About this project/web site

The goal of my class project was to utilize XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL (as the back end database). I chose to develop a social networking web site (bostonsocial.tk) to make it easier for students who are new to Boston, to get to know others, the city, their school and community, and to get involved in local volunteering opportunities. See the Big Dig page where students and professors can also share photos, poetry, research, and their work with others. A lot of time, research, planning, coding, and hard work was put in to making this site functional and the way I envisioned it to be. I enjoyed developing this, and at the same time learning how fun and challenging creating a social networking site can be.

XHTML/CSS

I used the latest XHTML standards and guidelines from the world wide web consortium on all the pages. I have several external CSS files that I use for the page's layouts and styles. For the image gallery section, some advanced CSS is utilzed; as you hover over an image, the image will expand to appear bigger, full size. I also learned about a little trick (max-width and @media queries), which I use on this page, to shorten the paragrpah width, and have the UL/LI elements appear horizontally instead of inline, if this page is viewed on a mobile device, or if you were to make your browser narrower.

JavaScript

JavaScript is used through out this site. You will notice the current time and date on the bottom of the home page. When the page loads, it calls a function which displays it and starts running in JavaScript. I also use JavaScript as my form's validation. When the user submits the form, it calls a function which will check each field for validation and return true or false. I also use some JQuery on a few pages. On the big dig page, it hides all content, except for the link you click on, which will show its content associated with that link (i.e. poetry, my city, everything local, etc.) on the page.

PHP & MySQL

The heart of this project and web site! This is the programming that I love to do. PHP (the server side scripting language) & MySQL (as the back-end database), go together like peanut butter & jelly. PHP & MySQL is utilized through out this site/project everytime it queries the database to return, insert, etc., data for the forms, the user's profile, generating a random profile, editing, deleting the profile, sorting users on gender and school, my date of birth script, and my analytics page. For the database, I have 3 tables. A challenging part of this project was the uploading process of the user's image, and how to use a default image if the user doesn't wish to upload one. There's a lot of code just for that feature, but I finally was able to figure it out and get it to work correctly.
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