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A variable number of inputs for PHP to insert MYSQL

First let me start out by saying I am a beginner so I apologize in
advance if what I ask is too fundamental.

I am accessing a MYSQL database through a web browser and I am
entering data into data tables using PHP.

The problem I am facing is that the number of input rows on the web
page is not fixed and will vary each time. Someone suggested I use
Javascript and that is why I am here now.

Here is an example of the rows that I would like to be able to fill :
Say for
record 1(Persons living in canada)
id name address
1 john canada
2 Jim canada
3 smith canada

record 2(Persons living in LA)
id name address
1 joe LA
2 mathew LA

I have to design an insert form with textbox which will allow me to insert variable number of records in the table(probably giving an option at the begining,to specify how many records). I am using php 4.4 and mysql 5.1. Please help.
There are 2 ways to solve this (probably more).
1. Just dispay a textarea and in php explode the input to get an array (explode(PHP_EOL, $_POST['textfield']) and explode(' ', $row)).
2. At first select how many rows you want and then display normal textfields for each row. This could be done with javascript, but could also be done by submitting the form and build a second form with php.

After you get the results in php you should try to put it all in an array. That way you can easily loop through the results when putting them in the database.
Thanx RVEC.I liked the second approach. What I did is, created a second table and put the variable number of records there and used the id of the main table as foreign key.So when the data from the main table is inserted successfuly the insert.php, it contains a hyperlink to the form for the second data(may be a header could be used for auto redirect, but I am not very comfortable with headers). A hyperlink at the bottom of the second insert.php is put which is labelled as continue insert and another link finished. The finished link closes the current window and the continue insert link takes the user again to the insert form for the second table. This somehow solves the insertion problem.
But this approach cannot be applied in case of updation. So any idea of tackling that problem? The first approach is a bit too technical for me. So it will be extremely helpful if a sample code can be provided(entire code not needed, only the portion dealing with explode and other stuffs).
Thanx in advance.
In javascript you can create a function that either uses something like. (There's probably some syntax error.)


function addRow(){
    rows = document.getElementById('rows");
    div = document.createElement("div");
    rows.insertBefore(div, false);
    div.innerHTML += "<div id='" + lastrow + "'><the HTML input fields></div>";
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