Armed with new knowledge of how to fetch data from the database into PL/SQL, we can now contemplate presenting the data on a web page. How `bout we start by implementing a simple-minded web page that will dump all the data in the table? Well, it seems easy enough on the surface:
<%@ page language="PL/SQL" %> <%@ plsql procedure="q" %> <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Search</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY bgcolor="white"> <% FOR bk IN (SELECT * FROM books) LOOP %> <%= bk.isbn %> <%= bk.title %> <%= bk.author %> <%= bk.date_published %> <%= bk.page_count %> <%= bk.summary %> <BR> <% END LOOP; %> </BODY> </HTML>
But when you actually view this page (see Figure 5-3), you're in for a rude awakening, because it's so badly arranged that it's virtually unusable.
This is a reminder that browsers have no respect for the spaces and line breaks that may appear in your HTML. What we need is a healthy dose of "nice and neat." Fortunately, there is a simple fix that will take us a long way toward making the web page pretty. The solution involves the HTML TABLE element, which I didn't get a chance to cover in the introduction to HTML in Chapter 3.
An HTML table is a structure on a web page that usually renders as a grid of nice, neat rows and columns. The simplest HTML table ...