Tag: javascript


Removing Child Nodes Dynamically using JavaScript

JavaScript once again kicked my butt last night. Well, it was the combination of JavaScript and IE because my initial code worked fine in Firefox. Here’s the story.

I have a search form that uses AJAX to retrieve search results based on user submitted criteria. The results are displayed in a table dynamically created using JavaScript. The problem, however, was the results were being appended to the end of the existing table data. I needed a way to clear the table contents prior to adding the latest search results.

My first approach was to set the innerHTML property of the TBODY element from the results table to a zero-length string. For example:

<pre>
var ctrl;
ctrl = document.getElementById(‘searchTBody’);
ctrl.innerHTML = ‘’;
</pre>

This works fine in Firefox but it causes problems under IE. A different approach is needed. A couple of google searches turned up the removeChild method. Using it you can iterate through the childNodes collections to remove each child within the element. So I wrote the following JavaScript function:

<pre>
function removeChildNodes(ctrl)
{
while (ctrl.childNodes[0])
{
ctrl.removeChild(ctrl.childNodes[0]);
}
}
</pre>

To remove each child node from an element, get a reference to the element and pass it to the removeChildNodes function. For example:

<pre>
var ctrl;
ctrl = document.getElementById(‘searchTBody’);
removeChildNodes(ctrl);
</pre>

This approach works for IE and Firefox.

Continue reading →