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Creative web development

Setting up a PHP Site & MySQL Connection in Dreamweaver MX

In this tutorial we're going back to basics, or rather making sure we can really get to grips with the basics, as we look at how to set up a site definition for a PHP site in Dreamweaver MX and then see how we can connect to a MySQL database residing on our web hosts server. 

We'll be starting by understanding the theory behind how Dreamweaver acceses remote MySQL installations (the process Dreamweaver MX uses to connect to the MySQL server isn't as straightforward as most people think, as its designed to get round a number of security limitations which are often in force on web hosting accounts).

Armed with that knowledge we'll then set about making sure our site configuration is appropriate before we attempt to make a connection. After walking through the steps required, we'll also look at a few common errors you may encounter.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

Building an XML Flash Application with PHP and MySQL Pt.II

In this second article of the series, we'll be building the front-end of the web-site for our imaginary Pet Store client. Here we'll be seeing how we can feed the data we've pulled from the MySQL based back-end we developed in the first article, into a Flash based interface.

Our interface will make use of various Flash components, including the Flash MX 2004 XML Connector, which will be required to pull the XML out from our PHP pages and into our front-end.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

Building an XML Flash Application with PHP and MySQL Pt.I

In this two part series, Gareth is going to show us how to build a Flash application to display information stored in a MySQL database. Building on the XML tutorials he's recently published, this application will use PHP and XML to transfer the data from database to front-end.

The scenario is that our client has a Pet Store containing exotic animals and wants an application to display the animals available for sale, along with a quick description of them. This week we'll be looking firstly at the back-end of the application – that is the database, then we'll move onto the processing logic - the PHP pages and the form of the XML data we're transferring around.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

A PHP Based Opinion Poll: Pt. II

In last week's article we started building an opinion poll system using a pair of MySQL tables to store our polls’ questions and results, and PHP to interface between the web browser and the database. We built the database tables and a basic admin system to create new polls and questions within them.

In today’s article we’re going to finish off our admin section and build the front end to the poll so that users of your web site can vote.

Author: Allan Kent Price: $3.39 Rating: Not enough votes

A PHP Based Opinion Poll Pt.I

In today's article we're going to take a look at the steps involved in designing and building your own PHP based opinion poll for your site. You know the kind of thing I mean – in a sidebar area you see a couple of options you can choose from; you choose the one you want and click Vote, after which you can see how many other people made the same bad choice you did. 

What we're going to investigate is an easy way for you to create and administer your own polls using a MySQL database. We'll look at what tables we need to create and why, how to build an administration system for it so that we can quickly create new polls, and a way of building the front-end for users to vote, capturing that vote and displaying the results.

Author: Allan Kent Price: $3.39 Rating:

PHP and XML #4: RSS Feeds

In this tutorial, we're going to look at processing RSS feeds, so we can take feeds from other websites, and add them to our own.  

First, we'll look at what RSS is, and the format that an RSS feed used. We'll then look at how to read in an RSS feed from another site, and how to process the XML data contained using PHP and its SAX parser. Finally, we'll look at how to display the data extracted from the feed, formatted using CSS.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

PHP and XML #3: WDDX

In the first part of this tutorial series, we looked at XML the technology – saw what it was, and how a valid XML document in formed. In the second part we looked at how to process XML using SAX, to read XML and use the information, or to translate it into different formats such as HTML.

 We're now going to start looking at various uses of XML and the various different technologies available on the web that utilize XML. In this tutorial we're going to look at Web Distributed Data eXchange (WDDX).

Getting a handle on this technology can be enormously useful - for example by using the WDDX format for data you can send an array constructed on one page using a Perl CGI Script off for processing on a page using PHP.

In this tutorial we'll find out a bit more about the basics of WDDX before we start working with it practically.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating: Not enough votes

PHP and XML #2: Processing XML Documents

In the first part of this tutorial series on PHP and XML, we looked at what XML is, and how to create a valid XML file. In this tutorial, we're going to look at processing XML documents. First, we are going to look at the different methods of processing XML, using either SAX (Simple API for XML) or DOM (Document Object Model).

We are then going to look in more detail at the SAX method of processing, creating an XML file to work with, and then creating the PHP code required to translate the XML into HTML so that it can be displayed in any browser.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

Installing PHP 5 under Windows

PHP 5 was officially released on the 13th July 2004, so now is a great time to start working with the new version. In this article Allan will show you how to install PHP 5 on Windows using both the Apache and the IIS web servers.

Since, at the time of writing, there isn't an installer version of PHP 5 available, Allan is going to show you how to install PHP manually from the downloadable Zip archive.

This approach is not only straightforward, but is actually also preferable, as it allows you to customise your PHP installation for your system. Allan will show you the options and take you through the changes – such as enabling MySQL support (not automatic in PHP 5).

Author: Allan Kent Price: $3.39 Rating:

PHP and XML: Part 1

Today sees the start of a new series, with Gareth embarking on a set of articles that are going to show how to use PHP and XML together.

In this first article Gareth is going to run through the theory of XML, looking at creating an XML document and the structure of an XML document. By the end of the tutorial he puts the theory into practice by creating an example XML document.

Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating:

PHP Back to Basics #11: Working with Files

  In this tutorial, Gareth's going to take a detailed look at working with files in PHP. This can make a useful alternative to always using a database to persist your site data. For example if you're coding up a simple page counter, using a file on the server can make an extremely effective low overhead solution.

 This article covers:

  • How to read and write files on the server (including setting permissions)
  • Reading the contents of directories
  • Checking whether files exist
  • How to delete files from the server.


Author: Gareth Downes-Powell Price: $3.39 Rating: Not enough votes

BiffWriter for Dummies (PHP to Excel III)

In my previous article I introduced a PHP class called BiffWriter that very neatly lets you write your data to a native Excel document without having to first go through a CSV file, or try to manipulate Excel directly through some kind of COM trickery. We alluded to the fact that BiffWriter could do some fairly neat things, but only touched the surface by using it to write simple tabular data into an Excel document.


We think this is the kind of tool that might really help you out of a corner in some circumstances, so in today's article, we're going to take a look at how to use some cool features of BiffWriter to build some fairly complex documents.


Before you get all excited and dive into the article, be warned that if you intend to use this class in a commercial application (in other words a script for a client) then you're going to have to fork out a licensing fee. Take a look at the BiffWriter web site for details on what it's going to set you back. For non-commercial and personal use you're free to use it.

Author: Allan Kent Price: $3.39 Rating: