Home      Products & Services      Contact Us      Links

WebHatchers will design & develop your site for you.

Website Menu Heaven: menus, buttons, etc.

Send us your questions.

site search by freefind

SEO, Google, Privacy
   and Anonymity
Browser Insanity
Popups and Tooltips
Free Website Search
HTML Form Creator
Buttons and Menus
Image Uploading
Website Poll
IM and Texting
   or Not MySQL
Personal Status Boards
Content Management
Article Content
   Management Systems
Website Directory
   CMS Systems
Photo Gallery CMS
Forum CMS
Blog CMS
Customer Records
   Management CMS
Address Book CMS
Private Messaging CMS
Chat Room CMS
JavaScript Charts
   and Graphs

Free Personal Status Boards (PSB™)

Free Standard Free PSB

Free PSB Pro Version

Free Social PSB

Free Social PSB Plus (with Email)

Free Business PSB

Free Business PSB Plus (with Email)

PSB demo

Social PSB demo

Business PSB demo

So what's all this PSB stuff about?

Chart comparing business status boards

PSB hosting diagram

PSB Licence Agreement

Copyright © 2002 -
MCS Investments, Inc. sitemap

PSBs, social networking, social evolution, microcommunities, personal status boards
PSBs, social networking, business personal status boards
website design, ecommerce solutions
website menus, buttons, image rotators
Ez-Architect, home design software
the magic carpet and the cement wall, children's adventure book
the squirrel valley railroad, model railroad videos, model train dvds
the deep rock railroad, model railroad videos, model train dvds

Private Messaging Inbox

private messaging

This page is a tutorial on putting a private messaging (PM) inbox on your website. It uses sessions, display string security, PHP, MySQL, the MySQL "IF()" function for field value toggling, and a menu system. Users must have used the Private Message Login page to login prior to getting to this inbox page. With the menu in the side bar you can send a message or check out your inbox or outbox, or delete messages from your inbox or outbox or logout.

The inbox has a special feature: a READ/NOT READ toggle button next to each and every message. What this is is a way to indicate whether or not you have read the message. So, you can click a button next to each message to indicate you read it. If you later decide you need to "mark" the message for some reason, to make it easier to find when you attempt to access it later, you can reclick the button and now it will indicate you did not read it (it's a toggle switch). Note that with our PM system, you don't need to click somewhere in the inbox just to see the message. All messages are displayed along with who they are from, their subject, and their date—right there in the inbox. Feel free to delete any or all messages if your box gets too full.

Let's check out the code. It starts with a PHP include that insists on adding the php file checkid.php to this page's content. All that's in this file is:




header('location: message-login.php');

// session logged

This just does what it ought to: start a session (it started in the login page, actually, but we can say we restarted it even though we merely continued it and restarted the session timeout clock which is set for 24 to 48 minutes, depending on the PHP installation directives). We then check the session variable "sessionid" which was saved at login. If it's not set, the user is sent to the login page after unsetting and destroying the session. If it is set, the user gets to continue the script since the else conditional leads only to a comment that does nothing, but says it all: "session logged." So the user is okay and good to go.

Next we get ready to access the MySQL database by using the include with config.php in it. Then we get the session variable "username" into the PHP variable $touser. This is an INBOX. Do the math. Then we get the POSTed value "clickedid" which relates to the buttons. Each button is inside a link. When the button is clicked, the message row/record's id number is sent to a JavaScript function that sticks this number into an HTML form which gets submitted by this same function since there is no visible form and no submit button in this form. But it can be submitted anyway using a submit() function in a dot notation statement to access the properties of the form object. JavaScript provides the form object that contains the submit() method as well as the hidden field named clickedid's actual value. We need this id POSTed to this page, and this combination of HTML, JavaScript, and PHP does the trick.

Then we check the clickedid value we just POSTed and see if it is set. If so we update our privatemessages table using SET readit=(IF(readit='0','1','0')). This is how you do field value toggling in MySQL. Use the MySQL "IF()" function for field value toggling since it's easy to understand. If the value is 0 we change it to 1 and if it is not, we change it to 0. Think of the MySQL "IF()" function as "if the value is X, we change it to Y, otherwise we change it to Z." Note that the POSTed id is used in the WHERE phrase so we change the right record/row. Next we get all the incoming messages going to $touser as long as their deleted flags are not set and we list the results with the most recent first.

We'll skip over the browser sniffing that empowers a CSS style adjustment for cosmetic purposes and a textCounter() function that really only is needed in the Private Message Sending Form page. We initialize the clicked variable, in JavaScript now, then declare the readit() function which loads the hidden field in the form with the id value, then submits the form. No sense wasting code by commenting out the JavaScript with HTML commenting syntax since our script depends on the JavaScript/PHP combination and those who won't turn on JavaScript are not going to get far with our scripts.

We'll skip over the CSS style section and menu and get to the table caption where we snuck in the user's user name via a quick PHP insert. HTML doesn't mind this type of mixture, nor does JavaScript, although the latter is a bit fussy when you try to load JavaScript variables from PHP variables. See our JSON page for more details, since JSON cures JavaScript's reluctance problems in this area.

Recall that we stuck the results of grabbing all your messages into a PHP resource result variable $sql. Now we use the mysql_fetch_array() function to get the record contents—of all records with your user name in the touser field—into arrays that we now loop through a row at a time to display on the screen. In this process we check the readit flag and put the name of the appropriate gif image (our buttons) into $read and the messages' dates into $sent and ids into $id. For security, we use the htmlentities() function for screen display after using the stripslashes() function because all data got stored in the db with use of the mysql_real_escape_string() function which most people use for security.

Note that in the link that surrounds the button, we use onclick='clicked=".$id.",readit()'. This grabs the selected message's id and puts it into the JavaScript variable clicked, then runs the readit() function in which we stick the id into the form's hidden field and submit the form. JavaScript doesn't seem to mind us loading its variables in events like onclick.

Finally, we close MySQL and in HTML declare the form with the hidden field but no submit button. In running the script, you will see "(Click "NOT READ/READ" button to toggle indicator.)" in the table caption, and users are bound to find this a very handy device to add status indicators to each message.

Feel free to add other features to the script such as deleting all messages except the newest 100 messages. Or extra indicators to indicate other things, such as V for vital, L for loser, G for great, U for untrue, or R for replied to this message.

Name this file message-inbox.php




// message-inbox.php

$touser = $_SESSION['username'];

$clickedid = $_POST['clickedid'];
if (isset($clickedid)){$sql = mysql_query("UPDATE privatemessages SET readit=(IF(readit='0','1','0')) WHERE id='$clickedid'");unset($clickedid);} //uses MySQL "IF()" function

$sql = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM privatemessages WHERE touser = '$touser' AND deleted = '0' ORDER BY datesent DESC");


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<TITLE>Private Message Inbox</TITLE>
<meta name="description" content="Private Message Inbox">
<meta name="keywords" content="Private Message Inbox,Private Messaging,Private Message,php,javascript, dhtml, DHTML">
<script language="javascript">
mactest=(navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Mac")!=-1) //My browser sniffers
Netscape=(navigator.appName.indexOf("Netscape") != -1)
msafari=(navigator.userAgent.indexOf("Safari")!= -1)
wsafari=0; if(!mactest&&msafari){wsafari=1;msafari=0}
is_opera = 0; if(window.opera){is_opera=1}
is_ie_mac = 0; is_ie=0;if(document.all){is_ie=1}

function fixwidth(){if(Netscape||is_opera){e=document.getElementById('box');e.style.width='826px';e=document.getElementById('menu');e.style.width='116px';}}

function textCounter(field, countfield, maxlimit) {
if (field.value.length > maxlimit){field.value = field.value.substring(0, maxlimit);}
else{countfield.value = maxlimit - field.value.length;}}

var clicked=0;

function readit(){
<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
BODY {margin-left:0; margin-right:0; margin-top:0;text-align:left;background-color:#ccc}
p, li {font:13px Verdana; color:black;text-align:left}
h1 {font:bold 28px Verdana; color:black;text-align:center}
h2 {font:bold 24px Verdana;text-align:center}
h3 {font:bold 15px Verdana;}
#box {background-color:#eee;position:absolute;top:50px;left:150px;
width:850px;padding:10px;border:2px solid blue}
#table1 {width:100%;border:1px solid blue;text-align:center}
#menu {background-color:#eee;position:absolute;top:50px;left:0px;
width:130px;padding:5px;border:2px solid blue}
<body onload="fixwidth()">
<h1>Private Message Inbox</h1>
<div id='menu'>
<a HREF="send-message-form.php">Send Message</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-inbox.php">Message Inbox</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-outbox.php">Message Outbox</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-delete-received.php">Delete Inbox<BR>Message</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-delete-sent.php">Delete Outbox<BR>Message</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-login.php">Login</a><BR><BR>
<a HREF="message-logout.php">Logout</a>
<div id='box'>

<table id='table1' border='1'>
<caption><b>Messages to: <?php echo $touser; ?></b> — (Click "NOT READ/READ" button to toggle indicator.)</caption>






echo "<tr><td>".htmlentities(stripslashes($rows['fromuser']), ENT_QUOTES)."</td>";
echo "<td>".htmlentities(stripslashes($rows['subject']), ENT_QUOTES)."</td>";
echo "<td>".date('Y/m/d',$sent)."</td>";
echo "<td><a href='#' onclick='clicked=".$id.",readit()'><img src='".$read."'></a></td>";
echo "<td>".htmlentities(stripslashes($rows['message']), ENT_QUOTES)."</td></tr>";




<form name="MyForm" method="POST" action="message-inbox.php">
<input type="hidden" name="clickedid" value=" ">