How to implement simple, non-PHP/Perl/MySQL content management?
September 14, 2006 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Simple content management for someone with server limitations: I'd like to find the easiest way to organize abstracts of articles, but most of the solutions I've found don't seem to be possible. [more inside]

I have a collection of article abstracts that are currently in static HTML. I’d like to add some basic interactivity like searching or keywords, but I have a problem: the site is hosted on a university server that apparently disallows most dynamic options like PHP, Perl, MySQL, etc. Is there a simple solution using a non-prohibited format (XML? AJAX? SSI?) that wouldn’t be excessively complicated for what I’m trying to do?
posted by padjet1 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
How's this?
posted by phearlez at 12:20 PM on September 14, 2006

AJAX isn't going to help without a server side language like perl or PHP answering its requests, and SSI is unlikely to be helpful for this application, especially if the site administrators disallow using it to include perl scripts.

What you can do if you don't want the search to be external is consolidate all the abstracts into one page, but put each in its own div set to 'display: none' in css, along with a navigation component that's visible by default. Then you can create you whole search/keyword scheme in javascript in a really thick client that won't rely on all the things that are disabled at this host. You can use indexOf() to search and write your own arrays of keywords and just fiddle with the display/visibility attribute to adjust to input.

It'll break back buttons, though, and you'll have to implement some of your own URL parsing to allow people to link to individual content (Just look for a query string in the link and set the matching section visible if it exists, and feed back links that use the scheme.)

In all not very difficult, but there will be a degree of user annoyance.
posted by moift at 12:26 PM on September 14, 2006

I think you're out of luck, if you can't run any dynamic languages at all. That's what dynamic means, after all. Anything involving a form involves a server-side language, although there are all kinds of fancy things you can do with CSS and JavaScript.

So, can you put the content somewhere else? Or can you put the search engine somewhere else? All you really need to do is run Perl/PHP somewhere. It doesn't have to be on the same server with the content, does it?

Put the form on your site, submitting it loads a results page on another site, clicking on the links takes them back to your site.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:42 PM on September 14, 2006

You want content management, but you don't want to run things on the server?

posted by evariste at 9:48 PM on September 14, 2006

Alternatively, you could run a local MySQL/Movable Type installation, and just copy the published static files to the server whenever you change anything. You won't be able to have interactive features like comments and trackbacks, but you knew that already.
posted by evariste at 9:49 PM on September 14, 2006

local=on your personal computer.
posted by evariste at 9:50 PM on September 14, 2006

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