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General Discussion

3,422 Points

What do I need to learn?

I want to input data in a form and make it show up as html in another page.

A form is done in html,

but where does the data go?

how do I get that data to go into another page as html?

I want to make sure to learn the right steps to achieve this.

I am learning javascript, but I feel like that is not what I need for this particular problem.

2 Answers

Travis Adams
Travis Adams
3,667 Points

This could easily be achieved with PHP.

I would start with Treehouse’s Front-End Development Track. Subsequently, you'll be able to make an informed decision. See, there’s so many things you can do — and so many ways that you can do them — that it would be irresponsible of me to just answer with, “Learn Ruby,” or anything so specific. Here's how the whole shebang kinda works though:

How’d the form get there?

  • HTML forms appear in your browser because a server sent them

How’d the server know to do that?

  • Well, presumably, you typed in a URL in your browser
  • The browser then sends a request to the server asking it to do things

What the hell is a waiter, I mean server?

  • It’s just a computer, pretty much exactly like the one you’re on right now, with a few minute differences
  • Like, all the software on the server is there because it’s required or helpful to get the job done; it’s a computer that’s been optimized for specific metrics, e.g. speed

How does the browser know which server to send it to?

  • The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) you type in holds a lot of info
  • Like the address to that particular server’s location
  • Like info on what you want the server to do when it receives your request

What’s all this got to do with my form data?

  • The server built the HTML form before it sent it to you
  • As such, when you fill out the form and hit submit, another request is sent to the server from your browser
  • Except this time, the form data you submitted is sent along with the rest of the request
  • Because the server built the form, it knows what to do when the form is submitted back to it with data

Shut up! I just want to submit a form and have the data come back as another HTML page?

  • As you know, the form itself is madeup of code called HTML
  • The way the form looks — it’s presentation, how big the input box is, what font is being used — is manipulated by code called CSS
  • The behaviour of the form — does it pop up out of nowhere, does it disappear on submit, does the page reload on submit — is controlled by a language called JavaScript
  • The minute the form is sent to the server, however, all bets are off; there is no real standard of what happens next
  • The server contains programs written in whatever language you want to write them in: Ruby, Python, Java, etc. and now even JavaScript
  • These programs are the actual software that created and served the initial HTML file
  • They also can do more than that like retrieve more data from this other optimized-computer called a Database, do whatever they want to that data, and then send that data to your browser for your viewing pleasure

So, like, what do I need to learn?

  • Like I said, I would start by completing the Front-End Development Track
  • Then, you’ll likely want to do more than fill out a form and have an HTML page appear
  • Only then will it make sense to ask, “what should I learn next?”
  • You could Learn Flask
  • You could Learn Rails
  • You could Stick with JavaScript
  • Or you could do, literally, anything else; the world will be your goddamn oyster. I’m not sure what oysters have to do with this either, but people say that…I swear.

I’ve definitely left a bunch of stuff out but I hope that this helps you out a little man. I don’t really have time to proofread this behemoth so if something isn’t making sense, just call me out on it and I’ll elaborate.