From CS 418 — Web Progamming

CS418-S13: Syllabus

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Course Overview

This class will introduce Web programming, writing applications that are accessible through a Web Browser over the Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP). Development will use the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). The semester project will emphasize the in tegration of these components into a useful application and evolution of the application over time. Lectures will provide overviews of the components, integration techniques, and planning for changes as the application evolves. Prerequisites include familiarity with the Web, programming skills, and light SQL database experience.



The prerequisites for this class are:

I expect you to be comfortable learning new programming languages/tools/APIs and be familiar with Unix. If you need a refresher, see the CS 252 webpage. This link is also available from our course webpage (under Useful Links).

Course Materials

The main textbook for this course is Beginning PHP5, Apache, and MySQL Web Development (ISBN 978-0-7645-7966-0). It is available from (~$27 @amazon) and other booksellers. (Textbook Errata.)

A suggested (optional) reference book is Learning PHP, MySQL, and Javascript by Robin Nixon, which is free on-campus @safaribooksonline.

Academic Integrity / Honor Code

By attending Old Dominion University you have accepted the responsibility to abide by the honor code and honor pledge. If you are uncertain about how the honor code applies to any course activity, you should request clarification from the instructor. The honor pledge is as follows:

"I pledge to support the Honor System of Old Dominion University. I will refrain from any form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or plagiarism. I am aware that as a member of the academic community, it is my responsibility to turn in all suspected violators of the Honor Code. I will report to a hearing if summoned."

In particular, submitting anything that is not your own work without proper attribution (giving credit to the original author) is plagiarism and is considered to be an honor code violation. It is not acceptable to copy source code or written work from any other source (including other students), unless explicitly allowed in the assignment statement. In cases where using resources such as the Internet is allowed, proper attribution must be given.

Any evidence of an honor code violation (cheating) will result in a 0 grade for the assignment/exam, and the incident will be submitted to the Department of Computer Science for further review. Note that honor code violations can result in a permanent notation being placed on the student's transcript. Evidence of cheating may include a student being unable to satisfactorily answer questions asked by the instructor about a submitted solution. Cheating includes not only receiving unauthorized assistance, but also giving unauthorized assistance. For class files kept in Unix space, students are expected to use Unix file permission protections (chmod) to keep other students from accessing the files. Failure to adequately protect files may result in a student being held responsible for giving unauthorized assistance, even if not directly aware of it.

Students may still provide legitimate assistance to one another. You are encouraged to form study groups to discuss course topics. Students should avoid discussions of solutions to ongoing assignments and should not, under any circumstances, show or share code solutions for an ongoing assignment.

All students are responsible for knowing the rules. If you are unclear about whether a certain activity is allowed or not, please contact the instructor.

Course Policies

Group Work

All of the assignments will be done in groups consisting of 1 or 2 people.

Groups exist soley on the mutual agreement of both parties. At any time, if either member wishes to dissolve the group, the group will be split. No new teams can be formed after the first assignment is due. Members of the split group will have access to the shared code base.


Your grade in the class will be comprised of 4 assignments worth 23 points each:

Each assignment will be demonstrated in class on the due date and then checked by the instructor.

Late assignments lose 3 points for every 24 hours they are late unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor. This time limit includes weekends — they are counted just like weekdays. I reserve the right to specify that late submissions will not be accepted for particular assignments.

You've probably noticed that 4 × 23 = 92. The remaining 8 points will be assigned based on class participation on the class email list. Each question asked or answered by a student will count for 1 point (with a maximum of 8 points total).

The grading scale is as follows:

      100–92  A        76–72  C
       91–90  A-       71–70  C-
       89–87  B+       69–68  D+
       86–82  B        67–62  D
       81–80  B-       61–60  D-
       79–77  C+        ≤59   F


I expect you to attend class and to arrive on time. Your grade may be affected if you are consistently tardy. If you have to miss a class, you are responsible checking the course website to find any assignments or notes you may have missed. Students may leave after 15 minutes if the instructor or a guest lecturer does not arrive in that time.


Students should signup for the class email list. You do not have to use an ODU email address — sign up with any email address that you would check daily. I will use this list to send out important updates (assignment deadline changes, class cancellations, office hours cancellations, etc.)

Classroom Conduct

Please be respectful of your classmates and instructor by minimizing distractions during class. Cell phones must be turned off during class.

Make-up Work

Make-ups for graded activities are possible only with a valid written medical or university excuse. It is the student's responsibility to give the instructor the written excuse and to arrange for any makeup work to be done.

Disability Services

In compliance with PL94-142 and more recent federal legislation affirming the rights of disabled individuals, provisions will be made for students with special needs on an individual basis. The student must have been identified as special needs by the university and an appropriate letter must be provided to the course instructor. Provision will be made based upon written guidelines from the University's Office of Educational Accessibility. All students are expected to fulfill all course requirements.

Seeking Help

The course website should be your first reference for questions about the class. The schedule will be updated throughout the semester with links to assigned readings. Announcements and frequently asked questions (FAQ) will also be posted to the course website.

The best way to get help is to come to office hours. If you cannot make the regularly scheduled office hours, please send an email to setup an appointment.

I am available via email, but do not expect or rely on an immediate response.

— Scott G. Ainsworth

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Page last modified on December 07, 2012, at 12:06 AM