Development – Week ending 19/02/2010

In Assignment, Expression Engine on February 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

So this week I have mainly been finalising how I am going to organise my data in the weblogs and then getting Flash to communicate with said data….Weblogs
I have spent several weeks thinking about how I am going to organise my album data in Weblogs. I was toying with the idea of using multiple weblogs to store the various album information and then try to connect them together using categories and/or tags. However, after spending several hours trying to work out how this would work I have now opted to use just one weblog to contain all the data for one album. The complication with this is that the Expression Engine (EE) template needs to slightly more complex because it has to use php to extract the Track list and URLs of the mp3s which are stored in just 2 custom fields in the weblog.

So what I am doing is having one weblog that stores all the information for the albums (eg Title, Year, Artists, Image, Track list and URLs). The Track list and URL fields are basically a delimited list where the delimiter (the | character) is used by php to seperate out the individual pieces of information).

Eg the field for the tracklist looks like this:

  • track title 1|track title 2|track title 3|track title 4| etc.

The Url field looks like this:

  • trackfile1.mp3|trackfile2.mp3|trackfile3.mp3|trackfile4.mp3| etc.

I also have another field in the weblog called Basepath which stores the complete URL of the file, up to the folder that the mp3 resides in.

In this way I can use php and an XML template to split out the stored lists (Tracks and URLs)  into arrays which will associate with each other simply because they are both the same length.

For the webpages, the EE template uses the following php function to split the stored data into arrays:

$Tsplit=explode ("|", "{TrackNames}");
$Fsplit=explode ("|", "{FileNames}");

Where $T is the field of Track names and $F is he field of Filenames…


I have also been developing the 2 Flash files I need to play the tracks seperately and also an album player that will appear in a popout window.
I have 2 EE templates which generate XML for the Flash files read so that they can play the appropriate file or album….

Lastly for this post I have started to work on a design theme for the site which I am mocking up in Photoshop and Dreamweaver

And now my head is a bit crammed with it all, so I’m going off for a break…. See you next time!


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