jQuery table fade doesn’t work in IE7

While working on an up-and-coming web service, I found that apparently Internet Explorer does not cope well with fading <table> elements using jQuery. Here’s what I was doing:

tbl = $('#primaryColumn table');
loading = $('#primaryColumn .loading');

tbl.fadeTo(300, 0.0, function() {
        tbl.load('/contacts/{pagination:page}/' + page_num + '?ajax&search={pagination:search}', function() {
        tbl.stop().fadeTo(300, 1.0, function() {
            tbl.css('opacity', 'auto');  // removing the CSS opacity rule restores the ClearType anti-aliasing in IE

For some reason, the fadeIn(), fadeOut(), and fadeTo() effects do not work on <table> elements in IE, although they work great in Firefox and Opera. This also applies when using animate() to alter the CSS opacity rule (yeah, I tried them all).

As usual, the solution proved to be very easy: don’t animate the <table>, rather, wrap the <table> in a <div> and animate that. The only change required is the first line:

tbl = $('#primaryColumn div#table_div');

Bingo! Another three-hour bug-swatting episode reinforcing my hatred for Microsoft browsers of all versions just concluded.

Written on January 1, 2010