How do you retrieve data from a db with PHP and MySQL and indent returned results?

Just to put this program in perspective, Im trying to create a mini Bulletin.

This is my table:

CREATE TABLE Postings ( `PostID` INT( 11 ) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT , `PostDate` DATETIME NOT NULL , `PostedBy` VARCHAR( 255 ) NOT NULL , `PostSubject` VARCHAR( 255 ) NOT NULL , `Content` VARCHAR( 255 ) NOT NULL , `ParentPost` INT( 11 ) NULL , PRIMARY KEY ( `PostID` ) )

And here is the data in that table:

insert into postings values ('1','11/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','Welcome','Welcome to the bulletin board',NULL); insert into postings values ('2','12/01/03 08:00','[email protected]','Welcome 2','This is posting 2','1'); insert into postings values ('3','13/01/03 09:00','[email protected]','Welcome 3','This is posting 3','1'); insert into postings values ('4','14/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','New Topic','This is posting 4',NULL); insert into postings values ('5','15/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','New Topic 2','This is posting 5','4'); insert into postings values ('6','16/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','New Topic 3','This is posting 6','4'); insert into postings values ('7','17/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','Welcome 4','This is posting 7','2'); insert into postings values ('8','18/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','Welcome 5','This is posting 8','2'); insert into postings values ('9','19/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','Welcome 6','This is posting 9','8'); insert into postings values ('10','20/01/03 10:15','[email protected]','New Topic 4','This is posting 10','6');

PostID is auto increment and is Primary Key, ParentPost is also INT, and will have values assigned to it.

Now what I want to do is write a SQL statement and PHP code that will allow me to retrive all of the values from the DB, but indent every row that has a ParentPost value thats equal to a PostID value beneath the PostID row.

I have a pic at the bottom that could better explain what Im after.

This is what I have come up with so far with no luck:

<?php $db_host = "localhost"; $db_username = "root"; $db_pass = ""; $db_name = "OnlineBulletinBoardDB"; @mysql_connect("$db_host","$db_username","$db_pass") or die ("Could no connect to MySQL"); @mysql_select_db("$db_name") or die ("No database"); $query="SELECT PostSubject FROM postings GROUP BY PostID = ParentPost;"; $result=mysql_query($query); $num=mysql_numrows($result); mysql_close(); ?> <?php $i=0; while ($i < $num) { $dno=mysql_result($result,$i,"PostSubject"); ?> <?php echo $dno; ?><br/> <?php $i++; } ?>

The end result im looking for is this shown in the pic below:How do you retrieve data from a db with PHP and MySQL and indent returned results?

Cheers guys.

-------------Problems Reply------------

Recursion is the key. To avoid doing lots of queries like "select * from Postings where ParentID = 0", "select * from Postings where ParentID = 1" etc do one query "select * from Postings" which brings back everything then populate a two dimension array with the parent id the key for the first array. The example below is untested but it should work with a bit of tidying up:


$db_host = "localhost";
$db_username = "root";
$db_pass = "";
$db_name = "OnlineBulletinBoardDB";

@mysql_connect("$db_host","$db_username","$db_pass") or die ("Could no connect to MySQL");
@mysql_select_db("$db_name") or die ("No database");

$query="SELECT PostSubject, PostID, ParentID FROM postings";

$res = mysql_query($query);

while($row = mysql_fetch_assoc($res){
$parentID = intval($row['ParentID']);
$posts[$parentID][] = $row;

function displayPosts($parentId, $posts){
echo "<ul>";
foreach($posts[$parentId] as $post){
echo "<li>";
echo $post['PostSubject'];
echo "</li>";
echo "</ul>";


Hmm, I can't edit ejrowley's answer (I'm new to StackOverflow), so I post tidier and working example with recursion:


$db_host = "localhost";
$db_username = "root";
$db_pass = "";
$db_name = "OnlineBulletinBoardDB";

@mysql_connect("$db_host","$db_username","$db_pass") or die ("Could no connect to MySQL");
@mysql_select_db("$db_name") or die ("No database");

$posts = array();
$q = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM postings;");
while ($row = mysql_fetch_assoc($q)) {
$parentId = $row['ParentPost'];
$posts[$parentId ? $parentId : 0][] = $row; // because you use NULL and array can't have NULL key

function displayPosts($parentId, $posts) {
echo "<ul>";
foreach ($posts[$parentId] as $post) {
echo "<li>";
echo $post['PostSubject'];
$postId = $post['PostID'];
if (isset($posts[$postId])) {
displayPosts($postId, $posts);
echo "</li>";
echo "</ul>";

displayPosts(0, $posts); // where 0 means 'no parent'


Category:php Views:0 Time:2011-05-26
Tags: php mysql sql

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