Properties Tab in Table View Purpose

What is the purpose of the Properties tab in the Table View of the selected node?

In almost every node I've investigated the Properties tab contains a blank table with column headings corresponding to the columns in the table. So far I've only found the Statistics Node taking advantage of this Properties tab. It lists:

  • [Histogram Column] .keepAspectRatio = true
  • [Histogram Column] .preferredHeight = 100
  • [Histogram Column] .preferredWidth = 200

These values are read-only and are presumably used by the Histogram mini-chart in the table default view.

But this Properties tab looks like it could be quite useful. I have a table of Customer data which includes columns for a list of Products. The Products have their own attributes (like Price, Cost, Brand, etc). It would be nice to be able to use the Properties tab to combine the information in these two tables. The alternative would be to use a separate table or a set of flow variables, but then I need to handle the complexities of matching the columns in one table to the rows in another table, or the column names with the flow variable names (I'm building a custom node). I could also create a configuration tab for the columns, but I want these Properties to flow and it seems a shame to duplicate what the Properties tab already seems to offer.

Is the DataColumnProperties class the right place to get and set these properties?

I agree the Properties are a bit underused, but as I understand that is intentional, the designers are not 100% satisfied with its design (or how others (mis)use them), though I might be wrong. (For SVG outputs usually the preferred size are set as property, not just for the Statistics node. The data generator node provides some properties about the distribution too. So this is not a deserted feature.)

I think other community contributors also use properties. Your use-case seems to fit well with DataColumnProperties.

Has anyone had success with using the Properties tab in the past 4 years? There is definitely some useful information in there that I would like to use.