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Thread: Where

  1. #1
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    Question Where

    Iím a recent retiree, an architect, with time on his hands and an idea for a website. However, I know nothing about how to go about achieving my goal. Thus, Iíve purchased a couple of books on HTML, CSS and Javascript, and Iíve done some very limited reading about PHP and MySQL. I still donít think Iíve found what Iím looking for, so Iím seeking help from this Forum -- my first posting.

    My vision is to create a website that provides design architects with a simple-to-use tool that, after the user provides some limited information about the building theyíre designing, will tell them what the maximum height is that their building can be, how much floor area it can include, what construction types are permitted, whether or not the building needs to be provided with such things as an automatic sprinkler system, a fire alarm system, a standpipe system, etc. In addition, it will present various trade-offs that the user can take advantage of, such as relaxing one set of requirements in exchange for going above and beyond the norm in fulfilling other requirements.

    For the website, I envision a welcome page, followed by a query page (such as a form or other convenient means of user interaction). After submitted, my program (in the background) would process the input, compile the information described in the previous paragraph and present it to the user. The user could also direct the website to compose a matrix (table) that shows what the maximum height and area limitations would be for his building for each construction type, with and without a sprinkler system. During the early design stage while many fundamental decisions about the building design are being made, this table would be a useful decision-making tool.

    I would very much appreciate anyone who could point me in the right direction. I donít even know if a website is the proper medium for such a tool.

  2. #2
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    A couple of books that I would recommend to get you going are (with PHP and MySQL and SQL):



    Be aware that a new edition of the Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL is due out shortly.
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  3. #3
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    It is better to wait for the new edition.

  4. #4
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    You need programming skills for something like what you describe. Do you have these skills? As usual, if you have to ask...

    I think this is a rather ambitious first web site. There is a LOT of business logic rules to be applied to your proposed program, and a simpler idea might be a better one for you to try.

    Try a search on knowledge based systems, as that is what you are proposing.

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    Dr John

    First, thanks very much for taking time to respond!

    I just Googled "knowledge-based systems" and I see that it has a lot to do with artificial intelligence, etc. I actually think that's overkill, because I already programmed what I want to do several years ago in Basic (no website involved). The "answers" that I receive from the user are all predictable and able to be retrieved in drop-down menus of responses and Yes/No/Unknown radio buttons. Once this info is received, the information I want to feed back to the user is all predictable and known by me. My dilemma lies more in how to create this extra level of interactivity in a website so that I can receive the input, perhaps followed by one or two more questions, depending on the initial responses, and then present my feedback. So -- I think I need to find a programming language that can help me build a website, plus achieve the degree of interactivity that my application requires.

    Your thoughts . . . ?


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