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Re: Developing a forms based web application

From: "Steve McAllister" <stevemca(at)optushome(dot)com(dot)au>
To: <pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Developing a forms based web application
Date: 2003-01-29 11:44:34
Message-ID: 000101c2c78b$cb83f6c0$2800a8c0@STEVEMC (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-novice
Thanks for the response Paul.

I should at the outset state I am proficient in neither PHP, perl or
indeed HTML. I understand this is not a good base to start from when
developing web applications, but, I am keen to learn.

I have tried a few test scripts with both perl and PHP including using
the pg library to access records. However it is not immediately obvious
to me how I could produce clean and efficient code using either of these
languages. I have seen how this type of code can be used to generate
dynamic pages, but, to move forward from a dynamically generated page to
a fully interactive screen, at this stage appears to be tedious and will
produce a tangled mess of pages.

I have done a fair amount of reading on HTML over the last few days and
I must say it appears HTML is all about jumping into vi and writing
<head> <p> <br> </br> etc etc etc. It takes me back to the days when I
used to write native LATEX about twenty years ago. Surely the world has
moved on from then. I am sure I must be missing something somewhere.

On the upside I have many years of programming in FORTRAN77, Algol,
Pascal and of course Unix shell scripts. Oops I probably shouldn't have
mentioned that I suppose, now you know I am a survivor from the Ark.

However, I do have some 12 years or so grounding in Oracle, so the
Postgres stuff has been a breeze (well maybe not a breeze :-). If PHP
and perl are indeed the way to go I will take up the details with some
of the PHP and perl support groups and stop boring people here. Before I
do so though, would you satisfy my main concern?

My application is a typical Access forms type application. i.e throw up
a screen of controls with some action buttons, list boxes etc. Let the
user select from a list or press a button then retrieve some data,
calculate some controls and allow them to edit some fields, press some
more buttons etc. etc.

Can I emulate as much as possible this type of functionality using PHP
or perl and the pg library or am I into a new paradigm here? Will HTML
et al force me into a different type of program flow/architecture?

I would appreciate any advice.

Steve McAllister
Outsourcing Solutions Consultant

Phone: 61 3 9631 1714
Mobile 61 414 311 677
E-mail: steve_mcallister(at)kaz(dot)com(dot)au

-----Original Message-----
From: pgsql-novice-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org
[mailto:pgsql-novice-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org] On Behalf Of paul butler
Sent: Wednesday, 29 January 2003 9:04 PM
To: Steve McAllister
Cc: pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [NOVICE] Developing a forms based web application

Send reply to:  	<stevemca(at)optushome(dot)com(dot)au>
From:           	"Steve McAllister" <stevemca(at)optushome(dot)com(dot)au>
To:             	<pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject:        	[NOVICE] Developing a forms based web
Date sent:      	Mon, 27 Jan 2003 21:14:27 +1100

Aolserver is a webserver, so not a direct solution to your needs
OpenAcs is an Open source Content Management/ web publishing 
set up that uses postgres, not sure how this would help you, and if 
it did it would probably be a sledgehammer approach.

For a quick way to go online I would use php, its pg library is fast 
and effective for this sort of work, I'm sure a Perl script would work 
as well. 
You'll have to take into consideration how important state and 
concurrency is in the php side of things (ie whether you need to 
use sessions etc, user authentication, artifacts of the web 
environment) which is distinct from the persistent side of things 
that postgres handles so well

Rewriting applications is usually tedious and rarely direct, but there 
you go


Paul Butler




I am looking for some advice on how to best create a web enabled forms
based application. If anybody has any ideas it would be greatly


I have an MS Access forms application that now sports a Postgres
database at the back end running under RedHat 8.0. I would like to
redevelop the Access form to web enable it. I have played around with
Perl and PHP and although I'm sure I could rewrite the application in
either of these languages doing so looks a little tedious.


Maybe I should be looking at OpenAcs, AOLserver and Postgres. But, then
maybe I'm on the wrong track altogether. Is there some sort of forms
based web application? I have seen one called DBForms, however, it
appears to be based on server side Java. I would prefer to stay away
from Java if I can.


Does anybody have any advice for me, please?



Steve McAllister

Outsourcing Solutions Consultant


Phone: 61 3 9631 1714

Mobile 61 414 311 677

E-mail: steve_mcallister(at)kaz(dot)com(dot)au


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