Greetings all! I am finally taken the plunge and started trying to develop a
web application. I've got a fair amount of web design experience with
straight up HTML, I've written a few scripts with perl, and I'm slightly
familiar with SQL. This is to give you some background... I'm by no means
experienced so please bear with me.

Currently I'm using a forum to gather business reviews from subscribers to a
website. Once a substantial number have been gathered, I want to use them to
populate a database that can be appended to by users.

The actual application (once data has been migrated) will have two uses:
first, users should be able to search by geographic area for businesses
based on zip code, town name, business name, distance from a given zipcode,
etc. If a certain field isn't filled in, it should be assumed to be a
wildcard (for instance, if a user would enter no business name, or town
name, but they do enter 10 mile radius from 90210, then all businesses
within 10 miles of 90210 that have reviews will be displayed).

I'd like to use a similar form to allow users to submit reviews for new

Most of this may seem pretty simple, but like I said, I've never worked with
PHP before, or SQL, let alone both. And whats worse, I've got no idea how to
do anything with the geographical code (the X mile radius from zip code Y
thing). So, where would be a fair place to get started (besides the obvious

I hope this wasn't too vague - thanks again guys! Also, this is my first
post, so please be gentle :)

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