WAP Enabling A WebSite with PHP3
Going from the thought to the execution always takes time but we were lucky. As a hobby project (mainly to learn the Qt widget set) I had already built a moving-map GPS package to run on a Linux laptop while driving. Very basic, nothing flashy, but at least it had a crude mapping engine in it. About an hour of hackery on the code hooked it into our php3-based contact manager software and presto: all of our customers' offices popped up on the maps too!
By the end of January a rough prototype of Somewherenear had been built. The location data is stored in a MySQL database and distance-based searching performed very simply by using SQL 'select' statements with 'where' clauses that limit the latitude and longitude of the items sought. By late March we were ready to release the thing to the world and did, feeling pretty pleased to snaffle the domain name. We know that the radius-selection algorithms won't scale but after chatting with Stuart Green (thanks Stuart), ex Leeds University, we are confident that techniques used in molecular physics can be applied to give us very fast radius detection, at the cost of lots of disk space.
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