Per session per document download control

software development


I know this is a crappy way of doing things but the company wants to require collecting contact info and dole out their documents per request only. There would be various checkboxes or drop downs to determine which documents they would get access to on that request. But not to make them all available at once to known users, either (sigh).
(like they do for whitepapers at etc etc many other sites).

Does anyone know of a software package that will do this for me?
Next question: would it be something I do all in PHP and HTML or would I have to do BASH script or anything else as well?
Currently just a VPS server with web pages, no PHP although it’s turned on, but I don’t know the language as of yet.
Would some other language be specifically better to use than PHP or does it not really matter?


If the system requires a user memory (you mentioned “known users”) then you’ll need a database of some description. I’d suggest SQLite to reduce any potential MySQL connection issues - but I’m a bit of a SQLite fanboy so the recommendation is somewhat biased. If you are comfortable using BASH, Perl, Python, whatever then there’s no need to bother with PHP as DH support several other languages out of the box with no configuration necessary on the part of us users. Any available language could do it.


i’m comfortable using linux terminal and i understand scripting and languages conceptually but have yet to learn any, which is why i was hoping against hope there would be something preassembled i could plug in.

my gut feeling says python but that may just be other people’s biases ive absorbed

actually they want to require the user to reinput their credentials for each and every download, so it would not just be simple sign in and pull whatever you want system. to them knowing more about site visitors for marketing purposes trumps not irritating the visitors. anyway it will be months before i can do it if there is no program i can just install (full time student).
so there would not necessarily be a database of known users although i think i could make that happen if i dedicated a day to it.


Ahh okay, gotcha.

Session retention is do-able with any of the languages. I’m unaware of any out-of-the-box solutions, although what you describe is often found in the learning process (maybe try Google “session control” or similar keywords). It’s more a method than an application per se.

I understand completely what you mean about biases when it comes to the available languages. Python is considered a “strict” language and Python users belittle PHP constantly. My take on it is that if something gets the job done then it’s a good tool to use. Best to keep our options open than to jump on somebody else’s bandwagon simply for the bandwagon’s sake.

A session-based system is probably easiest accomplished in PHP (and will be quickest to learn by a long chalk). If you have a bit of time up your sleeve then Python or Perl are definitely very good options if you are considering advanced programming in the long term, but they’re probably overkill for something like this.

In consideration of time constraints there are likely plug-ins available for apps such as Drupal or WP that you could use. What you’ve outlined actually reminds me a bit of squeeze page type setups. Hopefully someone might drop by, read your requirement description, and post “Hey! Install WP and grab this plug-in and then do this…”


can’t install a big application because i recommended dreamhost and i dont want to have to increase the bill, plus i just assembled them avanilla website for $s and they decided they wanted to sell my design services (after semester end). was hoping for like a non-gui thing i could plug into pages 9f possible.
i’ll take your advice on php though. (sry touch screen typing sucks)