Hi all. I'm looking to setup a site using my free web space. It will be used to help organise and keep track of scores etc for a gaming hobby (that includes a number of other people). The functionality I need includes the following:
* Users submitting info (just a few words in a web form) which will need to be saved (rather than being immediately acted on)
* Periodically retrieving the saved info from users to generate some text to be displayed. This will need the ability to trigger from the clock.
* Periodically polling an external website via XML queries to retrieve data (not large volumes), do some calculations and store the results.
None of this will be high traffic, it's just a handful of people.
Now, I am an experienced programmer using C,C++,Perl, some Python and basic HTML (i.e. writing static info pages). I'm comfortable in a Linux environment (which I understand the Exetel servers run on?). But I have no experience with genuine web development. If anyone can suggest the easiest way to implement the functionality I need I would appreciate some pointers. I can write all the 'decision' code easily in Perl, but I've never used it for web form queries. Can Perl be used to submit and retrieve XML queries?
The Exetel help suggest that PHP and MySQL are available. I've never used either of these, would they be more appropriate than Perl for this task?
For scheduled jobs, I use cron extensively at work, is this available on the free hosting servers? If so, how does one add to the crontab? If not, how can scheduled jobs be setup (if it is even possible)?
I appreciate any advice, I realise I'm asking some very large and general questions here, I really just need some key words or topics to look at further as I just don't know where to start. I need to turn the unknown unknowns into known unknowns so I can at least know what it is I need to learn to be able to set this up.
Web hosting, FTP/database access, mirror services and hosted blogs
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