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Generic DataTable question

 
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I am sure many people are aware of the pageable dataTable examples that are out there that load only 1 page of data at a time, most notably the myfaces-cars example found here.
http://wiki.apache.org/myfaces/WorkingWithLargeTables

My question is, what is a real-world guideline to use when deciding if your dataset is large enough to warrant going to the extra effort to implement this type of dataModel? Is it just an all-around-good-idea to implement this every time regardless of size? If so, does anyone know of any other alternatives to the myfaces-cars example that are less complex? Thanks for any help.
 
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I prefer to use a pager with lists. It is a lot cleaner for the user to see only a few items at a time.

Personally I use a custom component to do paging on UIData components. I provide a drop down to allow the user to select how many results per page to show (e.g. 10, 20, all).
 
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