The price of knowledge

I spent this morning playing a new domain I’m working on: which
is a links engine aimed at bringing together different websites related to the Isle
of Man
.  Unfortunately, after a morning of work, I’m back at square one;
however I have learnt a number of things along the way.

I wanted this site to be my first foray into PHP.
I’ve checked out the language a couple of times in the past, but I believe the best
way to learn a language is to get down and dirty with building something with it.
I chose the short-cut way this time, choosing to build on an already-available foundation.
Looking around the web, I came across an open-source links engine called Barracuda which
seemed to satisfy what I wanted. I downloaded it, had a look at the code, decided
I could figure out what it’s doing and set about creating the MySQL database
it needs and uploading the source to my hosting provider.

That’s when I started hitting problems. Although my provider supports PHP and MySQL;
the underlying web server is IIS and Barracuda was written for Apache. The PHP/MySQL
bits should be transportable; however I hit a major snag with the .htaccess file.
The .htaccess file is a configuration file used by Apache to configure things like
folder security and in this case URL rewriting. My provider had something similar
installed; a package called IISPassword. However; while it does all the folder security
bits; it doesn’t handle the URL rewriting that .htaccess provides. Barracuda is very
much geared around this piece of functionality, so it’s back to the drawing board.

However, on the plus side; I’ve figured out how to create and maintain MySQL databases,
all about IISPassword and
a few other bits and bobs which could serve useful one day.

Anyone have a links engine they can recommend?

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