This is my first post and I must say that this forum has quite a professional feel to it. I am currently in my final semester to achieve my B.Sc in Information Systems and as such I have a project module to complete. I have a personal mission to apply the skills and lessons learnt from my IS/IT studies to help solve social issues afflicting many people. As such the project topic is concerned with delivering public services from a wide variety of agencies utilizing the web and internet technologies under the name CIRA (Community Improvement and Resource Allocation). In terms of extension, I hope to also design an initial schema for a data warehousing system for CIRA. This project is due at the beginning of February 2008, and at present I am working on my implementation phase as most of the relevant analysis and design has already been completed. Factors that motivate and drive my thinking are innovation, ethics in computers, and integration of concepts.
With respect to my implementation I have chosen to develop an XML-based website and I have used XSLT for presentation with some success . I also found that XSLT can link quite nicely to PHP which will be used to dynamically generate my HTML. I am also using Oracle 10g XE to store details such as citizen data, and available services, which will be connected through PHP. From my research I understand that the OCI8 extension should be used to connect PHP with Oracle.
Difficulties encountered thus far relates to presenting with XSLT. The initial approach was to use HTML/CSS, but I did a module on Web services last semester and I wanted to further explore the skills gained as well as demonstrate integration of those technologies and skills learnt throughout the module. So far I have been able to establish hyperlinks and my initial website design, but I cannot seem to use XSLT to position my tables 'inline' as with the CSS standard. Is there a way to use XSLT to do this, or do I have to incorporate CSS as research has indicated? I am not familiar with using the two however, so can someone please offer some assistance or direct me to relevant information. I am considering a brief redesign of my web interface to work within the XSLT features.
Also feel free to comment on my approach: XML, XSLT, PHP. Oracle. My peers have chosen natural combinations such as PHP, MYSQL, or Oracle 10g database with Appplication Express for the application development. I have chosen this approach not only because of the long term career benefits but also because I believe this combination would provide a flexible interface implementation, with a robust database back-end, all based on XML which can be extended to deliver service updates or requests via mobile devices or web services. Obstacles I foresee includes getting the PHP and Oracle to operate smoothly. Any assistance that can be offered on these issues will be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.