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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Hello,
    I'd like to know what is the best way to create a website to view books online? I'd like users to be able to select a genre from a drop down list, then select a title, and jump to a specific chapter if they are interested, and easily go to "next" and "previous" pages without giving me a headache when I code, and an option to select an author.. etc.

    I'm willing to learn how to create this, so I'm not looking for someone to hire. (Sorry, I hate saying that, but it's only because every forum I go to asks me to hire someone to do it)

    I decided on using PHP because, although I am a beginner, I like where it's going. My only experience with PHP is using includes, and I'm happy with the results.

    So, now I need to create a website for books, and like I said before, I'm willing to learn:
    Anyone have tips? Advice? Scripts I can look at? Tutorials or books to recommend?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post,
    Regards,

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  3. #2
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    If I understand you correctly, you want to put the entire books online for everyone to read?
    (not just a few sample pages from each book?)

    If so, it will be a monumental task!
    You would also be facing major copyright issues, unless you're talking about publishing scientific papers or something.
    If you mean regular books/novels, you would probably never be granted permission to do that.
    Anyway (assuming I haven't misunderstood your intentions), putting the entire content of a novel online, would not be a good idea (even if you had permission from the author). Reading massive amounts of information off screen, would be extreemely uncomfortable if not close to impossible.

    Stephen King published "Riding The Bullet" online (for free) some years go, and recently stopped a similar project ("The Plant").
    "Riding the Bullet" was the first book to be published this way, and naturally aroused curiosity from beeing 'first of its kind'. However, compared to his books published the traditional way, interest was low. I remember journalists commenting on how difficult it was to sit and read from screen for a prolonged period of time. I guess the most hard-core fans found a way to print out the chapters as they were published. (this was not straightforward, as you needed to download a special 'reader' with no print option, to view the content)

    Technically:
    You would have to manually enter the entire books content (or scan each page) and store the result (or image references) in a database. You could store the entire book as one row entry if you formatted it with HTML anchors, or chapter by chapter. When retrieving it, you could use a query limit clause to present one page at the time.
    To make the database searchable, you would have to have table structure that reflects what you want to make searchable (author, titles, genres, chapters, etc). The most structured way of doing this would be with multiple relational tables.
    S. Rosland

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    10936
    Thanks for replying,
    Yeah, I understand it's going to be a big task.
    They're not really novels - they're more like educational books. The author of these books has asked me to create a website in which the books would be available for anyone to read online (and download as well). So copyrights are not a problem, because the author has granted permission (and they're going to be on his site, anyway.)

    In addition to the books, there are articles (one or two pages in MS Word - give or take a few) and audio books.

    My aim is to make something like a online catalog for books/articles/papers, and when you select/search, you get to view information about the book/paper/article (ie: Title, Author, Pages, Genre, ISBN, Summary, Download PDF &/or audio book, Read online link etc)

    I have a big feeling that as soon as I do this (if I understand how to) there will be more books/articles/papers to add. So, there has to be room for expansion.

    Technically:
    You would have to manually enter the entire books content (or scan each page) and store the result (or image references) in a database.
    Ok, I get this. I have all the books as word documents.

    You could store the entire book as one row entry if you formatted it with HTML anchors, or chapter by chapter. When retrieving it, you could use a query limit clause to present one page at the time.
    ... sorry... I'm a beginner in this. This is SQL - right? And how would both ways (HTML with anchors or separate chapters) affect the search?

    To make the database searchable, you would have to have table structure that reflects what you want to make searchable (author, titles, genres, chapters, etc). The most structured way of doing this would be with multiple relational tables.
    Ok, I understand what your saying, but I don't know how to do it.

    I'm sorry - but the only SQL experience I have had is through the online SQL Course. I should have mentioned that earlier.

    Do you know of any similar projects online with source I could look at and learn from?

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    My advice to you would be to take it step-by-step. Look at how you're going to store the books -- in HTML files, DOC files, inside the database, or what. Then, look at how you might link them together. By chapter, by page -- this will affect how you create your database tables. You have to get these out of the way before you start looking at how you can then generate the pages to access the various pieces of the books. Searches can be done relatively easily using SQL. If you make a field of type `text', you can use `LIKE' to search for similar text inside the database, thus making search a trivial task.

    You should probably not ask about the project as a whole -- as the explanation is likely to get extremely long -- but rather about the little pieces, as you go along. This will get you more people who can answer (those who are good at the different parts you're working on), and more people who are willing to invert the time to answer (since the answers will be shorter).


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