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Converting a DIV table to an AJAX-compatible data entry grid

July 14, 2009

In a previous article, Sample HTML table using DIV layouts, Cascading Style Sheets, we built a customized table on our web site using DIV elements and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), all to avoid the rather ugly stylings, the inflexibilities, and cross-browser issues imposed by the <TABLE> tag and its relatives.

In Creating a cross-browser-compatible data entry grid using HTML DIV tables, we transform this same table into an AJAX-ready data entry grid.

Again, we show the actual source code for the CSS and the DIV table. And we've made sure that it performs properly across browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari.

Finally, we show you how to create this table using PHP, i.e. to size it automatically to fit a MySQL database table, or to "grow" the table as a user POSTs new data to a form.

Creating complex HTML tables using DIV and Cascading Style Sheets

July 11, 2009

Tables present complex information in a simple fashion; they allow analysis that is otherwise not possible. And the web is all about information ...

Ironically, complex data tables are just not possible using the standard <TABLE> tags. Even paired with specific Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), these often render poorly. Also, a functional design in Internet Explorer might break horribly in Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.

Complex table design is an area where web page authoring software frequently still fails. But hope is not lost. In Creating complex web page tables using HTML, DIVs, and Cascading Style Sheets, using an example from an article on selecting an HTML-based email newsletter solution, we show how you create complex tables using DIVs and style definitions, ones that render identically across browsers.

Finally, we also present the full CSS and DIV table code for a basic sample table.

Good luck with your project!

Building a Multi-Browser Web Page Testing Suite, 2009

May 14, 2009

Things change.

Netscape is dead.

Other browsers are faster, cleaner. Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox own most of the market. Google Chrome is rising fast. Safari and Opera continue to have their loyal supporters.

And some things haven't changed. Microsoft dances to its own tune and still has embarrassingly-bad compliance with web standards. Others have varying levels of compatibility with HTML, CSS, W3C Document Object Model (DOM) and Javascript.

What certainly hasn't changed is that you need to test your web page designs in all of them. Hence my Multi-Browser Web Page Testing Suite - 2009 Update, with download links, percent market share per browser, and Acid2 and Acid3 test results for current and prior versions.

Using PHP to read and sort a file directory

January 14, 2009

So you want to display the contents of a directory on your server. PHP can do it. You've already built something like it - but it's not drag-and-drop code. Which is a shame, really, because it's pretty basic functionality, and not hard to do ...

Anyways, here's a few little code snippets you can use. The longest of these (24 lines) allows you to sort by file name, file size, type of file, or date last modified. Sort direction can be specified - small to larger, older to more recent, etc.


Software Review: the HeidiSQL front-end GUI for MySQL databases

September 1, 2008

Managing MySQL databases from the command line is painful.

There are solutions, of course - front-end Graphical User Interfaces that hide the command line, that make operations easy and intuitive. MySQL itself provides a free set of tools to this effect, but it isn't my favorite.

This review is of the HeidiSQL GUI, a freeware front-end for MySQL databases. It features an excellent user manager; simple database, table, field and record addition/editing/deletion, none of which require a single line of SQL code. Manual queries are made easy, as well, with syntax highlighting, auto-completion options, unlimited cut and paste, etc.

Of the half-dozen such programs I've tried, it is the only one I use. I use it a lot. Highly recommended.

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