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PHP Link Directory and Importing Links

I’ve fought this evening with Php Link Directory. I had a list of addresses I wanted to add in bulk and managed to string together the correct format of a csv file for import. It’s somewhat of a long story, it started with lynx dumping the source of a web page, sed trimming just the links, then just the link titles, etc. Finally a few scripts later I had a basic spreadsheet. Added NULL values in a few fields and tried the import. Everything looked good, so I thought I’d test adding a link through the user interface and see if everything was good.

At this point I noticed that my imported links weren’t displaying. My first guess was that the cache needed clearing, but that didn’t solve it, so I looked at the database. I had forgotten to set the expiration date to NULL for all of them. (The new links had defaulted to 0). Okay, so I added a link and then noticed one of my imported links had vanished. I suspected that the auto-increment of mysql had failed to acknowledge the imported data. I went through alter-ing the table to set the auto-increment value higher, but it still stomped over existing records when adding a link through the user interface.

Strangely the following command didn’t seem to work…
ALTER TABLE name_of_table AUTO_INCREMENT = 500

Finally, I dropped the id field entirely and recreated it. Autonumbering gave me numbers up to 404, so I added a new link to test and id #395 was stomped (the id had already been used by another link, but now it was replaced with the new link.)…. but I thought dumping the ID field would make it forget… At that point I noticed a little table with one field called PLD_Link_SEQ… the one field was id and… it was displaying 395… (smack head!) So, I updated that to 405 and added a link and all worked as expected.

As an odd side effect, it looks like if a link had been featured and it’s number was claimed by a new link, the new link automatically became featured as well.

So, if you try importing links into phpld from a self made csv or other import file, make note of the PLD_LINK_SEQ table and make sure to set it to a number so it doesn’t “step on” your previous entries.

My other suggestion if you’re going to do an import like this from csv. Start by downloading a backup in csv format of your current links. Do this so you can make sure you have the correct number of columns. (Even if you put NULL in the last column, that’s fine.) You might want to prepare yourself for the possibility of doing MYSql commands after the import. I had to set the expire date field to NULL where the expire date =0 (With the expire date at 0 the link doesn’t show.) So, brush up on your sql query syntax before you start importing.

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Posted by on April 28, 2008.

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Categories: MySQL, PHP Link Directory

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