Sortable Grid — Drag & Drop on steroids using Vue.js

Maciej Kaczorowski
Sep 2, 2019 · 4 min read
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Drag & drop might be a nightmare for some reason, the API is pretty limited and the technology progress is way too fast

Facing business might be tough in many aspects, clients always want to reach impossible things so do I! Have you ever though to speed up dragging with GPU? The goal is to limit layout recalculations — they are way too expensive in real time applications.

Business requirements are to create interactive (kinda “sortable”) table with being able to reorder columns. To achieve it we are going to use display grid instead of table.

Whole project is written in Vue.js, it could be improved with Vuex/EventBus to reduce emitting hell.

Both versions are available at Github CPU | GPU! Enjoy :)

Logic introduction

CPU Solution

The first thing which comes to mind would be using only CPU by switching dragged element position with element under dragged. Let’s go through the most common problems.

As we can see whenever we swap dragged element with element under the layout is going to be recalculated, what’s more — we cannot do efficient animation!

We can do better — don’t we!?

GPU Solution — Recommended

First thing! The problem cannot be solved only by using GPU — the elements has to be rendered somehow as well as creating clone of dragged element. We can only improve the user experience interaction after we did start drag by using transform approaches.

No flashing baby!! Yaay!


The first scenario by using only CPU operations seems much more easier to understand, there is much more less things that you have to take care of — honestly two things! Swapping models in array with given indexes and the algorithm which determinate position of mouse above the column. By implementing transform calculations in second solution the complexity has grown. It requires much more logic to implement. Indexing system which was taken care by browser engine has to be made from scratch to keep the track of transformed elements.


Warning! You need to save removed data model somewhere and add it to the array inside call of ondragend otherwise you will not have correct data structure — removed element will be gone forever.

window.requestAnimationFrame(() => {
// Remove data from model at index

Feel free to ask any question or post a feedback! Hope you like it! I did implement more complex solution in Open Source PIM Ergonode. Enjoy!


First human-centric designed PIM.

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