On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM, VanderHart, Robert
<robert.vanderh...@umassmed.edu> wrote:
> I appreciate the replies I've received already; thanks!  Sorry for not 
> catching my simple errors before sending out that message.

No worries, no one I have met yet begins life knowing this stuff!

If you don't mind, Robert, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of
concepts that might make your way easier:

1) Don't Repeat Yourself, aka DRY -- in writing code, it sometimes
seems easier to just cut and paste something over and over again with
a couple of minor tweaks. However, if you find you have to change
something structurally (like that form!), having the change in one
place is so much simpler.

2) Think in functions, procedures, and modules. It's sometimes very
easy when starting out to just write everything in one straight,
linear flow. Going along with #1, using functions to handle the
reduced repetition should help a lot.

If I can give a simple example, you have a whole swath of lines
dealing with pulling things out of $_POST that look almost exactly the
same, save for the key.

$fields = ['authorid','lname','fname','mname','email','institution',

foreach ($fields as $field) {
  if (isset($_POST[$field])) $$field =
mysqli_real_escape_string($link, $_POST[$field]);

If you notice the '$$field' thing in the middle there, it's a Variable
Variable, which is described in:


It might look advanced, but most every language has some form of
indirection like that. Makes the above operation really nice and
short. You said you've been around the block a couple of times in
other languages and scripts (and if your photo is accurate, we're
probably of an age!) so I hope you'll take this as just trying to help
a person get a leg up.

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