populate page with items from other pages

me again…

Is it possible to have a page on my site built with items from other pages?

Take the send form action, you can use an item on the page as the senders name etc.

I would love to have the user choose options, and when you hit submit, it populates another page with some of the information.

In the long run I’d love a page which then gives a list of these user created pages…

if that makes sense?


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If I understand you correctly then the short-answer is, yes. The slightly longer answer is not without venturing into the weeds, code-wise.

I’m attempting something vaguely similar with the tutorial site I’m building using a database, framework and CMS. It will hopefully (crosses fingers) take a form submission and use that info to select the proper template to use as the new page and auto-populate it, all of it done on-the-fly.

No doubt there are many ways to do this using any number of programming languages but I suspect they will all require you to get out and push. But perhaps I’m wrong.

Todd

Is it possible to have a page on my site built with items from other pages?

Take the send form action, you can use an item on the page as the senders name etc.

I would love to have the user choose options, and when you hit submit, it populates another page with some of the information.

In the long run I’d love a page which then gives a list of these user created pages…


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You are getting into the world of actual programming now, with a database or other storage strategy needed to persist information from one visit (or visitor) to the next. It’s important to realize that a Web page is accessed in what’s known as a “stateless” protocol. If you visit the same page twice, the server considers each visit a unique and special event, unconnected with any that came before or after it. There are numerous ways to bind multiple page visits together into a “session”, using cookies, querystring URLs, and other tricks like that. Once you start doing this, you also need to keep track of those visits, particularly if they start involving the user-submitted data in any way.

Most systems like this use a server-side scripting language, like Ruby or PHP, and a database server or other data store (you can store a bit of information in a cookie, but not much). The Web pages include form elements, and post their data from the user to the server, where it is interpreted, error-checked, and stored. The next visitor would see the updated data.

It would be helpful if you could sketch out your flow using a series of pages. If you draw form elements on the page, and use the Form Setup dialog to set the Method to GET, and the Action to the filename of the “next” page, you can make a fake application that appears to work, while actually containing no real logic or data storage. So you have your form connect to the page that would appear later, with some fake data laid out how you expect to show it. Add some floating “post-it” notes to describe what would happen to get from point A to point B (or D or whatever).

What you’re describing doesn’t sound very hard as a beginner project, if you’re willing to invest some time and energy learning how this all works. If you have a hard client deadline for this, then you might want to invest your client’s money in having someone with more experience build the parts you can’t just yet. But you should take apart whatever they deliver, and learn this for yourself, because it’s an excellent first step into the larger world of Web applications.

Walter


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