In my system, a user can query a database which is populated with the 
names of image files.  The form is submitted, and the page recalls 
itself but displays all matching results.  In each matching result is a 
checkbox form field, with the primary key of the file as the value (I'm 
using MySQL).  At the bottom of the list of matching results is a new 
submit button -- the idea is to allow the user to check off which image 
files they want and hit the new submit button to add those image files' 
primary keys to a queue.  The user can then choose "done", and move on 
(what happens to the queue is irrelevant to my question), or "more 
files", to start the process all over again with new search criteria, 
but preserve the queue so that in effect they can keep adding to the 

It seems the best way to do this is to initialize an array, like 
"$queue[]", and set the value of each checkbox as 
"$queue['primary_key']" (of course, using the image's real primary_key 
number, not the word 'primary_key').  That way, for each checked image 
file, I can add the value to the array.  If the user needs to do a new 
search for files but keep the queue intact, the array can be passed 
along as a hidden form field as the page calls itself all over again.

My question: does this seem like a workable scheme?  I was hoping to get 
some insight before writing the whole thing -- can an array be passed as 
a hidden form variable without listing every index in the array?  I'd 
like to keep all of this processing in PHP without storing temporary 
data in MySQL, which is why I have this setup with all the hidden form 
field passing.

Epilogue:  Once the user has selected the images they want, they 
continue to a new page where each image is listed (I'd use explode() to 
extract the selections from the array and print them to the screen) and 
they confirm that this is the selection they want.  If so, then they hit 
"submit" and the list of primary keys is finally stored in MySQL into a 
TEXT field or something.  (That's the less elegant, but easier way to do 
it -- a harder way, but much better way, is to store the many-to-many 
relationship into a foreign key table, but I'm still pondering whether 
or not to go this route...)



Erik Price
Web Developer Temp
Media Lab, H.H. Brown

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