Fundamentals of Web Applications (Winter 2013)

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The course outline for this course is here.

Course discussions will be on cuLearn. (We tried out Piazza and then decided to stop using it.)

You should get an account on this wiki so you can add to it. Email Prof. Somayaji to get one with your preferred username and email address to which a password should be sent. (Note this is not a requirement.)

Course Project

40% of your grade is for a course project, half of this in the form of milestones, half in the form of a final code and documentation submission. Your final project is due on April 10th by midnight.



You should go out and learn the basics of JavaScript on your own. While we will discuss the language in class, much of that discussion will make more sense if you've exposed yourself to the language. You should also get basic exposure to standard web technologies.

The easiest way to get started with JavaScript and get basic understanding of web technologies is to go through the interactive lessons on Code Academy. I suggest you go through their JavaScript, Web Fundamentals, and jQuery tracks. They shouldn't take you very long to do given that you already know how to program.

You should get access to JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford. Read it. It is available through O'Reilly, Safari Books Online, and the regular online bookstores. There is even an interactive version which includes an embedded JavaScript interpreter. You can get access to Safari Books Online through the Carleton Library (four concurrent users only) or partial access by becoming a member of IEEE Computer Society.

Crockford also has a lot of online resources on JavaScript, including videos of talks he's given that cover much of the content in his book. Look at his JavaScript page and this page of his videos.

Another good book is Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke. A version of this book is available online for free. The for-sale version is apparently updated and edited.

And of course the standard reference for JavaScript is JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan. It is a big book, but it is comprehensive.


You will be building your application in node.js this term. A good, relatively comprehensive book is Learning Node by Shelley Powers. This book is recommended but not required. A quick way to get started with node.js is The Node Beginner Book by Manuel Kiessling.


There is now a Github organization for the course here. The TAs will add your team to this organization. Please check in your code and documentation regularly to github so the TAs may monitor your progress.

When your team is added, your TA will do the following:

  • Setup a repository named after your team. This initial repository will have a README and will ignore temporary files generated by node.js. You will have full administrative access to this repository.
  • Your team will include your TA as a member (along with you and your teammate).




Jan. 8


Jan. 10


Jan. 15

Lecture 3

Jan. 17

Lecture 4

Jan. 22

Lecture 5

Jan. 24

Lecture 6

Jan. 29

Lecture 7

Jan. 31

Lecture 8

Feb. 5

Lecture 9

Feb. 7

Lecture 10

Feb. 12

Midterm Review

Feb. 14

Midterm (in class)

Feb. 26

Lecture 11

Feb. 28

Lecture 12

Mar. 5

Lecture 13

Mar. 7

Lecture 14

Mar. 12

Lecture 15: Networking 1 (Barbeau)

Mar. 14

Lecture 16: Networking 2 (Barbeau)

Mar. 19

Lecture 17: Design Strategies

Mar. 21

Lecture 18: Regular Expressions

Mar. 26

Lecture 19: Web Server Security

Mar. 28

Lecture 20: Web Client Security

Apr. 2

Lecture 21: Other Web Frameworks

Apr. 4

Lecture 22: The Future

Apr. 9

Lecture 23: Final Exam Review

Tutorials/Weekly Tasks

Each week you will get a progress grade from 0-4, given to you by a TA. If you are being diligent, you should be able to get 4's every week. The easiest way to get your grade is to come to tutorial and meet with your TA; alternately, you can meet a TA in their office hours or, at their discretion, discuss things with them online.

Initially you can talk to any TA to get your progress grade. Once groups have been formed, however, you will have an assigned TA who will be tracking your progress throughout the semester.

Below is a schedule with the tasks you need to accomplish each week for everyone. Note you need to accomplish the task before your next tutorial. So, if you attend the Monday tutorials, you need to show progress before the following Monday.

After February 1st, all milestones are between you and your TA and will follow those outline in your proposal. Milestone deliverables and precise due dates may be revised at the discretion of your TA.



Jan. 11,14

Setup Accounts, Run node.js

Jan. 18,21

Project Partners, Blog Example

Jan. 25, 28

Web Developer Tools (optional)

Feb. 1, 1 PM

Project Proposal Due

Feb. 1, 4

jQuery UI

Feb. 8, 11

Express and AJAX

Feb. 15, 25


March 1, 4


March 8, 11

Authenticated Sessions


Bobby Tables, a funny example of SQL injection.

"Scalability is always the answer in this class." -Alexis

"First axiom of this class is web apps suck." -Professor Somayaji