CS 418/518 - Web Programming
Spring 2014: Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:45am, E&CS 2120

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  • Dr. Michele Weigle
  • mweigle at cs.odu.edu
  • E&CS 3214
  • Office Hours:
    MW 9:30-11am
  • TA: Sawood Alam
    salam at cs.odu.edu




Useful Links


Course Overview

This class will introduce Web Programming; the process of writing interactive applications accessible through the WWW. We will develop in the LAMP environment: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Emphasis will be on the integration of these components for a useful application; none will be exhaustively covered. Lectures will provide the overview of various concepts and the class will be centered around group development of a semester-long project. Prerequisites include Web familiarity, programming knowledge and database experience. We will only use very simple databases, so that knowledge can be acquired during the class.



The prereqs 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 at the ODU bookstore and from 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 ODU Honor Code. 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. Mixed groups of graduates and undergraduates are allowed.

Groups exist solely 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 25 points each:

  • 15 points - project requirements
  • 3 points - brief project writeup - how is each requirement met, design decisions, programming tricks, helpful resources consulted
  • 3 points - website usability - how easy is the site to use
  • 2 points - website aesthetics - how nice does the site look
  • 2 points - midway status report - 3-4 min presentation on assignment progress

Each assignment will be demoed in class on the due date and then checked by the TA.

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.

The grading scale is as follows (+ and - modifiers will be applied as appropriate):

90-100A-, A
80-89B-, B, B+
70-79C-, C, C+
60-69D (CS 455 only)
0-59F (CS 455)
0-69F (CS 555)


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.