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Can I use a form to do this?

 11:25 pm on Apr 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone. Haven't been here in a while. Okay, to get to my question. I have a client, who would like me to build a form for searching for different types of "widgets". He would like to have it so when a customer clicks on ie "red widgets" all available red widgets will show, including details about the "widgets" etc. Now, I am very new to this, and this will be my first attempt to do somethinglike this. Webmasterworld has helped me out soooo many times. (thanks!) Would this be done using a database? Do I use PHP to code it? How would I go about doing this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.



 11:36 pm on Apr 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

so when a customer clicks on ie "red widgets"

Do you mean you'll have buttons for say "red widgets" "green widgets" etc.? Or do you want to have a search box where the user might enter "red widgets", or even a drop down list?

Now about the info on widgets? where is it stored? in a db? flat files?

with answers to those, I'm sure we'll be able to help you out a litlle better.



 11:56 pm on Apr 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, sorry about that, and thanks! There are to be radio boxes the customer can click on. For example red widgets, green widgets, yellow widgets. The customer clicks on yellow widgets and all different types of yellow widgets are shown. The information is going to be held in a database. I hope this will help you with helping me :-)


 12:47 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

You need some type of server side language, whether PhP or ASP or JSP, etc.

It will depend on your willingness to learn, and the configuration and OS of the web host.

For a beginner, I like ASP - it's simple easy to learn and runs natively on a Windows server without any additional configuration.


 1:33 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would reallylike to learn more about ASP. Do you know of any resources where I might find a tutorial? Or is there a book that anyone knows of that I could learn it from?


 5:12 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can start at 4guysfromrolla [4guysfromrolla.com], that's where I picked up a few things to start, but other then that, I rarely use ASP, so it's pretty much all that I can recommend.



 8:33 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

you can also check aspin.com or devguru.com.

As for the books I'm currently reading 'beginning Active Server Page 3.0' from Wrox and it's quite good (quite a big book as well)



 10:53 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I started out on asp using w3schools.com. A very good place for beginners IMHO


 2:42 pm on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, thank you all. I will check out all the sites recommended. Very helpful. Much appreciation.


 12:33 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

as txbakers pointed out - check out what your webhost is running first - don't get bogged down trying to learn asp only to discover that they run php instead!


 3:10 am on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

My client stated that they have TIP and Java? What is TIP? Is this a stupid question I am asking? HELP!


 12:26 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I never heard of TIP. Java could mean that are running JavaServer Pages or JSP.

I'd ask around some more and find someone with the answer.

First, ask if your web server is Unix or Windows. If it's either one of those, you can decide from there.


 3:12 pm on Apr 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

okay, I will ask that, thanks


 2:03 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, I've found out that they use a Unix Server. Where do I go from here?


 2:30 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Then you probably can't run ASP, you'll need either PhP or JSP. Ask them if they can support either of those languages for server side scripting.


 2:48 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

They said they use Jsp at the moment. So should I just start using that?


 2:48 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

hi extremeexports,

i have just set up almost exactly the same thing on our site, except mine used pull down menus. i used mysql and php.

as a complete beginner it took me about a week to get it working (with a little help from these forums to display a two column set of results ;-)

like the others say, first check with hosting company that you can use mysql / php, and then go and read up on mysql - there are some good tutorials at sitepoint.com, i also spent a lot of time at mysql.com.

you can learn the principles of mysql really quickly. i found it best to play around with a command line tool. a few days mucking creating databases, and you'll already know enough to start.

(download the mini server from foxserv.com - which allows you to use mysql and test .php on your own home pc)

after that it is a question of learning enough php.

i'd recommend getting some sort of mysql / php book. it is amazing how much quicker you learn, if you have something to read whilst not on the pc.

i'll just add as well, that since i have started using php and mysql i can't stop - it has completely changed the way i am thinking about my site. i am now writing a simple news / articles delivery system using php/mysql, which is going to allow our editor to update the news page. it's not finished yet by a long way, but already it works roughly how it should - php/mysql has an incredibly high learning curve.

sorry for the long post, just wanted to give a few words of encouragement. go for it - it is really worth it.

<added>i spent too long writing the post ;-) looks like php is a no go - don't know nuffink about .jsp - still good luck!</added>


 3:19 pm on Apr 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

That was a great post. I will have to ask if I can use PHP. I will print out your post. This forum is so helpful.


 10:37 pm on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi ExtremeExports

Yep PHP is a good one for the feature you wish to have. Brill for handling forms.

And easy enough to learn, dont think you necessarily have to have a database for what you want to achieve.

Learn enough PHP to post the form data to a handleform page, on the handleform page you can have a switch conditional (eg depending on user input do a different action - if you only have a few options this will be fine), the action for eg Red Widgets can be a window replace to the red_widgets html page.

Hope that makes sense?

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