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We are looking to institute a "member guide" type directory in PHP using a database, possibly MySQL. Ive done a lot of searching in hotscripts for example for database type scripts that i could use or make small changes to (only done a few hacks for perl and php in last few years, not trained or anywhere near an expert!)
What I would like it to do is
1. People can go to and enter such info as ID number, location, interests etc in text boxes or selection box forms
2. They will get an id which is advised by email which will enable them to change their details whenever they want but not other people's details
3. All people who are registered can browse AND search for other people with similar interests, locations etc... say through a search form which returns details of all other members who match their query.
Now I have seen many of these features implemented on free scripts such as discussion boards and portal software. however these are often limited (you cant change the field names for example and are stuck with inapproriate fields like "birthday", or they have free form fields for fields which i would like to have as drop down, so spelling mistakes or different ways of referring to one location, or one interest are eliminated.
I guess I should get more trained in PHP, and am willing to do this but i think only need some basic knowledge of how to do forms (know that) and sessions (dont know that).
So basically i am asking is if anywone knows a free open source solution I can use, even if i need to do a few hacks? I guess what im talking about is forms that insert into a SQL databases, email notification, forms that search a sql database and return some formatted html of selected columns. And finally some security log in type features (sessions?) so people can change their own but not other's detail, and only "members" can access to search for others. Being able to create web pages that summarise all the info (eg: proportions of interest areas, numbers from each country etc) would be a bonus. Maybe i just need to some know some real basics about entering and displaying MySQL database info from/in a web page.
Can anyone suggest where to start? (Im assuming its easier to this in PHP than Perl). The members are around 300 and probably wont go beyond 1,000 ever. so in *theory* its a fiarly easy project, but given searches on hotscripts have turned up no perfect solutions over 12 months, i guess in practice it's harder!
How are you with DB structures? I would say you need to look at all the info you want on these members and get down a db. You can create the forms that you need from there, attaching a field to all relevant data etc. You then need a couple of control fields primary key and whatever else you find.
Now the php. First, best resource is php.net, though you may need to know what to look for. They have sample code that is, usually, straight forward. Some bits of note
full functions list, grouped by what they are used for
variable functions - good for testing variables that you get from your form
predefined variables - such as $HTTP_POST_VARS or $HTTP_GET_VARS which are the arrays you access to get your form data out of depending on whether the form has get or post set as the method
find out the version of php that you have because some functions or syntax are later additions.
how's that for starters?