“Fun” with FacileForms

Once again I find myself at the limits of my PHP/js knowledge with Mambo/Joomla and FacileForms.

If you’re not familiar with these things, Mambo and Joomla are two forks of a PHP/MySQL-based Content Management System. I like them a lot and use them for a variety of websites including this one. FacileForms is an amazing component (add-on for the CMS), which essentially transforms it into a web application development environment. It can be used for any application that involves querying a database, displaying records and editing them, or entering information into forms for processing.

Naturally, a number of scientific applications come to mind. The first one that I ever built was MamboLIMS, which is a laboratory information management system. If you’re interested, it was built using older version of Mambo + FF and I won’t be revisiting it in the near future. You can envisage other applications, including perhaps that near-mythical perfect reference management/bibliography system.

Like all new software, FF is something of a learning curve. My problem is that I tend to leap in, copy the sample scripts, edit them and figure out how it all works more or less by trial and error, which can take days. With a good understanding of PHP (and especially embedded javascript), it would be a lot easier. Anyway, it’s a very powerful system, recommended highly. I only wish I had more time to develop some “fun” apps with it.