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php|architect:
Writing an AJAX-based Visual Rating System with PHP
June 13, 2006 @ 06:06:48

In php|architect's ART respository today, there's a new article from Marco Tabini himself about the creation of an Ajax rating system for your site.

A rating system is a great tool for any website. It serves two important purposes: first, it gives your users a way to interact with your pages-and interactivity is an important aspect of any website these days. Second, it provides you with a valuable feedback tool that you can use to gauge viewer interest in individual areas of your site. In other words... everybody wins!

He explains the concept behind the system before ever getting into any code - a visual representation of the rating users are giving a particular article/posting. With that out of the way, he gets into the HTML first, explaining how the table is laid out before giving the code to pull together the images and form one seamless one representing the correct rating. He also demonstrates the use of a "secret hash" to protect the script against abuse.

Next up, he creates the PHP/SQL backend to handle the Ajax requests coming back in from the page, and setting a cookie to protect (somewhat) against more than one vote. Finally, he gives the Javascript you'll need to create the Ajax connection and relay the JSON message back to the server on the rating the user chose.

Of course, the code is available for download as well.

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