Hello,

I am trying to implement two cascading <select> boxes. the second box's options would be fetched from a mysql db via a PHP script.

it works fine on IE.

Problems rise when it comes to Firefox, the form would not submit the value from the second <select> box.

I have the feeling that we need to return the name/value pairs of data and generate the <option>s on client-side, I just dont know how to do it using DOM.

Please advise..

Below is code for both the JS and PHP scripts:

PHP script

<?php
$countrycode=$_GET["countrycode"];

include("key.php");
$connection = mysql_connect($mysql_host_name,$username, $password) or die(mysql_error());
$db = mysql_select_db($mysql_db_name,$connection) or die ("Couldn't select database.");

mysql_select_db("getCities", $connection);

$sql="SELECT city_id, countrycode, name, nr_hotels FROM getCities WHERE countrycode = '".$countrycode."' ORDER BY name";

$result = mysql_query($sql);
echo "
<select name=\"city_id\"  style=\"font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size:15px \">
<OPTION VALUE=\"0\">-----------------------------------------
";

$options="";

while($row = mysql_fetch_array($result))
 {
 
$cityname=$row["name"];
$city_id=$row["city_id"];
$nr_hotels=$row["nr_hotels"];
$options.="<OPTION VALUE=\"$city_id\">".$cityname." (".$nr_hotels." hotels)";

}
echo $options;

echo "</select>";

mysql_close($connection);
?>

Javascript

var xmlHttp

function showUser(str)
{ 
xmlHttp=GetXmlHttpObject()
if (xmlHttp==null)
 {
 alert ("Browser does not support HTTP Request")
 return
 }
var url="ajax.php"
url=url+"?q="+str
url=url+"&sid="+Math.random()
xmlHttp.onreadystatechange=stateChanged 
xmlHttp.open("GET",url,true)
xmlHttp.send(null)
}

function stateChanged() 
{ 
if (xmlHttp.readyState==4 || xmlHttp.readyState=="complete")
 { 
 document.getElementById("txtHint").innerHTML=xmlHttp.responseText 
 } 
}

function GetXmlHttpObject()
{
var xmlHttp=null;
try
 {
 // Firefox, Opera 8.0+, Safari
 xmlHttp=new XMLHttpRequest();
 }
catch (e)
 {
 //Internet Explorer
 try
  {
  xmlHttp=new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");
  }
 catch (e)
  {
  xmlHttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
  }
 }
return xmlHttp;
}

It looks like you are creating a select element with unclosed options elements.

You have the opening and closing tags for select, but I only see the opening tags for the options, which may or may not be your problem.

I use dynamically created options for my select's using ajax requests to PHP code that gets data from a database as well, but the route I took was to have the select elements present in the HTML code with one dummy <option></option>.

When my ajax request is made, my php does not generate text to get with responseText, but it creates an XML document that has the values+text for each element and retrieved with XMLresult instead of responseText.

For my company contacts menu their names are the text and the value is their email address and the XML doc would contain:

<row>Bob,bob@abc.com</row>
<row>Sally,sally@123.com</row>

Of course this is not a full XML doc, but my JS iterates over the "row" tags in the XML and puts the info into a global array named company_email.

Then I use the following to remove any/all options from the select object, and create new options, split the company_email at the comma and set the value and text of the option elements accordingly.

var cs = document.getElementById("<your select element id here");
	//remove all options from the select
	while ( cs.options.length )
	{
		cs.remove(cs.options[0]);
	}
	for ( var i = 0; i < company_email.length; i++ )
	{
		var newOpt=document.createElement('option');
		var tmp = company_email[i].split(",");
		newOpt.text=tmp[0];// the text will be the persons name
		try
		{
			cs.add(newOpt,null); // standards compliant
		}
		catch(ex)
		{
			cs.add(newOpt); // IE only
		}
		cs.options[i].value = tmp[1];//the value will be the persons email
		cs.selectedIndex = 0;//select the first option, should be default but make sure
	}

I just found it easier to work with elements that were generated in the HTML document than to try to dynamically create new elements on the fly, if you want to try this different route and would like to see how I create and read the XML docs let me know.

Hello HazardTW, thank you for your reply. I would very much like to know more about your approach.

Try this out...

You need a table in your DB named email with at least one column named email.
The data in each row should be in this format: name,email Example: Bob,bob@bob.com

I did test this and verified that it works as long as:
a) you can connect to your database
b) you have a table named email with a column name email
c) you can run PHP on your host server I assume

The php file outputs an XML document, you can just open the PHP directly in the browser and see it's output, might help you get an idea of what it's doing.

The PHP file:(test.ajax.php)

<?php
header('Content-Type: text/xml');
header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
echo "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"iso-8859-1\"?>\r";
echo "<response>\r\r";
//=============================================================================//
$dbconn = NULL;
function dbconnect($verbose=true) {
	global $dbconn;
	include('<usernames and pws come in here>');
	if (!$dbconn = @mysql_connect("localhost",$name,$pw)){return false;}
	if($verbose){echo "\r<!-- opening mysql connection -->\r";}
	return true;}
//=============================================================================//

// this function creates a string delimited by "^": "Bob Smith,bob@abc.com^Sally White,sally@xyz.com^John Doe,jdoe@msn.com"

// this function actually serves a bunch of uses, not just the email, I stripped out everything else
// there are some queries where I want unique results only, others I want all results, hence the 'allowDuplicates' toggle


function db_fetch_str($table,$needle,$haystack_1=1,$match_1=1,$allowDuplicates=false,$haystack_2=1,$match_2=1) {
	$str = "";
	$sql = "SELECT $needle FROM $table WHERE $haystack_1 = '$match_1' AND $haystack_2 = '$match_2'";
	$result = @mysql_query($sql);
	if ( !$result || !mysql_affected_rows())
	{
		$str .= "-- NONE --";
	}
	else
	{
		$delimiter = "";
		$dups = array();
		while ( $row = @mysql_fetch_array($result))
		{
			if ( $allowDuplicates || !in_array($row[$needle],$dups) )
			{
				if (!$allowDuplicates){array_push($dups,$row[$needle]);}
				$str .= $delimiter.$row[$needle];
				$delimiter = "^";
			}
		}
	}
	return($str);
}
// ------------------------------------------------------------- //
$connection_open = dbconnect(false) or die("	<status>FAILED DBCONN</status>\r</response>");
@mysql_select_db("<name of your database>") or die("	<status>FAILED DBSELECT</status>\r</response>");

echo "<status>SUCCESS</status>\r";

echo "<email>".db_fetch_str('email','email',1,1,true)."</email>\r";

echo "\r</response>";
if ($connection_open){@mysql_close($dbconn);}?>

And the HTML with javascript in it:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function HttpClient() { } // HTTPCLIENT CLASS
HttpClient.prototype = {
	// type GET,POST passed to open
	requestType:'GET',
	// when set to true, async calls are made
	isAsync:true,
	// where an XMLHttpRequest instance is stored
	xmlhttp:false,
	// what is called when a successful async call is made
	callback:false,
	// what is called when send is called on XMLHttpRequest
	// set your own function to onSend to have a custom loading
	// effect
	onSend:function()
	{
		//document.getElementById('HttpClientStatus').style.display = 'block';
	},
	
	// what is called when readyState 4 is reached, this is
	// called before your callback
	onload:function()
	{
		//document.getElementById('HttpClientStatus').style.display = 'none';
	},
	
	// what is called when an http error happens
	onError:function(error)
	{
		alert(error);
	},
	
	// method to initialize an xmlhttpclient
	init:function()
	{
		try
		{
			// Mozilla / Safari
			this.xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
		}
		catch (e)
		{
			// IE
			var XMLHTTP_IDS = new Array('MSXML2.XMLHTTP.5.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP.4.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP.3.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP',
				 'Microsoft.XMLHTTP');
			var success = false;
			for (var i=0;i < XMLHTTP_IDS.length && !success; i++)
			{
				try
				{
					this.xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject
					(XMLHTTP_IDS[i]);
					success = true;
				}
				catch (e)
				{}
			}
			if (!success)
			{
				this.onError('Unable to create XMLHttpRequest.');
			}
		}
	},
	// method to make a page request
	// @param string url  The page to make the request to
	// @param string payload  What you're sending if this is a POST
	//                        request
	makeRequest: function(url,payload)
	{
		if (!this.xmlhttp)
		{
			this.init();
		}
		this.xmlhttp.open(this.requestType,url,this.isAsync);
		
		// set onreadystatechange here since it will be reset after a
		//completed call in Mozilla
		var self = this;
		this.xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function()
		{
			self._readyStateChangeCallback();
		}
		if (this.requestType == "POST")
		{
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Content-length", payload.length);
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Connection", "close");
		}
		
		this.xmlhttp.send(payload);
		
		if (!this.isAsync)
		{
			return this.xmlhttp.responseXML;
		}
	},
	
	// internal method used to handle ready state changes
	_readyStateChangeCallback:function()
	{
		switch(this.xmlhttp.readyState)
		{
			case 2:
				this.onSend();
				break;
			case 4:
				this.onload();
				if (this.xmlhttp.status == 200)
				{
					this.callback(this.xmlhttp.responseXML);
				}
				else
				{
					this.onError('HTTP Error Making Request: ' + '[' + this.xmlhttp.status + ']' + ' ' + this.xmlhttp.statusText);
				}
				break;
		}
	}
}

var client = new HttpClient();// create an instance of the object
client.isAsync = false;// I personally set this to false to hold execution until the request is finished
var company_email = null;// declare the global
var http_status = null; // global I use to keep track of status
function get_global_email()
{
	client.requestType = "GET";
	// function to handle completed calls
	client.callback = function(XMLresult)
	{
		if (XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("status"))// did XML page create a 'status' element?
		{
			http_status = XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("status")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
		}else{// if no 'status' element was returned, set global http_status to FAILED NO STATUS
			http_status = "FAILED NO STATUS";
			return;
		}
		if (http_status == "SUCCESS") {// if we got a SUCCESS in 'status' element, put row data in global variable
			// use of split("^") gives us an array of "name,email" pairs.
			company_email = XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("email")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue.split("^");
		}
	}
	client.makeRequest('test.ajax.php?sid='+Math.random(),null);
	return;
}

function build_contact_list()
{
        http_status=null; // make sure it's clear beforehand 
	get_global_email(); // call our ajax function to retrieve contact info from database
	
        // handle incomplete requests
        if (http_status != "SUCCESS"){alert("something went wrong:"+http_status);return;}
	
        var cm = document.getElementById("contact_menu"); // get the select element
	
	// remove all options from this select element
	while ( cm.options.length )
	{
		cm.remove(cm.options[0]);
	}
	
	for ( var i = 0; i < company_email.length; i++ )
	{
		var newOpt=document.createElement('option');
		// now seperate the name from the email address
		var tmp = company_email[i].split(",");
		newOpt.text=tmp[0];// set the persons name as the text of the option element
		try
		{
			cm.add(newOpt,null); // standards compliant
		}
		catch(ex)
		{
			cm.add(newOpt); // IE only
		}
		cm.options[i].value = tmp[1];// set the email address as the value of the option element
		cm.selectedIndex = 0;
	}
}


-->
</script>
</head>

<body>
	<div>
		<select id="contact_menu">
			<option></option><!-- dummy option so you don't throw validation errors -->
		</select>
		<br>
		<button type="button" onClick="build_contact_list()">Build The Menu</button>
	</div>
</body>
</html>

My disclaimer is that I have never been trained in programming, only self taught, so any pro's out there that see anything they wish to comment on, I would be happy to receive the critique.(with the exception of the HTML portion of the doc above that I just threw together for this example) ;)

For simplicity I have been retrieving all rows I get from my database this way, in a "^" delimited string that I split once I have retrieved it.

Hope this helps you with your menu building.

This method has worked great so far, my goal for the app I am working on is to never have to reload the page and the menus are updated every time the layer is they are on is made visible.

Interesting approach you've got here.. appreciate your time.

I am no programmer myself, just trying to work things out :/

I tried your example and it worked fine.

My requirements are a bit different though,

I have two <select> boxes.

first contains a list of countries

second would a list of the cities in the selected country (i.e will be changed each time the first select is changed)

any ideas?


P.S: i found out that closing the <option> is optional in most of the browsers. did close it anyways though.

Browsers will go into quirks mode when encountering markup errors, they try to correct your errors which can from my understanding result in slower pages and pages that do not render quite right.

Again from my understanding it is best to use a strict doc type and validate your code, the strict doc type tells the browser your doc contains no errors and to render it exactly as you have written.

On your cascading selects, that is actually more simple than you might think, I have them implemented 3-deep in my current app.

Here is an example of 2-deep cascading selects for country and city.

When you change the value of country, the "onChange" calls the function to rebuild the city menu, sending it's value for the function to use.

You will of course need to have all the arrays filled, you should be able to use the previous examples to fill in global variables for countries and cities.

Example:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
var cities = new Array();
cities["country1"]="c1city1,c1city2,c1city3";
cities["country2"]="c2city1,c2city2,c2city3";
cities["country3"]="c3city1,c3city2,c3city3";


function build_city_menu(country)
{
	var cs = document.getElementById("city_menu");
	// remove all options from it
	while ( cs.options.length )
	{
		cs.remove(cs.options[0]);
	}
	
	var cty = cities[country].split(",");
	
	for ( var i = 0; i < cty.length; i++ )
	{
		// create new option element
		var newOpt=document.createElement('option');
		
		newOpt.text=cty[i];
		// try adding the option to the select object
		try
		{
			cs.add(newOpt,null); // standards compliant
		}
		catch(ex)
		{
			cs.add(newOpt); // IE only
		}
		// set the value to same as the text
		cs.options[i].value = cty[i];
	}
	// set selected index
	cs.selectedIndex = 0;
}


-->
</script>

</head>

<body onLoad="build_city_menu('country1')">

<select id="country_menu" onchange="build_city_menu(this.value)">
       <option value="country1" selected="selected">country 1</option>
       <option value="country2">country 2</option>
       <option value="country3">country 3</option>
</select>

<select id="city_menu">
   <option></option>
</select>

</body>
</html>

You might use one global variable for the cities menu, and add an ajax call from the build_city_menu
function requesting the cities from your database for the country name passed to the function, have the returned result a comma delimited string place right into a global city_list and replace cities[] with that.
That would save you having to fill city lists for every country.

Just remember that the validator can't validate code created by JavaScript. If an error occurs in a strict doctype due to JavaScript changing the code, the page often will quit working at that point.

point taken regarding strict doc type. spot on.

You might use one global variable for the cities menu, and add an ajax call from the build_city_menu
function requesting the cities from your database for the country name passed to the function, have the returned result a comma delimited string place right into a global city_list and replace cities[] with that.
That would save you having to fill city lists for every country.

In my first post I managed to populate the second select box just fine. the whole problem was in the Ajax call.

I couldnt manage to write a proper ajax method that would work on all browsers (firefox didnt like my method) (refer to my first post)

it would be nice to see your way of doing it.

cheers mate.

I will post more when I get home, but wanted to say thanks for that comment MidiMagic, I had not thought about that, so far I have had no problems, keeping fingers crossed.

Regarding Firefox not liking your HTTP requests, I have not figured why that is, but installing Firebug has worked on 3 PC's with Firefox 2.0.0.6 installed.

Each would not run my app until I installed Firebug, just google it, easy to find and install.

What's funny is I initially installed Firebug so I could view the response headers to see what was going on, but it magically started working then ;)

EDIT: btw MidiMagic, are you referring to html created via document.write(), .innerHTML, or .createElement() + .appendChild()??

OK, here is an example, this one does not make an ajax request every time the country is changed, it only makes the request after page load, gets the countries and cities from the database and puts them in global variables.

The table name is test, the fields are "country" and "cities" where "country" is the country name, and "cities" is a comma delimited string of city names for that country.

Here is the PHP file that creates the XML response doc:

<?php
header('Content-Type: text/xml');
header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
echo "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"iso-8859-1\"?>\r";
echo "<response>\r\r";
//=============================================================================//
$dbconn = NULL;
function dbconnect($verbose=true) {
	global $dbconn;
	include('<usernames and pws come in here>');
	if (!$dbconn = @mysql_connect("localhost",$name,$pw)){return false;}
	if($verbose){echo "\r<!-- opening mysql connection -->\r";}
	return true;}
//=============================================================================//
$connection_open = dbconnect(false) or die("	<status>FAILED DBCONN</status>\r</response>");
@mysql_select_db("<name of your database>") or die("	<status>FAILED DBSELECT</status>\r</response>");
// ------------------------------------------------------------- //
echo "<status>SUCCESS</status>\r";

$sql = "SELECT * FROM test";
$result = @mysql_query($sql);
if ( !$result || !mysql_affected_rows())// if query failed OR no rows in the table output -- NONE --
{
	echo "<countries>-- NONE --</countries>\r";
}
else
{
	while ($row = @mysql_fetch_array($result))
	{
		echo "<countries>" . $row[country] . "|" . $row[cities] . "</countries>\r";
	}
	
}
//================================================================================================
echo "\r</response>";
if ($connection_open){@mysql_close($dbconn);}?>

With the data I put in the database table, the resulting XML doc looks like this:

<response>
<status>SUCCESS</status>
−
	<countries>
America|Los Angeles,New York,Miami,Dallas,Portland,Chicago,Casper
</countries>
−
	<countries>
Canada|Vancouver,Abbotsford,Armstrong,Burnaby,Castlegar,Chilliwack,Colwood,Coquitlam
</countries>
−
	<countries>
Mexico|Cancun,Cabo San Lucas,Los Cabos,San Jose del Cabo,Cozumel,Isla Mujeres,Riviera Maya,Acapulco
</countries>
</response>

Here is the HTML, tested it, it works:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function HttpClient() { } // HTTPCLIENT CLASS
HttpClient.prototype = {
	// type GET,POST passed to open
	requestType:'GET',
	// when set to true, async calls are made
	isAsync:true,
	// where an XMLHttpRequest instance is stored
	xmlhttp:false,
	// what is called when a successful async call is made
	callback:false,
	// what is called when send is called on XMLHttpRequest
	// set your own function to onSend to have a custom loading
	// effect
	onSend:function()
	{
		//document.getElementById('HttpClientStatus').style.display = 'block';
	},
	
	// what is called when readyState 4 is reached, this is
	// called before your callback
	onload:function()
	{
		//document.getElementById('HttpClientStatus').style.display = 'none';
	},
	
	// what is called when an http error happens
	onError:function(error)
	{
		alert(error);
	},
	
	// method to initialize an xmlhttpclient
	init:function()
	{
		try
		{
			// Mozilla / Safari
			this.xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
		}
		catch (e)
		{
			// IE
			var XMLHTTP_IDS = new Array('MSXML2.XMLHTTP.5.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP.4.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP.3.0',
				 'MSXML2.XMLHTTP',
				 'Microsoft.XMLHTTP');
			var success = false;
			for (var i=0;i < XMLHTTP_IDS.length && !success; i++)
			{
				try
				{
					this.xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject
					(XMLHTTP_IDS[i]);
					success = true;
				}
				catch (e)
				{}
			}
			if (!success)
			{
				this.onError('Unable to create XMLHttpRequest.');
			}
		}
	},
	// method to make a page request
	// @param string url  The page to make the request to
	// @param string payload  What you're sending if this is a POST
	//                        request
	makeRequest: function(url,payload)
	{
		if (!this.xmlhttp)
		{
			this.init();
		}
		this.xmlhttp.open(this.requestType,url,this.isAsync);
		
		// set onreadystatechange here since it will be reset after a
		//completed call in Mozilla
		var self = this;
		this.xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function()
		{
			self._readyStateChangeCallback();
		}
		if (this.requestType == "POST")
		{
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Content-length", payload.length);
			this.xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Connection", "close");
		}
		
		this.xmlhttp.send(payload);
		
		if (!this.isAsync)
		{
			return this.xmlhttp.responseXML;
		}
	},
	
	// internal method used to handle ready state changes
	_readyStateChangeCallback:function()
	{
		switch(this.xmlhttp.readyState)
		{
			case 2:
				this.onSend();
				break;
			case 4:
				this.onload();
				if (this.xmlhttp.status == 200)
				{
					this.callback(this.xmlhttp.responseXML);
				}
				else
				{
					this.onError('HTTP Error Making Request: ' + '[' + this.xmlhttp.status + ']' + ' ' + this.xmlhttp.statusText);
				}
				break;
		}
	}
}
//----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------//

var client = new HttpClient();
client.isAsync = false;
var countries = "";
var cities = new Array();
http_status = null;

function get_country_city_list()
{
	client.requestType = "GET";
	// function to handle completed calls
	client.callback = function(XMLresult)
	{
		if (XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("status"))// did XML page create a 'status' element?
		{
			http_status = XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("status")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
		}else{// if no 'status' element was returned, set global http_status to FAILED
			http_status = "FAILED NO RESPONSE";
			return;
		}
		if (http_status == "SUCCESS") {// if we got a SUCCESS in 'status' element, put row data in global variable
		
			// var results will be an array of all the <countries></countries> rows in the XML document
			var results = XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("countries");
			
			var comma = "";
			
			// I am going to make countries a comma delimited string of the country names
			countries = ""; // make sure we clear this global first
			
			for (var i=0; i<results.length; i++){// itterate through results
				
				// each row in results is formatted "countryname | city,city,city,city"
				// by spliting the result at the pipe we get a 2 element array
				//tmp[0]=country name  tmp[1]=string of cities
				var tmp = results[i].childNodes[0].nodeValue.split("|");
			
				countries += comma + tmp[0];// build the list of countries
			
				comma = ",";
			
				cities[tmp[0]] = tmp[1]; // use country name as key for cities array and assign the cityname string
			
			}			
		}
	}
	client.makeRequest('country_test.php?sid='+Math.random(),null);
	return;
}

function build_country_menu()
{
	http_status = null; // make sure this is cleared
	
	get_country_city_list() // make the ajax call
	
	if (http_status != "SUCCESS"){alert("something went wrong");return;}
	
	var cc = document.getElementById("country_menu");
	// remove all options from it
	while ( cc.options.length )
	{
		cc.remove(cc.options[0]);
	}
	
	var ctry = countries.split(",");
	
	for ( var i = 0; i < ctry.length; i++ )
	{
		// create new option element
		var newOpt=document.createElement('option');
		
		newOpt.text=ctry[i];
		// try adding the option to the select object
		try
		{
			cc.add(newOpt,null); // standards compliant
		}
		catch(ex)
		{
			cc.add(newOpt); // IE only
		}
		// set the value to same as the text
		cc.options[i].value = ctry[i];
	}
	// set selected index
	cc.selectedIndex = 0;
	build_city_menu(ctry[0]); // will need to rebuild the city list
}


function build_city_menu(country)
{
	var cs = document.getElementById("city_menu");
	// remove all options from it
	while ( cs.options.length )
	{
		cs.remove(cs.options[0]);
	}
	
	var cty = cities[country].split(",");
	
	for ( var i = 0; i < cty.length; i++ )
	{
		// create new option element
		var newOpt=document.createElement('option');
		
		newOpt.text=cty[i];
		// try adding the option to the select object
		try
		{
			cs.add(newOpt,null); // standards compliant
		}
		catch(ex)
		{
			cs.add(newOpt); // IE only
		}
		// set the value to same as the text
		cs.options[i].value = cty[i];
	}
	// set selected index
	cs.selectedIndex = 0;
}
-->
</script>
</head>

<body onload="build_country_menu()">

<select id="country_menu" onchange="build_city_menu(this.value)">
   <option></option>
</select>

<select id="city_menu">
   <option></option>
</select>

</body>
</html>

From this you should be able to extend it's capabilities to suit your needs, hopefully it's commented enough, I am bad about not commenting my work enough ;)

Spot on mate!

I really appreciate your time.

Although, in your example you assumed that I have the countries and cities in one table..

where as a matter of fact i have them in two seperate tables,

countries table: [countrycode] [name]

cities table: [countrycode] [city_id] [name] [nr_hotels]

What I need is to construct the options in a way that would show the city and number of hotels between brackets (i.e. London (45 hotels) )

I am sure there is a way of constructing this into the <countries> tag in your php script. Just not sure how! :s

Your PHP file should be able to query more than one table to build your information and you can build a more complicated doc from it, I just try to keep it as simple as I can, I am complete rookie with XML and ajax.

If you first query your country table, get the list in an array $countries[] for example.
Then iterate through it, each pass using the country code to query your cities table.

Kind of like:

echo "<response>\r";
$countries = mysql_query("select * from countries");
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($countries)){
     echo "<country>\r";
     echo "     <code>".$row[countryCode]."</code>\r";
     echo "     <name>".$row[countryName]."</name>\r";
     $sql = "select * from cities where countryCode = '$row[countryCode]'";
     $cities = mysql_query($sql);
     while ($cty = mysql_fetch_array($cities)){
          echo "<city>\r";
          echo "     <code>".$cty[cityCode]."</code>\r";
          echo "     <name>".$cty[cityName]."</name>\r";
          echo "     <hotels>".$cty[cityHotels]."</hotels>\r";
          echo "</city>\r";
     }
     echo "</country>\r";
}
echo "</response>";

I just wrote this here so I have not tried this code, but it should give you the idea.
If your country table had only one country and there were 4 cities in the cities table for that country code, the code above should result in a doc structure like this:

<response>
	<country>	
		<code>country code</code>		
		<name>country name</name>		
		<city>
			<code>city code</code>
			<name>city name</name>
			<hotels>number of hotels</hotels>
		</city>		
		<city>
			<code>city code</code>
			<name>city name</name>
			<hotels>number of hotels</hotels>
		</city>		
		<city>
			<code>city code</code>
			<name>city name</name>
			<hotels>number of hotels</hotels>
		</city>		
		<city>
			<code>city code</code>
			<name>city name</name>
			<hotels>number of hotels</hotels>
		</city>		
	</country>		
</response>

and a short bit of javascript to get at the values, I put no assignments in front of the references to each bit of data, how you assign them is up to you, whether you put them in arrays, or straight into form element values, etc...

// get array of all country tags
var records = XMLresult.getElementsByTagName("country");
// loop through them
for (var i=0; i<records.length; i++){
	// since records[i] points to an individual <country>, we can get it's children by tag name
	// first the country code
	records[i].getElementsByTagName("code")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
	// then the country name
	records[i].getElementsByTagName("name")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
	// now city will be an array of all the <city> tags
	var city = records[i].getElementsByTagName("city");
	// lets loop through them
	for (var z=0; z<city.length; z++){
		// get the city code
		city[z].getElementsByTagName("code")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
		// the city name
		city[z].getElementsByTagName("name")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
		// and the hotels for this city
		city[z].getElementsByTagName("hotels")[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
	}
}

There may be more proper and better ways of dealing with XML but like I said, I am a noob, and the above is about the extent of my knowledge about it and the easiest way for me to get the information I needed.
The examples I gave before where I put together long comma and ^ delimited strings is because a) I control the data so there are no characters in the data that would break the results and b) creating the multi level document structure makes for a pretty big file real quick and I want my responses as quick as they can be, don't know how much load time it saves but a 1k doc must load a lot quicker than a 40k doc eh?
I hope it helps :)

Thanks alot man, will try and make this work now..

Anything that changes the HTML file from the original way it loads can cause the interpreter to fail, if the code is not valid. How the extra code is created does not matter.

haven't tried experimenting but the idea that came to mind was is you inadvertently appended a block level element as a child of an inline element where a validator would flag it as an error, would that type of invalid code cause problems when the doc type is strict.

This article has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.