// Selector too broad.
// Error as `.display` is applied to both the div and the table


If you encounter this error, inspect your code where you are selecting the nodes to transform into DataTables with the $().dataTables() method and refine the selectors used to select only table nodes, or correct any mistakes in the existing selectors.