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Reformatting/redirecting text input by a User into a specified form

Atti222de
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 18, 2003
Posts: 2
All,
Bare with me, since my technical expertise is probably a 1 on where yours is a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10.
My problem is as follows. I am trying to have users enter data into a series of text forms, such as the one that I am typing in right now. Once the data is entered, I then want to redirect the raw text data and reformat it to improve the presentation of the text that was entered.
I have been working with my webhosting company and they stated that they cannot accomplish my request. I am calling BS, since I know of many other sites that have this capability built in.
Here is an example of what I am looking for:
User inputs the following in 4 different fields:
Field 1 - User Name = Jane Doe
Field 2 - Address = 1212 BS Boulevard
Field 3 - Phone Number = 555-555-5555
Field 4 - List of Favorite Restaurants -
* McDonalds
* Subway
* Pizza Hut
Output eliminates the raw text look and is reformatted in a new window that should look similar to the following:
Jane Doe (Centered and Bold and 12 pt Comic Sans)
1212 BS Boulevard (Centered and Bold and 12 pt Comic Sans)
555-555-5555 (Centered and Bold and 12 pt Comic Sans)
*(But use a real bullet and left justified and 10 pt Comic Sans) McDonalds
* (But use a real bullet and left justified and 10 pt Comic Sans) Subway
* (But use a real bullet and left justified and 10 pt Comic Sans) Pizza Hut
The answer is not so much as how, but more that it can be done. I cannot see this being a difficult task, but I want some leverage to take back to my webhosting company and call BS. Also, how much time would it take to accomplish a task of this nature. I am assuming that a simple Java or CGI script would be used.
Thanks,
Atti
Corey McGlone
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Atti,
For a task of this magnitude, I think Java might just be overkill. In order to use Java, you'd have to set up an application server, and create at least 1 Java class in order to read the data from 1 page and then print that data into a response page. That class would be called a servlet and isn't a trivial thing to implement, not to mention that your hosting company would need to have an application server running on their web server, which they very well might not have (many hosting companies don't support Java app servers).
However, almost every hosting company supports cgi. Most often, cgi is developed using a bit of Perl and to do what you're asking is actually fairly simple, if you know Perl. Unfortunately for you, I haven't touched Perl in quite some time, so I can't help you with this a whole lot. However, there are all sorts of resources available on the Internet to help you with this task.
I hope that helps, Atti.
Corey
[ March 18, 2003: Message edited by: Corey McGlone ]

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Atti222de
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 18, 2003
Posts: 2
Corey,
Thanks for the response. I told you my tech knowledge was a 1. At least I can spell Perl and CGI, well sort of.
I have been reading up on the topic in several forums;however, I haven't found anything just yet addressing my specific concern. I would like to use the user input to drive a new file that could be shared, emailed or kept on file.
As a good example, I know that a lot of job sites allow you to post your job in raw text. It then can be reformatted into a new document that is easy on the eyes.
Still looking,
Atti
Corey McGlone
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Atti,
You might try posting this question to the guru's at PerlMonks. They can probably help you with cgi better than I can.
Corey
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Atti222de,
Please change your name to be compliant with JavaRanch's naming policy. It should not be obviously fictitious.
Your displayed name should be 2 separate names with more than 1 letter each. We really would prefer that you use your REAL name.
You can change your name: here.
Thanks,
Cindy


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