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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Moncton, NB Canada
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    48

    Default databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Hi Everybody,

    I've read several threads in this forum that suggest Web Design does not function well if database activity is intended. That scares hell out of me!

    I just KNOW that I am going to want to use these designs to chew on several tables at a time, and even report relational data. Like an invoice style thing or just a "look at what you visited over the last 10 visits" kinda chewing.

    Is this rumour true?

    Many thanks,

    Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,991

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bruneau View Post
    Is this rumour true?
    It has never been a rumour. Your XDA delivers static, stateless websites.

    You have to embroider in server site code handlomh MySql and PHP hooks into your design to achieve what you seem to be expecting.
    Third-party Widgets can do a lot of this heavy-lifting for you but few can be customised so you will be coding mostly for yourself.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,400

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    It has never been a rumour. Your XDA delivers static, stateless websites.

    You have to embroider in server site code handlomh MySql and PHP hooks into your design to achieve what you seem to be expecting.
    Third-party Widgets can do a lot of this heavy-lifting for you but few can be customised so you will be coding mostly for yourself.

    Acorn
    Yes indeed.

    Xara generated web pages are totally unsuitable to serve variable database data. You could use Xara as a page designer and code the HTML separately.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,400

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bruneau View Post
    Hi Everybody,

    I've read several threads in this forum that suggest Web Design does not function well if database activity is intended. That scares hell out of me!

    I just KNOW that I am going to want to use these designs to chew on several tables at a time, and even report relational data. Like an invoice style thing or just a "look at what you visited over the last 10 visits" kinda chewing.

    Is this rumour true?

    Many thanks,

    Paul
    I suspect that even if Xara's HTML output was suitable, you'd have problems because you'd need to be editing PHP or other code into it and if you were comfortable doing that you would already understand why Xara code is not suitable for the task.

    Xara is about fixed layout web pages without coding - a bit like a word processor but without any form of mailmerge or spreadsheet capability.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Moncton, NB Canada
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Thank you, Paul and Acorn.
    I do clearly understand that the database and PHP stuff are going to land squarely in my lap.

    I have considered the question a bit more thoroughly, and I think I am more concerned with limits to the amount of instructions I can pack into a placeholder.

    I guess I'll just have to see. I hope the package is suitable. It really is a strong page designer.

    And Paul!!! You're an Apple guy! Since when has any Apple guy let some IBM guy tell them they can't do something?

    Thanks again, fellows.

    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,991

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bruneau View Post
    I have considered the question a bit more thoroughly, and I think I am more concerned with limits to the amount of instructions I can pack into a placeholder.
    Paul, quite a lot but it is beter to call in another set of files, which is quite easy to do. You can attach external files with Shift+Ctrl+Alt+A. You can use jQuery and AJAX.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,400

    Default Re: databases?? A No-No for Xara Web Designer

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Bruneau View Post
    Thank you, Paul and Acorn.
    I do clearly understand that the database and PHP stuff are going to land squarely in my lap.

    I have considered the question a bit more thoroughly, and I think I am more concerned with limits to the amount of instructions I can pack into a placeholder.

    I guess I'll just have to see. I hope the package is suitable. It really is a strong page designer.

    And Paul!!! You're an Apple guy! Since when has any Apple guy let some IBM guy tell them they can't do something?

    Thanks again, fellows.

    Paul
    LOL, yes quite the Apple guy now, but for much of my working life developing on Unix with later front-ends on PC.

    Xara is mostly a screen-painter that can generate fixed-layouts. If you want to use placeholders, then your design is going to be a page full of placeholders, which is sort of OK but the BIG downside of Xara for use with databases and dynamic content is that the placeholders are of a fixed-size and will not adapt to the content they are intended to serve. So your page will be the same size regardless of whether your database returns 1 row of data or 50. It's not a deal-breaker, but you need to plan well.

    I'm glad you came back about this because you have made me think more about it. I'm so used to thinking about how HTML pages are usually constructed (not using fixed positioning exclusively) and the virtual impossibility of editing the HTML that Xara produces, the first instinct is to dismiss it.

    I used to build database-connected HTML pages using PHP and JSP. Generally the technique was to design a page then take that page and turn it into a page template that worked with JSP or PHP - that approach is not viable with Xara.

    Your idea to run with Xara using placeholders has two downsides.

    1) Xara has fixed sized pages that don't adapt to content, so it makes them less flexible compared with HTML pages not based on fixed-positioning.

    In the past I did use a design system that worked with fixed-size pages and connected to database feeds. It was fine because we dealt with "corporate" data and it handled tables without any issues by providing scrollbars within the allotted space for the tables if more data was returned than there was space for. This system was not using HTML.

    I work mostly these days on IOS apps and those pages don't naturally scroll and essentially "long" data scrolls inside the fixed page - just like the database design app I used to use.

    I'm now more used to HTML pages adapting, but naturally in a limited way (nobody needs to see 5,000 rows of data in a long page).

    2) Because the HTML is not editable (for practical purposes), any table design, for example is going to be done outside of Xara.

    With JSP or PHP I would take the table design in HTML and programatically generate the rows using the HTML code from the basic design and the page could grow to suit the row-count. You have to do this yourself when using a Xara placeholder - you can't use a Xara design for a table.

    So, following your idea about placeholders I've re-thought my opinion on this. Xara is not at all-suited to this purpose but it can be done I suppose, but whatever appears inside those placeholders is completely down to you - you can't use Xara design elements inside them.

    As far as fixed-size placeholders. OK, I'll go with that, but they need to be as large as the largest content you want to be visible - your page can't grow. For many applications that is an inferior solution compared with having a page that grows to accommodate more content.

    IBM? never mind - you'll escape one day.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by pauland; 12 September 2020 at 12:01 PM.

 

 

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