I previously asked ux.stackexchange to help me with how to display configuration settings for a web application.

Ways to display both string and boolean on page

I've followed the suggestions and updated my application (for those interested, the value column has _BOOLEAN_ as the actual value and the displayed value in that case shows "Enabled" or "Disabled" based on the enabled boolean column):

enter image description here

My new problem is that I would need to nest the child objects. For example, in the screenshot above, "Create Alert" would be the parent setting and "Email Module Endpoint" and "Email Template File" would be child settings. And if "Create Alert" is disabled then the child settings would be greyed out/disabled. And child settings could also have their own child settings. I'm not looking to have the rows expand and collapse. I just need to show relationships.

I would like to display it somewhat like this:

enter image description here

I'm currently using datatables to show the settings and it seems as though what I'm trying to do is not natively supported.

I have the database side of things figured out, but I'm having trouble with the UX side. Most of what I can find online are examples of nesting tables within tables, which is not quite what I'm trying to do.

So ultimately what I need help with is how to display the child objects. I need it to look like the second image, whereas the first image is what it looks like currently.

What should I be using to display these? Is there a way to do it with datatables or is there another way that's better?


I think the indent method it's powerful enough to display child objects. Also I think that the child objects should use the same colour background as the parent object. This way is easier for a user to scan your table.

  • That's not a bad idea. But I have items that are 3 or 4 levels deep. So I'm worried I'll run out of room in the descriptive comment column. It would be nice to have something graphical, but I'll give you suggestion a try. – Chris Oct 24 '16 at 20:00

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