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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a website that is very similar to (but is NOT) a dating website. My server uses Linux and I can't use aspx files. I need to be able to have one group of people sign up and then be able to see some information about another group of people, but the more time I spend trying to figure out what program to use, the more types of programs and languages I discover! Anyone have any suggestions for the best (easiest) way to go?

    I've been using computers since 1981 and am reasonably computer savvy, but there's so much out there now, I just don't know where to begin!
    tracy hartley
    When you're going through hell ... keep going.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger AndrewKKWalker's Avatar
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    Might be worth sticking this question on the
    Web Design Board

    http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/index.php?showforum=11
    Andrew

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    Hi Tracy

    I am not what your skills are but it sounds like you have a great depth of knowledge having been in the trade so long.

    I am a great lover of MySQL because it is which is always a bonus, I teach the subject and for every person who likes it there is another opinion as to what front end to use to develop the front end interface. You could start looking at DaDaBIK which could assist in the development (this was mentioned by a student but have no experience of it)

    Probably the hardest bit to do is the database design but really depends on what you want to do with the site.

    That is my starter for 10 I am sure there will be more input from other Loungers
    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracy hartley View Post
    .... I've been using computers since 1981 and am reasonably computer savvy, but there's so much out there now, I just don't know where to begin!
    Is your question related more to how to do a mySQL database (or an Access .mdb file), or more of the "I have a database - now how do I display data, and how do I let web users update data?" If it is the latter, this is the right forum, and although I don't do websites in general, some of my associates do, and they tend to use Dream Weaver as I understand it. Apparently it has many of the tools you need to create the PHP pages for interfacing a database. If you question is more database oriented, then we should move your thread back to that forum.
    Wendell

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Tracy, did any of this help?

    I'll just add that many free products were developed with little concern for fine gradations in user privileges. As you explore categories of products, you often will see "enterprise" versions of, for example, wiki engines. One of the key differentiators with enterprise products is very fine control over what individuals can do based on their roles and individual privileges. Of course, you probably can build this onto any platform you choose, but depending on your budget and schedule, you might choose to buy rather than build.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Unless you want to design a system yourself I'd say a CMS like Drupal or Joomla is a good option. Both are free, run on Linux, have users & permissions built in. If your exact needs aren't met in the default setups of these CMS there is probably an add-on module that will.

    Either one would have a learning curve in how to set up & administer a site but in my experience Drupal is probably trickier for a beginner to figure out. It's possible to create sophisticated sites with these CMS, with user accounts, forums, rss feeds, backups etc all built in or easy to add. I used to think of writing things from scratch using a database & php but now I wonder why reinvent the wheel?

    Hope it helps

    Andrew

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Wow -- thanks for the suggestions! Not long after I posted my question, I got what I thought was the stomach flu and was sick for a week, only to discover that my appendix had ruptured and I spent almost another week in the hospital following surgery. Now that I'm recovered and back at the computer, I was very surprised to see my question mentioned in the Windows Secret Newsletter and to find all of these great, helpful responses!

    I feel as if I'm a little closer to figuring this out, but am looking forward to additional responses from the newsletter readers to help me decide what's best and easiest to learn.

    In response to WendellB, "I have a database - now how do I display data, and how do I let web users update data?" is exactly right, along with how do I get web users to display some, but not all, of the information in the database?

    Thanks, everyone!!!

    tracy hartley
    tracy hartley
    When you're going through hell ... keep going.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Hi Tracy. Hope your recovery is quick.
    I have a somewhat similar problem - a database on a website for a community of people that needs a good interface for updating specific information about meetings. Similar to your problem, I don't want these folks to see all the data in the dB, but they need to be able to see their own easily. I would be nice if it were readily available as soon as they put in some trivial amount of data about who or where they are. I'm curious to know how you solve your problem, as it might work for our situation as well. We're just starting to look into this, so I am a way from implementing any kind of solution and haven't yet fully developed the problem description.

    thanks

    Leo

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    From the title, I gather that your site exists and is built on Drupal, which is itself built on MySQL and PHP. But I don't really get what question you are asking?

    If you are asking "how can the site be changed?", the answer is straight-forward. Decide what features and functions you want. There may well be something similar available in Drupal or an add-on. There is a ton on information on drupal.org about customization. The Drupal community is pretty active, and you can get info there.

    If you are asking "what features should I add/remove/change to get users to behave how I want them to behave?", that is a harder question. I suggest that you get on the Drupal forum and nose around and ask questions there. I also suggest that you ask more specific questions here. Finally, I suggest that you google "Stack Overflow", read the associated blog and listen to (or read the transcripts of) the associated podcast. Stack Overflow is a programming/technical Q&A community site built from scratch, and the blog/podcast have numerous discussions about how to adjust a site to change user behavior.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Tom -- I have the website, but the part where someone can fill out a form and have their information appear on a page is where I'm stuck, along with how another person can query that form and get a list of names from it. Most of the websites that have a similar function use an aspx file, which my server won't allow. My question is, since I can't afford to hire someone to program it for me, I need to learn a new language and want to know which is the easiest to learn and use.

    Leo -- I'll let you know when I figure it out

    Thanks, everyone!

    All the best,

    tracy hartley
    tracy hartley
    When you're going through hell ... keep going.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracy hartley View Post
    My question is, since I can't afford to hire someone to program it for me, I need to learn a new language and want to know which is the easiest to learn and use.
    Do you have a background in a particular programming language already? That might help in identifying one that is similar.

    Web programming languages for a Linux environment include the popular PHP, the venerable Perl, and the more modern and "easy to use" Python and Ruby. What is more important than a particular language, though, might be the support community -- because you will undoubtedly have questions -- and the platforms and libraries available to ease the process -- because you shouldn't have to code everything from scratch.

    I decided to learn PHP, not because it's fun or profitable, but because it seemed that most of the applications I wanted to modify were written in PHP. Also, I needed to convert ASP/VBScript pages, and there are a couple of converters available which, while rough around the edges, did provide a head start on that process. I still feel as though I have only begun groping through a thick forest, though, compared with my knowledge of VBScript and JavaScript. It's not too late for me to switch to something else.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    No background in any actual programming language but I taught myself html and now have 5 websites that I've created and manage, and I started out writing macros in DOS and WordPerfect in the early 1980s and never took a class in anything!

    Great advice about the support communities -- I'll check that out before I get too far into anything
    tracy hartley
    When you're going through hell ... keep going.

  13. #13
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    Hi Tracy,

    maybe you have already found your solution, but I would like to offer my opinion.
    I create webpages in asp and php (as a minor part of my daytime job), and have over 20 years of programming experience in over 15 languages.
    I found that the use of Joomla is actually quite simple for websites.
    Joomla is based on the combination of MySQL and PHP, which language has been used to create a specific framework with which you can create modules which manage specific parts of your pages.
    Maybe there is already a module that meets your requirements.
    PHP is a fairly easy programming language to learn, it supports arrays and objects in a fairly intiutive manner. One of the drawbacks in my opinion is that is is a loosely typed language, which means that your variable's contents are changed depending on how you use them (type conversion from string to integer is done automatically, for instance).
    PHP can be used on IIS in Windows, but also on Linux. You can interact with the operating system with it (you can replace batchfiles with it), but when used in your webserver you can mix the PHP commands with your html, using the <?php> tag. PHP also has extensive libraries to interface with database engines like MySQL, SQLServer and Oracle.

    So, even if you are not willing to use a CMS like Drupal or Joomla, the power of PHP is that it is really flexible.

    If you are running Windows at home, and your suplier uses Linux, you might find the cross-platform possibility of PHP very handy, as you can run a webserver on your (home) development machine (or a virtual Linux machine) and test changes out before you transport them to your production site.

    Wishing you well,

    Kind regards,

    Eelco Ligtvoet
    - Eelco

    *** Puzzle me! ***

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