Information stored in a database is easily retrieved for use on the
Web in a variety of ways. Query results can be displayed as unstructured
paragraphs or as structured elements such as lists or tables. Query
metadata can be useful when formatting query results, too, such as when
generating an HTML table that displays a result set and uses its metadata
to get the column headings for the table. These tasks combine statement
processing with web scripting, and are primarily a matter of properly
encoding special characters in the results (such as
<) and adding the appropriate HTML tags for
the types of elements you want to produce.
This chapter shows how to generate several types of web output from query results: paragraphs, lists, tables, hyperlinks, and navigation indexes (single- and multiple-page). The chapter also covers techniques for inserting binary data into your database and for retrieving and transferring that kind of information to clients. (It’s easiest and most common to work with text for creating web pages from database content, but you can also use MySQL to service requests for binary data such as images, sounds, or PDF files.) You can also serve query results for download rather than for display.
The recipes here build on the techniques shown in Chapter 18 for generating web pages from scripts and encoding output for display. See that chapter if you need background in these topics.
Scripts to create ...