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Old 10-10-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 65
Default A repeating form with PHP and Javascript?

I'm working on teaching myself web-programming using PHP and MySql as the back end. Specifically, I'm working on a database to build and display my website dynamically. Since the goal here is to teach myself web-database programming, and the database I need is much too big to edit through something like HeidiSQL, I'm creating a series of webpages to be front end for adding and editing records in the said database.

Right now, I'm looking at the (seemingly) thorny problem of adding lines to a repeating group in a web form. That is, I have a web form that is a series of repeating groups, each group corresponding to 1 row in a table. I want this one form to be able to both edit existing records and add new records. I'd like to be able to add new lines and populate them, then have the whole form saved as a single Submit operation, old lines and new lines at the same time.

In other words, I want to have a form that shows, say, 4 lines:

row 1 --> field1 field2 field3 field4
row 2 --> field1 field2 field3 field4
row 3 --> field1 field2 field3 field4
row 4 --> field1 field2 field3 field4

and buttons for "Add Line" and "Save". The values for fields 1-4 are retrieved via an SQL query from the table and stored as arrays, then the form lines are generated from those arrays using PHP. Clicking "Add Line" adds a new row to the form, while clicking "Save" submits the whole form, old lines and any new lines, to a second PHP script that saves all rows.

I've tried doing this all in Javascript and run aground on the fact that adding a row to the table apparently doesn't add elements to the underlying arrays. So I get errors when I try to save the new line(s). I can't add elements to the arrays using Javascript, because Javascript doesn't seem to know the arrays exist.

I have a distinct feeling that I'm making this harder than it needs to be ... or that I'm trying to do something that can't be done. Is there a way to do what I want within my form, or am I looking at a problem that can be solved only with asynchronous server calls (which I am not ready to try yet) or by calling the same form with different parameters so that the PHP script handles all the details of adding the new blank line?

-- JSW
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