Erik: If I could paraphrase your question, it'd be, "is it better to leave info in session vars or use db calls" - if that's right, I'd say db call for your particular need is faster/easier, as you'll be accessing the db anyway (getting their personal info). Just add a style sheet preference field to the db, and call it along with the other user info, and have the php write the correct css include call. >From the sounds of it, with only 10 active users, you won't have any performance >issues either way you work it out.
Sean -----Original Message----- From: Erik Price [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 10:30 AM To: PHP (E-mail) Subject: [PHP] what vars should go in session vars? Hello, I have a question about everyone's opinion on the topic of sessions: I am running the whole linux/mysql/php/apache thing and I love it. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'm teaching myself how to do all this with a web-based app (site) that combines a great deal of functionality, such as searching a database of images, requesting projects from my department, checking the status of those projects, and message boards (where the topic is a certain project -- each project has a message board). Blah blah blah. What I'm wondering is, what should I store in session variables? Originally, I was thinking that after login/authentication, only the userID number should be stored in the session, because this number can easily be used to consult MySQL and get any other information necessary for the user, to influence the way the site behaves. But I was thinking of adding ten pre-set style sheets (diff't colors, fonts, etc), and the user can choose one of them and store it in "users.stylesheet" or whatever. (A neat idea if I do say so myself.) But would this would mean yet ANOTHER query to the database for every single page in the site, as the userID is checked to find the user's stylesheet, which then causes the page to perform an include() on that particular style sheet, etc. Would it be more efficient to store another session variable for the style sheet preference, rather than pulling out of the DB on every page? That way it would be one less query to the database. The first way is simpler, but the second way seems more optimized. But then this could be taken farther -- where do you draw the line with user preferences that are pulled out of the database each time they are needed, or user preferences that are stored in a session to save database activity? Since I have never written a database application before, I have no idea what kinds of performance changes occur with making sitewide adjustments like this. In other words, do -most- database-driven web sites store a ton of info in the session variable, or do they depend on the database itself to serve up this information on a page-by-page basis? Note that this setup is being run on Pentium II, 256MB RAM with approx 50 users total (only ten or so would ever be accessing the thing simultaneously, I imagine). It's not a public web site. Thanks for your thoughts, Erik -- PHP General Mailing List (http://www.php.net/) To unsubscribe, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] For additional commands, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To contact the list administrators, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]