So basically the problem is that I have a rather long (4000+) list of dates going back about 30 years, of dates for which a user can select data from that specific date. Its somewhat sparsely populated, sometimes there are weeks missing in there. I'm currently just using a select2 widget to handle this but it seems a bit lame. Anyone have a better suggestion?

Here's what it looks like now:

enter image description here

  • What is wrong with a date picker? Or are you needing to select specific dates only over the last 30 years and not just any date?
    – stradled
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 18:30
  • I personally like the way WayBack Machine handles that much data over that big of a period.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 18:39
  • @stradled, yeah only specific dates that have data should be selectable
    – reptilicus
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


4000 dates in a dropdown is something you should avoid at all costs. There are different better ways depending on your needs and technical ability. The easier one is to simply use a filter, like this:

enter image description here

in the example above, the filter is broad (see the ALL options), so it generates a limited range of dates which can be navigated with a slider (I have added both together, but the slider should show after user filtering, of course) . You can use a strict filter, which won't generate any range, but specific dates, as such:

select parameter --> (display only years with active dates for teh parameter) --> select year --> (display only months with active days) --> select month --> (display only active days within selected month) --> select day

There are many other options to do this, but I think the 2 above are easy to implement and very easy to understand by users

  • I dig it. I'm so terrible with UI stuff...
    – reptilicus
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 19:05

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