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August 9, 2009 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Webdev filter: What tools can I use to avoid developing a registration/log-in feature from scratch?

I'm an amateur web developer -- I took a few programming classes in college (Java), know HTML and CSS pretty well, and can get by in PHP and SQL, albeit while checking references constantly. I'm trying to build what I think should be a pretty simple web application: the nuts and bolts of it are that it should allow member registration and login/out, and while the user is logged in, s/he can input numerical data, as well as view some statistical juggling of that data.

The data entry bit I feel fairly confident that I can do using PHP/MySQL. I've written a rudimentary registration and login system (with an email confirmation message, etc), but I can tell that it needs a lot more features and even though I am mostly n00b I can think of ways it could be compromised -- if at all possible I'd prefer to just use code that is already written and known to be fairly stable.

Is there a pre-built, standard kind of thing (I don't even know what the proper word to call it is) I can use for this? I think that Ruby on Rails could be used here, but my attempts at teaching myself how to use it have been kind of futile, and I don't really need all of the version control and other features like that. I'd like to keep this really really simple, at least for now.

As you can see I'm not very experienced and don't really know the proper terms are, so let me know if I need to clarify anything. While I'd like to learn other languages in the future, my goal is to get this thing up and running so I'd prefer advice that presupposes PHP use as opposed to telling me to go learn Python (though I guess I understand if that's the only option). Thanks.
posted by telegraph to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What you are looking for is called a "user management class". There are plenty. You could also use a piece of existing software and modify it, such as wordpress, joomla, drupal, etc.

Of course, if you can't do it in one language, I agree that turning to a newer, more buzz-friendly language is not the answer ...
posted by shownomercy at 12:41 PM on August 9, 2009

Best answer: Codeigniter has some authentication libraries and other tools (session management, form validation) to help you create a php authentication system.
posted by zentrification at 12:49 PM on August 9, 2009

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