I coded a a little RPG in ruby and I used an array to contain the map squares. The elements of the array (which defines the X coordinates) are arrays themselves whose elements defines the Y coordinate, and each of these are arrays too which stores the terrain data on first position, and player/npc/objects/buildings on following positions.
What I am trying to do is render those terrain data "squares" to a 2D tiled map in the browser.
The map does not need to refresh or be dynamically fetched as you scroll it, (at least at this stage of development) but an implementation which would allow me to do so in future is a possible path.
Being a total beginner at web design/rendering the things that I thought of are: HTML tables, HTML5 canvas, some JS framework which is designed exactly with this purpose (which I do not know of = please advice).
I know about gameQuery but I've never used it and I don't know if it's going to slow everything down as I will be adding new features (scrolling, ajax).
I really don't know of any other alternatives, maybe there any lighter approaches? Easier or more minimalistic ways ? More targeted JS framework which is the right tool for the job? Maybe just some html canvas code, or even simple image maps, or images with absolute positioning will be enough?
The thing is that I'd like to start simple, and then gradually make it better, so I'd like something which will give me a bit of gratification in the beginning but that also has room for improvement and is headed toward new web technologies
p.s. Flash is excluded of course...
Update: rewrote the question in a more decent english (hopefully) :)