> I do a lot of work with Perl and have decided to see what this PHP is all
> about. The best way for me to do that, is to just do a project. Here is what
> I am looking to do. I would like to use PHP and the SQL language on a CSV or
> Flat File Database. A lot of my work is on unix system that people want to
> work with Access. They do not want to pay the extra amount of money fora
> MySQL database. The answer to this issue is access with exports to CSV files
> for some of the simplier stuff like shopping carts and members and stuff
> like that.
> Here's the thing, can PHP interact with a flat file databse like perl and
> the DBD::CSV? If so can someone point me in the right idrection to get
> started. I have a server for development and it now has 4.0 PHP.

=When you next change jobs will you be keen to accept a company car that has one wheel 
permanently removed, has
no doors, and is pulling a U-Haul filled with lead bars and raw sewage, topped off 
with a flag saying "We are
the greatest!" ?

=Is the outlined task a primary focus of PHP? PHP is renowned for its web orientation 
(output is HTML), and
support of databases to build/run dynamic web sites. Ironically 'dumbing it down' to 
"simpler stuff[sic]", like
removing the fourth wheel from a car, is likely to give you a very stunted/skewed view 
of the package.

=Yes PHP has a library of flat file routines, if you insist on using them. MySQL has 
the capability to LOAD .csv
DATA if that is the specified transfer medium, and would offer full RDBMS speed and 

=Where do the lead bars etc fit in? You mention Unix systems and the Access package, 
plus CSV file exports. In
such an incompatible environment you are hobbling the development project before you 
start. Again with the
result that any system produced will not be representative of what PHP can do.

=PHP users talk of "LAMPS" and the PHP Triad (the former is well explained by O'Reilly 
(the publishers) and
Google will supplement my faded memory for a source on the latter). LAMPS is Linux, 
Apache (web server), MySQL
(RDBMS), and PHP. The PHP 'Triad' is the last of those three conveniently packaged 
together for
download/installation. So from this you can take it that PHP was designed to/will work 
well in any combination
of these.

=In your example, I fail to perceive success in a Unix-Access combination, but presume 
you know more than I. The
PHP-MySQL combination is proven, and operates at a far more 'industrial scale' than 
Access (more comparable to
MS SQL-Server). In a standard commercial environment I cannot think of a particular 
service that MySQL under PHP
control cannot provide, that Access can - but many pragmatic reasons not to use Access.

=You mention "extra money". This may or may not be the case. If it were a comparison 
between buying Access or
buying MySQL then it would be wrong, but if they have already paid for Access then you 
may be correct. By and
large, MySQL is 'free' but MySQL AB will charge for a support contract - but you must 
check your application
against the license terms! You also ask about 'sources'. The best place to start, both 
to review the licensing
and to find links to online sources is the MySQL AB web site.

=Get rid of the "we are the greatest" flag, and choose the right tool for the job - or 
leave the challenge of
starting on a PHP/MySQL career until it/they are the 'right' tool/best mix for the 
client-constraints of your


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