scriptaculous sortables and PHP

[geek post, run away if you don’t like things like AJAX, PHP, MySQL, and other acronyms]

I’m developing a wiki/CMS hybrid for my new job. It’s pretty cool so far, but I wanted to offer an easy way for users to change the order of navigation items. For instance, if their navigation was originally displaying like this:

  • About Us
  • Contact
  • Documents

They may decide that “Documents” needs to move to the top, like this:

  • Documents
  • About Us
  • Contact

Enter Scriptaculous Sortables—the basic principle is simple. Make a list that you want to be sortable.

Sortable.create(‘navigation_list’, {onUpdate: updateNavigation});

‘navigation_list’ is the id of the element that contains your list. updateNavigation is the javascript function that is called when the list has changed. For this example, I have my HTML (generated from php, of course):

<li id="nav_1" >About Us </li>
<li id="nav_2" >Contact </li>
<li id="nav_3" >Documents </li>

and my javascript:

function updateNavigation() {
var url = "http://localhost/ajax.php";
var sorted = escape(Sortable.sequence('navigation_list'));
var updateNavigation = new Ajax.Request(
method: 'get',
parameters: "sort_order=" + sorted,
onComplete: showUpdate

return true;

and my PHP:

$nav_order = 1;
$order_array = explode(",", urldecode($_GET['sort_order']));
foreach($order_array as $k=> $nav) {
$sql = "UPDATE navigation SET item_order = $nav_order WHERE navigation_id = $nav";

echo "Navigation order has been updated.";

I couldn’t get this to work using Sortable.serialize()- so I just use Sortable.sequence which gives me a comma seperated list, and then parse it with PHP.

Note: I hate how this wp plugin displays code. I’ll get around to making it pretty one day.


One Response to scriptaculous sortables and PHP

  1. Morten says:

    Genious mate!

    I also had serious issues getting Sortable.serialize() to work. Your example worked as a charm and made my day, thanx!

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