Help on "Simple" Project


Well-known member

I'm learning php and mysql - slowly. XenForo has sparked my interest but this is indirectly related to XF. I'm tinkering with an idea - it's an idea being drawn up on paper. An empty database is set for the idea and I have not built any tables.

The idea
A php / mysql script which allows me to collect snippets and quotes from websites (in my network or some other site). These notes should be searchable so that I may re-use them. I want access to these so that I can quickly add via an iPhone, iPad, Notebook, or Desktop.

MySQL db
-- Site_ID (incremented)
-- Site Name
-- RSS Feed URL

-- Note ID (incremented)
-- Topic_ID (Tied to table below)
-- Category_ID (Tied to table below)
-- Date viewed
-- Publication date
-- Site_ID (Tied to above table)
-- Note
-- Story link
-- Keywords

-- Category_ID (incremented)
-- Category

-- Category_ID
-- Topic Title

PHP Files
There should be a page to easily add notes and another to retrieve notes. There should also be something to allow me to edit the notes :)

There should be a separate config.php file.

Would you mind taking a moment to ponder and let me know if there is something really missing in the basic idea. What pitfalls should I avoid?

Jeremy P

Well-known member
Seems about right to me.

Don't want to make things overly complicated but you might consider using a framework so you don't have to do any heavy lifting. A good PHP micro-framework is It's fairly easy to set up and get going but if it's too much don't worry about it.

Database schema seems fine.


Well-known member
Don't want to make things overly complicated but you might consider using a framework so you don't have to do any heavy lifting. A good PHP micro-framework is It's fairly easy to set up and get going but if it's too much don't worry about it.
Thank you for the link and verification. I'll read up on the framework.


Well-known member
I've got the database search page embedded into XenForo. Let me know if you have any ideas on how to improve things. It was easier to get this done quickly in Caspio but it's expensive for this project. I just wanted to get it going to the next stage. Maybe someone else would like to help.

Search is "contains" ... for the title and notes. I don't have the keywords, tags, etc functioning correctly yet.

Research Notes Search Page.png

Here is the submission form.

Research Notes Submission Page.PNG


Well-known member
What is that search searching ?
I have a form which allows me to add

article title, URL, pub date, quote/ notes, etc ...

There are fields for keywords, tags, etc.

My desire is to get this database so I manually add articles and I'm able to get select RSS feeds to automatically be added into the database. I can then quickly research a topic.

Is there a page listing all the entries ?
You can simply click on the submit - and all results will return. Right now I only have 3 articles because this was a proof of concept.

Now I can get articles into the database to add more features.


Well-known member
Just a quick update (only because I am excited).

This is now being moved over to MySQL because the proof-of-concept works. The MySQL db is built and optimized. The php script is being created. I actually prefer having it a part of a XenForo page. It makes it part of the site.

I have someone helping me and we are adding the ability to import RSS feeds so that articles are categorized easily.

My hope is to get a beta version set over the weekend. It'll be a tall order but should make for some fun.


Well-known member
Well, the project continues ....

The database is built in MySQL now. The php script for adding categories, subcategories, and keywords is working. Notes can be added. Search is semi-working.

Things to complete:
RSS Feeds
Change keyword search to text, autocomplete
Integration with Site (header, footer, authentication)

Research Notes - Now Using PHP and MySQL.png


Well-known member
I returned to working on this project today. The developer who moved the work over to PHP and MySQL abandoned it before getting the RSS feeds to automatically "dump" into the database. The team couldn't get the reports integrated into XenForo either.

Anyway - after doing a little bit today - this is the current status of the project.

Search Page

The autofill is such a nice feature :)

The results page is not even close to my liking. My hope is to start grouping articles with common keywords, topics, etc. Maybe that is the "next" step.

Website RSS Feeds in Database

This page passes a parameter to the database to simply return a list of sites and Feed URLs. There are only around 100 Feeds in the database. This should grow pretty quickly (quickly in my book is ... at a turtle's pace).

Article Submission Form (Members Only)
Members will have access to a submission form for website Feed URLs. Unregistered visitors will not.

Article Submission (Admin Only)
There is also an Article submission form with admin only permissions. This will allow me to add notes to the article database as well as assign categories and keywords.

An "authority" field was added. This will allow me to rank the articles so that they are grouped with the top authoritative one on top.

Please let me know what you think!

PS. Think Digg + TechMeme (CNN Trends) but for more than just technology.