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Slow-loading drop down boxes

I am building a data entry application using Java servlets.
I had hoped to use drop down boxes to provide the user with
data entry selections pulled from a database, but am now
questioning, given the latency with which the data loads
to the browser, whether drop down boxes are viable for
providing a large number of select options.

I've put nearly-identical examples of the problem on two
different web/database hosts for review (I wanted to test
on different hosts to rule out a problem with the database
server and the web/tomcat server). One host uses SQL Server
and Tomcat 3x, the other is using PostgreSQL 7.23 and
Tomcat 4.124. I'd appreciate anyone who could take a
look at these examples and comment on whether what I'm
trying to do via drop down boxes seems feasible, and if
not, well, suggestions on another tack would be welcome.

Here are the two examples, but please don't be too impatient
because both pages can take upwards of 15 seconds to load.


In these two examples, the servlet has gone to the database
to load the author names to a Vector, and then the author
names are written to the browser by iterating through the
vector five times (I am not going to the database five times).
A single box using the MULTIPLE attribute will not work
in this case because the sequence of the selections is
significant. Also, if these option boxes are part of an
edit screen, the list has one of the names pre-selected,
so technically, the five lists could all be slightly
different from each other.

I have read the discussion at
and yet cannot believe that what I'm trying to do is not
being done successfully by others.

Here is the servlet code that produced the autest html
above: .
(I realize dissection of java code is best left to other
newsgroups but am including the link here just for
completeness sake).

Am I misguided in thinking drop down boxes are an
attractive means of making these selections available
to the user? Or am I just doing it wrong?

Thanks for any comments.

Jul 20 '05 #1
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