# Publishing dynamic pages to flat HTML

Gold Member
I want to be able to generate pages from a database but the data only changes occasionally. It'd be more efficient to have the pages served up from flat HTML most of the time and only have to "publish" to HTML when I make a change to the database.

Is there a really convenient way of doing this? PERL's the trick, isn't it?

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verty
Homework Helper
Could you cache the data? Seems less hassle than writing files out.

Gold Member
Could you cache the data? Seems less hassle than writing files out.
Well, caching isn't exactly reliable. And it's not exactly going to work reliably for my users.

-Job-
You can pretty much use any language you want to generate the html, anything at all. It doesn't have to run inside the web server, so you're not limited to server-side languages. Also since this will be run only so often, only locally, and only by you, performance isn't much of a factor either.
The only thing you have to consider is whether in the future you might find yourself having to update the content so often you have to go back to dynamically generated pages.

Gold Member
You can pretty much use any language you want to generate the html, anything at all. It doesn't have to run inside the web server, so you're not limited to server-side languages. Also since this will be run only so often, only locally, and only by you, performance isn't much of a factor either.
The only thing you have to consider is whether in the future you might find yourself having to update the content so often you have to go back to dynamically generated pages.
I'm not sure you're getting what I'm after.

What I have:
Currently, my portal is built in PHP/MySQL. Every time I access my portal, the PHP has to build it from scratch and deliver it to me. It takes 5-20 seconds or more. If I want to make a change, I have a web control panel right there on my page where I make edits and then save.

What I want:
I want to have my portal on a flat HTML page, so it loads fast. When I want to add a link, I go to my web control panel and make the change, which is saved to the db. This db save triggers some app that writes a new HTML page, so that my portal when I go to it now has the new content.

The key here, is that my portal admin operations must all be web-based. I might not be at my home computer when I want to add a new link. I won't have any files, I won't have an ftp app, I won't have any editor (except the web-based one I've built).

Last edited:
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You can still use anything you want, because you can have a PHP script start your HTML writer app. Of course since you have PHP available i would just use PHP.
Your PHP script would look like a regular server-side script, the difference being that it writes the html out to a file, instead of to an output stream.

rdx
PHP does the trick

You can still use anything you want, because you can have a PHP script start your HTML writer app. Of course since you have PHP available i would just use PHP.
Your PHP script would look like a regular server-side script, the difference being that it writes the html out to a file, instead of to an output stream.
I agree w/ this. PHP is the easy way to go. Out of curiousity, what is the hit rate on this system. Accessing a database is so fast that I have php apps to generate the page on the fly. But that's just me.

Gold Member
Is there an efficient way of redirecting my PHP to a file rather than back to my browser? I've got all the code to make the page; I hope I don't have to rebuild it all as print statements...

I agree w/ this. PHP is the easy way to go. Out of curiousity, what is the hit rate on this system. Accessing a database is so fast that I have php apps to generate the page on the fly. But that's just me.
Like I said, hit rate or no, my pages take 5-20 seconds to load. Sometimes they time out. Granted, this is because of a shared SQL server, but still, why access the db several hundred times for the same data?

-Job-
Like I said, hit rate or no, my pages take 5-20 seconds to load. Sometimes they time out. Granted, this is because of a shared SQL server, but still, why access the db several hundred times for the same data?
That sounds like alot. Are these very large documents? Is the SQL Server on a separate machine?

-Job-
Dave, what you could do is the following. Write out your website in PHP as if you meant to leave it as a dynamically generated site. Suppose you have the following structure:
Code:
/root
file1.php
file2.php
...and you want to have the html versions as well:
Code:
/root
file1.php
file1.htm
file2.php
file2.htm
The html version are the ones you'd make publicly accessible.
Converting from php to html, just involves running the PHP and capturing the HTML it outputs. So suppose you do an http request from your local server to your local server for the file "http://localhost/root/file1.php". [Broken] Then your server will reply with the html, and all you have to do is save it to a file.
You can do http requests with PHP, using fopen:

Code:
$handle = fopen("[PLAIN]http://www.example.com/",[/PLAIN] [Broken] "r"); So i would do the following. Do a php script, generator.php, which receives a variable "page". So for example, generator.php?page=file1.php Inside generator.php you get the value of the page variable: Code: $targetPhpPage = $_GET["page"];$targetHtmPage = str_ireplace(".php", ".htm", $targetPhpPage); Then you make an http request to the target page: Code: $handle = fopen("[PLAIN]http://localhost/root/"[/PLAIN] [Broken] . $targetPage, "r"); Then you read the html you get from the server and dump to an html file Code: while ($data = fread($handle, 4096)) { //dump$data to \$targetHtmPage
}
Then it would be a simple matter to add links to your control panel to enable you to generate/update html for a page. Maybe a dropdown list or tree view populated with a list of php files and a button. When you click the button it submits to generator.php?page...
This way if in the future you find that you don't need this process anymore, you won't need to change anything, just make your php pages directly available.

For reference:
http://us3.php.net/fopen
http://us2.php.net/manual/en/function.str-ireplace.php