I have been using .htaccess pages formatted to read username/password
from a mysql database, and they work fine.  But I'm wondering, wouldn't
it be simpler to simply write a script that checks a database itself,
and, if it finds the username, goes on to the next action; and if it
doesn't find the member, shuts them out? This seems so simple that I am
sure there are good arguments against it.  Am I right? 

The idea, in simple terms, is a login form that calls a php script which
checks the id of the username in the form against a database, and then
the appropriate action following their acceptance. 



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