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Friday, September 24, 2010

Create dynamic sites with PHP & MySQL

The Web is no longer static; it’s dynamic. As the information content of the Web grows,so does the need to make Web sites more dynamic. Think of an e-shop that has 1,000products. The owner has to create 1,000 Web pages (one for each product), and whenever anything changes, the owner has to change all those pages. Ouch!!!Wouldn’t it be easier to have only one page that created and served the content on the fly from the information about the products stored in a database, depending on the client request?Nowadays sites have to change constantly and provide up-to-date news, information,stock prices, and customized pages. PHP and SQL are two ways to make your site dynamic. PHP PHP is a robust, server-side, open source scripting language that is extremely flexible and actually fun to learn. PHP is also cross platform, which means your PHP scripts will run on Unix, Linux, or an NT server.My SQL SQL is the standard query language for interacting with databases. My SQL isan open source, SQL database server that is more or less free and extremely fast. My SQL is also cross platform. Installing Apache server routines First we will install the Apache server routines in the Linux environment. To installthese packages you will need root access to your server. If someone else is hostingyour site, ask the administrator to install them for you.Installing Apache is relatively simple. First download the Apache archive,apache_x.x.xx.tar.gz (the latest I downloaded was apache_1.3.14.tar.gz) from the Apache site and save it in /tmp/src directory. Go to that directory: # cd /tmp/src/ Extract the files with the command: # gunzip -dc apache_x.x.xx.tar.gz | tar xv replacing those xs with your version number. Change to the directory that has been created: # cd apache_x.x.xx Now to configure and install apache, type the commands: # ./configure –prefix=/usr/local/apache –enable-module=so# make# make install This will install Apache in the directory /usr/local/apache. If you want to install Apache to a different directory, replace /usr/local/apache with your directory in the prefix. That’sit! Apache is installed.You might want to change the default server name to something of real value. To do this, open the httpd.conf file (located at /usr/local/apache/conf) and find the line startingwith Server Name. Change it to Server Name localhost.To test your install, start up your Apache HTTP server by running: # /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start You should see a message like “httpd started”. Open your Web browser and type”http://localhost/” in the location bar (replace localhost with your Server Name if you set it differently). You should see a nice welcome page.

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