creating tables with variable number of columns

to put this question as simply as possible...

- spreadsheet functionality without a spreadsheet -

ive tried a few different approaches to this problem without
success... giving the user a way to create tables to store trivial
information in tabular format. each table would generally have a
different number of columns...

the last approach i tried involved having a sheet, sheetrow,
sheetcolumn, sheetfield... sheet having many rows and columns, field
belonging to row and column... etc... whatever - as you can tell this
is a complication from hell and unlikely to be in any way shape or
form efficient...

so any ideas?

thanks,
- FJM

Have a look at:

http://code.google.com/p/trimpath/wiki/TrimSpreadsheet

yeah, i guess a main stumbling block is going to be keeping all the
data separate. i don't want to just store my stuff as a serialized
object ... eh, i guess im going to be trying to reinvent the wheel in
some ways but i can't really find another decent way... many thanks
though.