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CS174 Fall 2010 Sec1 Home Page/Syllabus

Server-side Web Progamming

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours: MW 3pm-5:15pm
Class Meets:
Sec1 MW 1:30pm-2:45pm in MH222


To take this class you must have taken: CS46B with a grade of C- or better.

Texts and Links

Required Texts: No textbook is required for this class. I will on occasion put up links for the material I'm presenting each week in the schedule below.
Online References and Other Links: XAMPP (Easy to install Apache, PHP, MySQL bundle).
Mozilla Javascript Reference.
PHP Manual.
Apache Webserver Site.
Flex Documentation.

Topics and Outcomes

This class is designed for potential web server programmers. It begins with a quick overview of HTTP and common webservers. HTML and cascading style sheets will then be covered. PHP a common webserver will be introduced. Then we will discuss building more sophisticated web applications using PHP classes and the model view controller design pattern. We will talk about how to connect a web application to a database and common techniques for performing the object-relational mapping to create models based on table data. Next we will discuss creating application specific mini web languages using XML. This will be used to introduce how to interact with a database using a REST API and AJAX techniques. In the process of covering the last two topics we will learn how to mitigate against common website attacks such as SQL Injection, XSS, CSRF, click-jacking. We will talk about how to make web sites available to people of different abilities, people who speak different languages. We will cover adding multimedia content to sites using HTML 5 or Flex. Finally, we will talk a little bit about Search Engine, data structures used in search, and Search-Engine Optimization (SEO). By the end of this course, a student should be able to: (1) Write HTML documents containing standard HTML elements including forms, tables, client-side scripts, and server-side scripts. (2) Write schemas, DTDs, and style sheets for XML documents. (3) Write server-side scripts that process HTML forms. (4) Write client-side scripts that validate HTML forms. (5) Develop and deploy web applications that involve components, web services, and databases.

Below is a tentative time table for when we'll do things this quarter:

Week 1: Aug 25 Web Browsers, Servers, and HTTP
Week 2: Aug 30 , Sep 1 XHTML, Basic Tags, Tables and Forms, What's new in HTML 5
Week 3: Sep 6 (Holiday) , Sep 8 Cascading Style Sheets
Week 4: Sep 13 (HW1 due) , Sep 15 Finish CSS, PHP (Sep 14 last day to add)
Week 5: Sep 20 , Sep 22 Handling Forms, Files, Cookies, Sessions in PHP. Design Patterns.
Week 6: Sep 27 , Sep 29 Object-Oriented PHP, Databases, Version Control
Week 7: Oct 4 (HW2 due) , Oct 6 Basic Javascript
Week 8: Oct 11 , Oct 13 Advanced Javascript
Week 9: Oct 18 , Oct 20 Review for Midterm
Week 10: Oct 25 (Midterm) , Oct 27 Midterm, XML
Week 11: Nov 1 (HW3 due) , Nov 3 Web services, AJAX
Week 12: Nov 8 , Nov 10 Security
Week 13: Nov 15 , Nov 17 Localization
Week 14: Nov 22 (HW4 due) , Nov 24 Scaling sites: Caching via Memcached and Squids.
Week 15: Nov 29 , Dec 1 Rich Internet Applications with Flex
Week 16: Dec 6 (HW5 due) Dec 8 SEO, Final Review
The final will be 12:15-2:30, Friday, December 17


Homeworks and Quizzes 50%
Midterm 20%
Final 30%

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest aggregate score will receive an A+. A score of 55 will be the cut-off for a C-. The region between this high and low score will be divided into eight equal-sized regions. From the top region to the low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. If the boundary between an A and an A- is 85, then the score 85 counts as an A-. Scores below 55 but above 50 receive the grade D. Those below 50 receive the grade F.

If you do better than an A- in this class and want me to write you a letter of recommendation, I will generally be willing provided you ask me within two years of taking my course. Be advised that I write better letters if I know you to some degree.

Homework and Quiz Info

This semester we will have five homeworks and weekly quizzes. Every Monday that we meet this semester, except the first day of class; there will be a quiz on the previous week's material. The answer to the quiz will either be multiple choice, true-false, or a simple numeric answer that does not require a calculator. Each quiz is worth a maximum of 1pt. Out of all the quizzes this semester, I will keep your ten best quiz scores, and this will constitute the quiz portion of your grade.

Links to the current list of assignments can be found on the left hand side of the class homepage. After an assignment has been returned a link to its solution (based on the best student solutions) will be placed off the assignment page. Material from assignments may appear on midterms and finals. For homeworks you are encouraged to work in groups of up to three people. Only one person out of this group needs to submit the homework assignment; however, the members of the group need to be clearly identified in all submitted files. Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. To submit an assignment click on the submit homework link for your section on the left hand side of the homepage and filling out the on-line form. Hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments will be rejected and not receive credit. Homeworks will always be due by the start of class on the day their due. Late homeworks will not be accepted and missed quizzes cannot be made up; however, your lowest score amongst the five homeworks and your quiz total will be dropped.

For this class, I expect each student to have available a laptop with Apache, PHP, and MYSQL installed. Your laptop will be used whenever you want to show me something in my office concerning one of your projects.

When doing the programming part of an assignment please make sure to adhere to the specification given as closely as possible. Names of files should be as given, etc. Failure to follow the specification may result in your homework not being graded and you receiving a zero for your work.


The midterms will be during class time on: Oct 25.

The final will be: 12:15-2:30, Friday, December 17.

All exams are closed book, closed notes and in this classroom. You will be allowed only the test and your pen or pencil on your desk during these exams. Beeper or cell-phone interruptions will result in immediate excusal from the test. The final will cover material from the whole quarter although there will be an emphasis on material after the last midterm. No make ups will be given. The final exam may be scaled to replace a midterm grade if it was missed under provably legitimate circumstances. These exams will test whether or not you have mastered the material both presented in class or assigned as homework during the quarter. My exams usually consist of a series of essay style questions. I try to avoid making tricky problems. The week before each exam I will give out a list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the student will be expected to answer on the exam. Any disputes concerning grades on exams should be directed to me, Professor Pollett.

If you are unsatisfied with your midterm score, you can choose to participate in the Silicon Valley Neat Ideas Fair using the project you are creating for this class. I will go to the fair and check out your project there and if you have a reasonable poster and your project is reasonably polished I will give half credit back on the score of your midterm.


If you believe an error was made in the grading of your program or exam, you may request in person a regrade from me, Professor Pollett, during my office hours. I do not accept e-mail requests for regrades. A request for a regrade must be made no more than a week after the homework or a midterm is returned. If you cannot find me before the end of the semester and you would like to request a regrade of your final, you may see me in person at the start of the immediately following semester.

Academic Honesty

Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at

Specifically, for this class, you should obviously not cheat on tests. For homeworks, you should not discuss or share code or problem solutions between groups! At a minimum a 0 on the assignment or test will be given. A student caught using resources like Rent-a-coder will receive an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.

Additional Policies and Procedures

I have created a Google group for this class which I encourage students to use for asking questions that others might benefit from knowing the answer to. If you know the answer to a question, and the answer does not involve sharing a program solution feel free to answer it on the board. If possible I will answer questions through the board as well. Let's keep the tone on the board positive and encouraging. I will monitor posts and reserve the right to deny posting privileges if message tones become uncivil.

The campus policy to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is:
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability."

More information about SJSU policies and procedures can be found at the following links: