View Full Version : Information from Forms - options for displaying?

03-19-2009, 02:02 PM
This Forum has been such an amazing source of information and has saved me a number of times. :) I did do a search, but didn't find anything relating to a question I have about compiling date collected from forms.

I'd like to create a form that would enable visitors to my website to enter information about clinics (teaching events) they are holding - who the instructor is, the date, contact information, and where it's being held.

My question is whether it's possible to have that information automatically entered onto a webpage that I've set up, rather than emailed to me, so that the webpage is automatically updated with information and I don't have to manually enter it every time someone submits a clinic to list.

I'd like for visitors to my website to be able to access this information by:

1) location (the clinics would be organized into different regions of the U.S. - I'm thinking they can click on a drop-down menu w/ regions, and then a webpage listing states in that region & the clinics that are being held there would open up) and

2) the instructor at the clinic, so that if someone wanted to see whether Joe Johnson had any upcoming clinics, they could click on his name and see what he's teaching and where/when.

(I've also seen calendars on Bulletin Boards where people can click on the date and enter the information - like this one:
http://travelcal.traveltalkonline.com:8080/bvitravel , so I think that might also be something I could do, for those people who wish to search by date. Some of the dates might have a long list of events, though.)

I'm guessing it is probably possible and I think the real question is actually whether something like this is beyond my capabilities & the software I have. I'm at a very basic level; the last form I created I think was in the Fall of last year. The few I've done haven't been complicated, so they were pretty straightforward to do, but I still might have to do a little refreshing.

Also, since this information will be changing, is there any way for me to get around having to go in and manually find and delete events once they've taken place? I am thinking that is probably not possible, or if it is it's too complicated for me to do. If it's possible, though, I'd like to try it.

I hope I've explained this clearly! Thanks very much for any suggestions and information as to whether this is possible to do. :)

03-19-2009, 02:28 PM
how much HTML / CSS do you know

03-19-2009, 02:46 PM
I know basic HTML; RE: CSS - it kind of depends, since up until this point, I have been working on my website in spurts. So for example I'll read up on CSS, or forms, or making buttons, use those for my website, and then if I don't use them on an ongling basis, it's a relearning process the next time I use them (oh - and by using them, I mean that I mostly rely on Dreamweaver to do the work - I don't do the coding by myself to set it up, the way I imagine people who are skilled at this can do).

I usually make a lot of mistakes (witness my other posts!) but I try to understand what it is I'm attempting to do, or am being told. Some of it is honestly beyond me because I have just the one website and it's not my major line of work.

I got a huge amount of help on things that I never could have figured out on my own (through this forum), but once I was shown how it worked it usually made sense.

Honestly, since I haven't done much in the way of making changes or doing anything different (other than updates) to my website since the Fall, my level of knowledge to people who "do" websites is probably pretty puny. :(

If it's possible to do the things I envision doing, I'd like to try, though, esp since I'd like to do more of this (creating forms to get peoples' reviews of clinicians, the way people review books, movies, etc) and I think it would be a really usefill skill to know. I don't know enough about coding to know whether there is too much depth of knowledge and skill I'm lacking to make this possible, or whether it's possible that I can learn how to do this particular thing without knowing more of the intracacies of HTML, etc. Does that make sense?

03-19-2009, 07:24 PM
would you like to learn how to program

I teach programming on a 1-2-1 level using PHP

it may be too advanced for you but there is only one way to find out

message me

03-19-2009, 09:28 PM
Hi David,

Thanks - I'll send you a PM.

03-19-2009, 10:28 PM

1-2-1 is not an option

what you require is within everyones grasp and capabilities but you need time to study

i suggest you get a good book on dynamic functionality for dreamweaver. This will guide you in the ways of databases and using dreamweaver to write your code

the only thing i cant help with is your time. You need allot of it to learn this stuff no matter what you use to build your project

03-20-2009, 02:21 PM
Thanks again, David - I wish I were able to take advantage of the 1-2-1 teaching. It's encouraging to know that at least what I want to do with my form is possible and that most people can do it.

Rather than a book, are there any online tutorials that teach what I want to do? I looked at the ones on your site and they look interesting and easy to understand, but I have to admit that at this point, I'm not sure exactly what it is that I need to do a search on and learn *about*.

You mention 'mail script' - are there other specific terms for merging data collected from forms and displaying them on a web page? Sorry if this is the most simplistic question ever, but it would save me a lot of time trying to figure out what I need to learn about and hopefully enable me to cut down the amount of time so that I don't have to learn everything - just enough to get me through this.

As I wrote in the PM, I unfortunately don't have the time to go in-depth right now - the main reason I got Dreamweaver was because I don't know much about programming and at this point the other priorities in my life take precedence over spending time learning the details and going in-depth. I realize that that would be best for me with RE: how it would affect my abilities to work on my website, but it's not possible at this time. I wish it were.

Anyway, thanks again, and I'm all ears if anyone has ideas or suggestions on how to best approach this. :)

03-20-2009, 03:37 PM
there is no easy fast track method i am afraid

only i sugest you use what time you have and learn how to hand code as this will be easier and more productive in the long term

there is no quick way

1-2-1 shaves off some time but as you pointed out you dont have time for that either. I sugest you just learn at your own pace. Try my tutorials in the tutorial section

03-22-2009, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the info and reply, David. I've been doing more reading to learn more about what it is I'm trying to do, which of course has raised a few more questions. :)

I can see that there are no shortcuts and that I need to methodically go through the learning. I'd like to omit unnecessary topics and focus on the skills I need to master and understand to make the process more efficient, and I don't know what those are. Help, anyone, with any info as to whether there are specific topics that I should focus on or start with.

Also, I noticed comments in other posts about forms that learning to hand-code PHP would be better than relying on DW. I got DW because I want it to handle most stuff, since my knowledge of coding is so small (I do it mostly to tweak things on my simple webpages, or to tweak the main coding that DW sets up), so I'm wondering - is DW just really hard to use for having a more complicated response/using databases for forms and that's why hand coding has been recommended?

I'd like to focus on whatever will help me to get these forms up & running, at least for now, since I'm leaving the country in two weeks and would love to have this operational by then. If DW will help me do that, then I'll focus on DW, and if it's handcoding, I'll focus on that.

David - given that timeframe - do you think that's unrealistic? And if I were able to make time in my schedule for 1-2-1, do you have a ballpark estimate of how much time it might take me to become proficient enough that I could set the form up? I know that's a hard thing to estimate, sorry!! It's just that I have no clue as to how long something like this typically takes, and if I did it might help me to make a decision about the best way to go about it.

Thanks again for the help - it's greatly appreciated!

03-22-2009, 06:23 PM
i don't teach project related PHP as this means the student gets what they want and its me that has really written it. I teach the building blocks of PHP like how to connect to a database, Update insert and delete records, Variables, arrays, loops and some security.

I teach the basic building blocks which you take and build your own projects with so this alone would take longer than your time frame.

Someone who learns because they are interested in the language as opposed to someone who learns to make something work will learn quicker as its the interest which is driving them and not a dead line

someone with an interest and a good head could plough through my lessons in 6+ hours or so

its better to understand the underlying code so you can do what you want and are not restricted to what dreamweaver will give you