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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    How to create a site with sortable data

    Hi,

    I have a spreadsheet with four columns (title, director, premiere date, and availability) and 2,400 rows so far. I call it an "index of films in print" and my goal is to index every film in print. I would like to make it available on the internet as a web page(s). I don't want a separate web page for each entry but rather want it to work like my spreadsheet does, i.e. I can sort all the data by one of the four columns (I think the results would have to be broken into a number of pages or it would take a long time to load if I ended up with something like 50,000 rows of data). I was able to achieve this with my spreadsheet by saving it in another format and uploading to my website but I was limited in the number or rows the file could contain (I use libreoffice). Someone suggested that I import my spreadsheet into MySQL, which I have done but my understanding is that databases are used to generate lists of web pages or websites like when you do a google search. Can anyone please let me know if what I'm trying to do is possible and point me in the right direction?

  2. #2
    Team SitePoint santouras's Avatar
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    Hi Nerves,

    firstly and most importantly, what programming language are you going to use when displaying the data? PHP, Ruby, Python?

    pulling data out from a database in one of these languages is quite trivial, and then sorting them can be done with one of the many jQuery table plugins available.

    But, first step is, what language are you looking to use on the frontend
    my utility belt tells me its to the bar batman

    read the manual then google it then do a search THEN post....

  3. #3
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    Thanks Santouras for the reply. To answer your question: I have no idea. What would you suggest? I'm an absolute beginner to databases and my programming know-how is negligible.

  4. #4
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    Personally, I would recommend a light-weight web framework such as flask (in python) or sinatra (in ruby).

    From there you should investigate how to import and query data from the database. I would suggest you look at sqlite and find how to create tables and populate them with data, then how to query that data back from the database. Sqlite is a very simple database and is a great place to start with a project like this, rather than go through the hoops of installing something like mysql or postgresql. I would say that using python is the better option in this respect, as it comes with sqlite, whereas ruby you will need to install sqlite separately to ruby itself (ie as a gem).

    After you have your data in a database and a way to access it via flask/sinatra, you will need to write the webpage so the data can be accessed from the browser. As santouras said, there are a lot of jQuery plugins and even native javascript tools you can use to display a sortable table.

    I think this is already a lot of information to get started with and don't want to overwhelm you with options. I'm happy to answer any questions or give more advice regarding either the front or back end, so don't be afraid to ask questions.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
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    I would recommend that you check out SitePoints PHP/MySQL book. http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql5/

    This will give a a very basic starting point that will enable you to build a basic site the way you want. Personally, I think that this would be the easiest route for you to get your hands dirty.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thank you both. Yes, scannon, I think I need something very basic!


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