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Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL
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Setting and outputting simple variables


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Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL

with David Gassner

Video: Setting and outputting simple variables

While most of this video series deals with PHP code that's generated by Dreamweaver, it's useful to know a little bit about hand-coding PHP. So I'm going to show you how to set a simple variable, and then how to output the value of that variable in a web page. I'll be working with files in the folder 02_gettingstarted > 05_variables, and I'll open the file in that folder, variables.php. Let's take a look at the existing code. In this file, there is just simple use of the echo command that's outputting the literal string Hello World from PHP.
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  1. 8m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      2m 17s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
    4. Understanding the differences between Dreamweaver CS5.5 and CS6
      3m 26s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding static vs. dynamic web pages
      4m 32s
    2. Selecting application and database servers
      6m 10s
    3. Introducing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      6m 36s
    4. Installing Apache, MySQL, and PHP
      2m 13s
  3. 39m 34s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver site
      3m 22s
    2. Configuring a PHP testing server
      7m 48s
    3. Creating and testing a PHP-based web page
      8m 25s
    4. Adding PHP commands with the Insert panel
      3m 14s
    5. Setting and outputting simple variables
      3m 56s
    6. Testing pages with Live view and Live Code view
      2m 9s
    7. Using server-side includes
      7m 50s
    8. Navigating included pages with the Code Navigator
      2m 50s
  4. 36m 37s
    1. Using code hinting with PHP variables
      5m 31s
    2. Understanding PHP custom classes
      6m 38s
    3. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Windows
      5m 18s
    4. Adding Zend Framework to PHP on Mac
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Site-Specific Code Hints feature
      3m 43s
    6. Using Zend Framework classes with code hints
      7m 26s
    7. Managing reusable code with the Snippets panel
      3m 59s
  5. 18m 27s
    1. Understanding relational databases
      5m 26s
    2. Creating a MySQL database in phpMyAdmin
      4m 41s
    3. Adding data in phpMyAdmin
      2m 46s
    4. Importing a completed database from a script
      5m 34s
  6. 39m 35s
    1. Defining a Dreamweaver database connection
      5m 27s
    2. Building a simple recordset
      4m 31s
    3. Building an advanced recordset
      5m 1s
    4. Displaying data with repeating regions
      6m 4s
    5. Displaying data in a dynamic table
      4m 15s
    6. Formatting dynamic data
      4m 54s
    7. Displaying the total number of records
      2m 4s
    8. Limiting records with paging controls
      4m 5s
    9. Creating conditional regions
      3m 14s
  7. 43m 12s
    1. Building a simple data entry form
      5m 27s
    2. Handling form submissions with PHP
      5m 12s
    3. Creating a customer email form
      3m 9s
    4. Validating form controls with Spry
      7m 54s
    5. Populating a list control with dynamic data
      4m 50s
    6. Working with multiple checkbox controls
      8m 5s
    7. Sending email with Zend_Mail
      8m 35s
  8. 50m 51s
    1. Using data wizards
      6m 20s
    2. Formatting dates for SQL
      5m 27s
    3. Creating a custom data entry form
      4m 50s
    4. Preparing a database table for server behaviors
      3m 3s
    5. Using the Insert Record server behavior
      5m 42s
    6. Preparing an update form
      7m 6s
    7. Using the Update Form behavior
      5m 46s
    8. Creating list page links to edit and update data
      7m 3s
    9. Using the Delete Record server behavior
      5m 34s
  9. 14m 45s
    1. Creating a login form with a PHP server behavior
      6m 29s
    2. Protecting page access with PHP server behaviors
      4m 17s
    3. Logging out with a PHP server behavior
      3m 59s
  10. 22m 50s
    1. Configuring a remote server with FTP credentials
      4m 42s
    2. Synchronizing site assets with the remote server
      5m 27s
    3. Exporting the MySQL database to a script
      3m 8s
    4. Importing the MySQL database on a remote server
      2m 24s
    5. Configuring the site for the remote database
      7m 9s
  11. 52s
    1. Final thoughts
      52s

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Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL
4h 55m Intermediate Sep 22, 2010 Updated Jun 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author David Gassner as he describes how to add dynamic data to a PHP-enabled web site in Adobe Dreamweaver. This intermediate course shows how to plan and create a MySQL database, define a PHP-enabled site in Dreamweaver, connect the site to the database, and manage and present dynamic data. David also explores Dreamweaver features such as PHP custom class introspection and site-specific code hinting as well as the differences between the CS5 and CS6 versions of the software.

This course was updated on 6/12/2012.

Topics include:
  • Understanding dynamic versus static content
  • Adding PHP commands to web pages
  • Setting and outputting variables
  • Using server-side includes
  • Creating PHP custom classes
  • Adding the Zend Framework to a PHP installation
  • Creating a MySQL database
  • Adding data in phpMyAdmin
  • Building recordsets
  • Formatting dynamic data
  • Building data entry forms
  • Authenticating users
  • Deploying a dynamic site
Subjects:
Developer Web Databases Web Development
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
David Gassner

Setting and outputting simple variables

While most of this video series deals with PHP code that's generated by Dreamweaver, it's useful to know a little bit about hand-coding PHP. So I'm going to show you how to set a simple variable, and then how to output the value of that variable in a web page. I'll be working with files in the folder 02_gettingstarted > 05_variables, and I'll open the file in that folder, variables.php. Let's take a look at the existing code. In this file, there is just simple use of the echo command that's outputting the literal string Hello World from PHP.

I'm going to show you how to set a simple variable that contains that same value. A variable is like a little bucket of information. All programming languages support them, but the way you declare and set the value of a variable in each programming language differs. You can set a variable anywhere in a PHP page, but wherever you set it, the variable will only be available from that point downward. So I'm going to place the cursor at the top of my page in Code View and then press Enter or Return a couple of times to make some blank space.

And then I'll move the cursor up to the top of the page. Then I'll go to my Insert panel, and I'll choose the PHP category, and then I'll choose Code Block. And that adds a simple PHP code block. Then I'll press Enter a couple of times to make a blank line, and within the PHP code block, I'll set a simple variable, named Hello World. You can name your variables anything you want, but you should always prefix them with the Dollar sign. Notice when I type the Dollar sign into Dreamweaver CS5 that I get a list of a number of existing variable that are always a part of the PHP environment, such as COOKIE, ENV, FILES, GET, POST, and so on.

We'll get to some of these later. For now, I'm creating my own variable, and I'll name it welcome. I'll set the value of the variable to "Welcome to my homepage," and I'll end the declaration with a semicolon. Notice as I type the Dreamweaver CS5 checks for syntax errors, and if the page is clean, it shows me the message, No syntax errors. If I remove something from the statement that makes it syntactically incorrect, Dreamweaver immediately shows that there is a syntax error.

I'll put that code back in, and Dreamweaver removes the error message. To use that variable, I'll go down to the echo command where I'm outputting a literal string, and I'll remove the literal string, I'll type the Dollar sign and then a W, and Dreamweaver CS5 shows me my variable, $welcome. This is a new feature of Dreamweaver, the ability to give you hints as to the names of variables, functions, and other elements of your preexisting PHP code.

I'll press Enter or Return, or click with the mouse, and that inserts the variable into my echo command. I'll save the changes, and then I'll use the external browser to look at the result. The value of the welcome variable is now output on the page, and because I placed the echo command inside

tags, the text shows up as a title one. I'll View the Selection Source in Firefox, and I'll see that the value that's output to the browser is the simple text, because once again, the browser is not capable of interpreting and executing PHP code.

So that's a look at how to set variables using simple assignments statements, and how to output the values of those variables using the echo command. You wrap both statements inside PHP code blocks and then all of the processing of the PHP commands happens on the server, and the resulting HTML markup is returned to the browser.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver with PHP and MySQL.


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Q: The Bindings panel is disabled, and I can't create new queries or form variables in the current PHP file. How can I correct this problem?
A: This indicates that the file you have open isn't a part of your current site. For example, you might have opened a file from one site, then switched sites and tried to continue working on the same file. Try closing all files, then opening the file you want to work on from the Files panel. This ensures that the current file and site are in sync.
Q: I'm having trouble getting code hinting to work on Mac OS X. Are there know issues that could be causing the issues?
A: There might be an issue with your code hinting configuration. Make sure the folders you designated in the code hinting config screen match the disk location where you copied the Zend Framework files. You should have a file named dw_php_codehinting.config in your site root folder after setting up your code hinting configuration. Assuming you copied the Zend Framework files to a folder on your Mac named /phpincludes, the contents of the file might be: "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/phpincludes/ZendFramework/library/Zend/Date" EXTENSIONS(.php) "/Volumes/Macintosh HD/phpincludes/ZendFramework/library/Zend" EXTENSIONS(.php).  The exact path will differ depending on your hard disk name and the folder to which you copied Zend Framework. For subsequent exercises in the video series, the sample files provided with the course have the configuration for Windows as demonstrated in the videos. Once you get code hinting working in one exercise, you can copy the working dw_php_codehinting.config file from the current site folder into the new site folder.
Q: I’m following along in the video "Configuring a PHP testing server." When I go to preview the index.htm or .php files, I don't get the Dependent Files dialog box, and I get the page in my browser with just the HTML and no styling. The index file gets copied to the proper folder, but none of the dependent files are getting copied over. How can I resolve this issue?
A: If you are experiencing this problem, check your settings in Dreamweaver. The prompts for putting files onto the server have most likely been turned off. Follow these steps: 1) On Windows, select Edit > Preferences. 2) In the Preferences dialog, select the Site category. 3) Make sure your options for Dependent Files (prompt on get/check out, and prompt on put/check in) are selected. 4) Make sure your Put and Move options are selected (located at the bottom of the screen). 5) Then try previewing the file again. The dialogs should appear.
Q: I am having a problem with the "Handling form submission with PHP" video in Chapter 6. When I create a form variable "firstname" in the the Binding panel, in the Simpleform2.php file, I don't see the new variable in the list afterwards. It's as if the panel is disabled. What's going on?
A: Some users have reported that this problem can be corrected by deleting a file named  ".mno" from the site folder's _notes subfolder. The file is hidden, so you won't see it in Finder on Mac or Explorer on Windows. Note that there might be many files in the _notes subfolder with the .mno extension, but you only need to delete the file with no name and just the extension.

Follow these steps to delete the file:

Windows:
Open a command window
Switch to the site folder
Type these commands:

cd _notes
attrib -H .mno (this removes the hidden flag from the file)
del .mno (this deletes the file)

Mac OS X:
Open Terminal
Switch to the site folder
Type:
cd _notes
ls -a .mno (if the file is there, this command will show it)
rm .mno (this deletes the file)
Q: I want to use the Zend Framework in my PHP site, but my internet service provider (ISP) doesn't let me modify the php.ini file to include the files as taught in the course. What can I do?
A: If your host doesn't let you make changes to your php.ini file, you can include the Zend Framework with one of these strategies:

  • Copy the Zend Framework to the folder containing your web site files. In your PHP pages, your 'include' command can refer to the appropriate files with relative directory addressing:

 <?php include('../ZendFramework/library/Zend/Date.php'); ?

  •  If your shared host provides a special directory to contain your web files (for example, it might be named 'www' or 'web'), then you can add the Zend Framework files to your root folder as a sibling to the web folder. You'll need to find out the physical folder name; PHP's $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] variable can help you find this:

 <?php echo $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']; ?

You can then programmatically modify the include_path variable at runtime with the set_include_path() function. For example, if your physical root folder is /home/myroot, the code might look like this:

<?php
set_include_path('.' . PATH_SEPARATOR .
'/home/myroot/ZendFramework/library/Zend');
include('Date.php');
?
Q: This course was updated on 6/12/2012. What changed?
A: This course was updated to show the minor UI differences between Dreamweaver CS5 and CS6, especially the change from separate Live Code/Live View buttons to a single Live button.
Q: phpMyAdmin is not opening properly in the second lesson in Chapter 4, "Creating a MySQL database in phpMyAdmin." The error message says:

#2002 - The server is not responding (or the local MySQL server's socket is
 not correctly configured)
A: The error indicates that there's an incorrect reference to the MySQL 'sockets' file. This is set automatically during WampServer installation, but if you've previously installed other copies of MySQL there can be some leftover conflicts (even if you've uninstalled the other copies).

Check your system for duplicate copies of the file 'my.ini' - it's a MySQL configuration file that might have been left around from a previous installation. The most likely folder in which to look is c:\windows\System32, but it could also be elsewhere. If you find any such files that aren't in the c:\wamp directory structure, rename or delete them, then reboot your system.

If that isn't the issue, you'll need to start from scratch: back up your working files from c:\wamp\www, then uninstall WampServer, delete the c:\wamp folder completely, and reboot and reinstall. Test phpMyAdmin immediately after installation. Then, if it stops working along the way you'll have better information about what steps might have cause the issue.
 
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