For the time being I think I am going to start with just problem 1 because I think as I go through explaining this to you, the answer to #2 will become more clear.
1. If you want to stick with PHP, when you submit the form, the values of the stored will be stored in the global variables ( http://php.net/manual/en/reserved.variables.php ). Based on the method of your form will depend on how you extract the data. For instance, if your form method is "POST" and the drop-down field named "manuf" has a value of "Dell", then when you submit the form, the variable $_POST['manuf'] will be equal to "Dell".
2. This way is a lot more complicated so I won't go into much detail. But, the Spry Dataset functions are intended for updating data live without the need to submit a form forcing a page refresh for the PHP to execute. What happens with the Spry dataset is that you store all the information in mySQL and then the Spry Dataset will convert this into XML for you. PHP will be used to run the initial query of your database and depending on the size of your database can be used to filter the data so you do not end up with an extremely large XML file slowing your page load time. I do have a basic example I did awhile back located here ( http://www.exitplaystation.com/warhawk/trophies.php ). That used a static XML document at the time. I do have a more dynamic example. It was actually done for work, but I might be able to modify it with bogus information and upload it to show you a dynamic version. In the meantime if you want to see a professional example of this in action:
FoxSports uses the Spry Dataset sort functions and some extra code for their live NFL draft system. Refreshes automatically and sorts from the top drop-down menus. So as you can see all of their data is loaded from their database connection and refreshed in real-time. This is a very complicated example and requires modifications to the Spry code, but it shows the power of what Spry can do.
Thank you for your help!
I guess I could go with the submit/post. It certainly gets the job done.
There's one more thing though... I don't really need to do anything in runtime.
I don't need to first set all the filters and only then to apply them.
It's allright to do a reload on the page, I could find the "excuse" to update(reload) the page each time a filter is being modified (a spry menu item clicked). I've seen plenty of online stores for ex. that do that (and yes, it does bug me to not be able to select all the filters first :D).
So... not beeing absolutely necesarely to happen in runtime, if i am doing a page reload, can I be able somehow to modiffy the spry menu caption through PHP coding? (I'm guessing probably not, since it doesn't actually have a "caption" property)
Unfortunately I think you are trying to get back to your original post with the Spry Menu Bar updating. It can update through a Spry Data Set ( http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/samples/menubar/MenuFromNestedData.html ). However, the instructions for doing advanced things with the Spry functionality is not user friendly and requires you to read through the sample code that Adobe has made. Hopefully CS5 will bring an update to Spry since it has not been updated since CS3. Spry is updated separately from DW so if you want to watch for updates bookmark the following site:
Updating could possibly be done with PHP, but if you are looking for the simplest solution then I would leave the menu as is. It was not originally intended to work in that fashion the way Adobe designed it.
sorry... my bad
i was just thinking of my last post on my way back from work, and i just answered myself...
if it doesn't need to happen in runtime, i can simply have the menu say whatever value i want at the load of the page
i'm a rookie, so i think much before realizing some stuff and writting few lines...
Thanks again for all your help.
I'm definitely going with the submit/post option. It's not eye candy, but it does the job.
I'm usually with the eye candy... no matter what I do, i first spend a lot of time to model the body to be graphically rich and eye-catching, very nice to look at, and then a lot later i start to work on the engine (or what's under the hood), while still thinking about how to enhance the visual even more... when it should be the other way around. I would certainly manage to do more and be more efficient.
Thanks for the compliment re: the foxsports.com NFL Draft Tracker. I did have to get kind of creative with the filtering and sorting but the framework made it easy to get accurate results. Spry data handling is really the best out there.