Web page question?

so, i want to make a simple web page that will interract with a mySQL database. it needs to have some drop downs, a search button and a grid of results. eventually, i’d like to have some data entry options as well.

should i use php? is there some kind of freeware package available that would greatly simplify this?

thanks.

PHP makes it easy - sorta :)

I’m not saying it is better than every other solution, but it’s what I do
nowadays, and I’m happy with it. ADODB (and the ADOdb clone) might
make database access easier, but if you know it’s going to be MySQL all
the way (there’s a holy war you should avoid between Postgres and it),
PHP isn’t hard.

Recommended book, which explains every bit of what you want with a
full example app:
PHP and MySQL for dynamic websites, by Larry Ullman
(Peachpit Press; my edition is for PHP 3+4, but 4 is still most common)

SourceForge/Freshmeat would be other places to look for good example
code, particularly classes to make form controls easier to make.

I dunno about any freeware packages to make the code for you, but a
tool like PHP Developer 2005 for Windows or Quanta for Linux would
make writing code easier. Both have buttons to click for instant HTML
tags, and oodles of documentation. PHP Dev has shortcuts to docs for
ADODB and other freely available extensions.

mySQL is what my host offers, and considering the extremely simplistic data model i’m thinking about and the small number of records, i doubt that any database implementation would make much difference.

i was really hoping to do this without actually learning anything. :twisted: i’ve figured out enough PHP to muddle my way through making semi-custom skins for wordpress and gallery, but i wasn’t looking to put the time in to actually learn a language just to make a web-form frontend for my movie database.

thanks for the book recommendation, though, i’ll check it out.

Well, the simplest alternative that doesn’t require any learning is a
content management system.

Check this link for links to lots of CMS systems that don’t cost you
much more than the time to unpack it on the server.

(You could of course also ask people who know PHP to make some forms
and stuff for your site, if you need fancy quiz pages or whatever ;) )

Give PHP Maker a look. You tell it what lives in your database, and it pumps out a web application that lets you view, search, add, edit and delete stuff from it. Tweak preferences to make your web app user friendly, hide stuff the users don’t need to edit, and so on.

It’s great for bunging together those simple-to-use but time-consuming-to-create apps like client lists and inventory/stock control. Results look ghetto (the templating system is too complex given the point of the software) but work. Can’t vouch for security.

I’m being pressured to consider a jump from Drupal to Plone. Has anyone else here adopted or dabbled with it? My (rudimentary) understanding is that it is a little harder than Drupal to deploy, requires knowledge of Python and requires more from its hosting environment.

For reference, here’s an interesting comparison of Plone, Drupal and Joomla: http://www.idealware.org/articles/joomla_drupal_plone.php

Aside from the O’Reilly books, can someone recommend an all-around good beginner Python book?