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Best Setup For A Website
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Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Jan 7, 2013, 11:36 AM
 
I'm looking to build a site that does the following two things:

You type or paste text data into boxes on the site, basically just filling out a form, your text is then reformatted into one of a choice of templates, and finally it spits out a pdf of your nicely formatted text for you;

Your data is stored in a database for subsequent re-use;



It should also fill the following criteria:

Authentication will be handled via FaceBook. The site will be advertised there, so I want a user to click the ad, it generates them an account to save their pdf under, then lets them fill it out and get a copy to print or email;

As the admin, myself and others in my employ should be able to conveniently search that database against any or all criteria entered;

Users should only have access to their own data;

It would be nice if it were possible to upload a photo or maybe auto-harvest their profile pic from FB and include it in the finished pdf;

Site should work from all popular browsers;


From this brief, what would be the best way to build this site? Could it be done with something like Wordpress? I guess the pdf generator is the toughest bit? All thoughts and comments welcome.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Jan 9, 2013, 01:58 PM
 
Start here: Home - Facebook Developers

You could use Wordpress for presentation but I'm not aware of PDF generating function built in, you are likely going to develop that from scratch.

If you're not going to have high volume to this site, the easiest path may be to set up a Mac mini server with an AppleScript that collects the data and prints it to an emailed PDF.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Jan 9, 2013, 03:04 PM
 
I've actually done this sort of thing before, I'd be happy to discuss prices with you if you are not hoping to do this yourself. I'd recommend text2pdf:

Document Engineering Lab

I'm pretty sure this is what I used before, or of not this library something like it (what I did was slightly different from this in that it also included a watermark)

AppleScript is not a good idea, something command line based that can run without a GUI and can be easily invoked through the web is a far better option, IMHO.

As far as Facebook authentication goes, that's pretty easy, you can do that with one of the social plugins they provide:

http://developers.facebook.com/docs/.../registration/
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 9, 2013, 05:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

AppleScript is not a good idea, something command line based that can run without a GUI and can be easily invoked through the web is a far better option, IMHO.
I don't think it's a good solution either, but I suggested it because it would be easy since I suspect the OP and his crew aren't experienced with the LAMP stack.
     
Clinically Insane
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Jan 9, 2013, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
I don't think it's a good solution either, but I suggested it because it would be easy since I suspect the OP and his crew aren't experienced with the LAMP stack.

Cool, I understand...

One of the reasons why I don't shy away from encouraging people to look for command line Unixey sorts of solutions when I feel there is a decent match or cause for a recommendation of this nature is because I don't have a computer science degree, yet I learned everything I know myself by being inspired by a project. The right project/idea with the ambition can become a huge success, and somebody with the intellect of Waragainstsleep can absolutely learn this stuff and get there if he wishes to. This technology is not magic!

Additionally, I've noticed that people will occasionally show up on boards like this and ask for recommendations on books they can read to learn this stuff. Since I didn't learn from books myself (the web is my book), my bias and personal background persuades me to say "get a project, dude". There is nothing like a project to help learn this stuff, and not only to learn it, but retain it. What percentage of stuff read in a computer book is retained?

Anyway, huge digression...
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 9, 2013, 10:37 PM
 
No disagreement there besson, and fwiw, when I mentioned AppleScript, I had no idea there was a utility that could generate PDFs so easily.
     
   
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