welcome to
Media Technology: Web Technology 2015

lecturer: Staas de Jong

1. Motivation

• Now and into the foreseeable future, realizing new possibilities through technology may often involve the Internet – as a crucial infrastructure. Here, as with other computer-based endeavours, really to build new things will almost inevitably mean: to program. But where to start, and how to keep going?

• Web Technology addresses this question – but not by requiring the completion of specific programming assignments: The student is expected to already have picked up programming skills elsewhere.

• Instead, the student is first introduced to a tightly integrated set of fundamental subjects. This is coupled to enough concrete knowledge to be able to start building things her- or himself. A key goal here is to ensure that all students obtain a shared level of understanding, regardless of their prior (lack of) experience with web technologies.

• The same approach is then applied to a few more advanced lecture subjects, and then to a further range of contemporary web technologies chosen by the students themselves. The emphasis here is on active research that is (1) driven by an attitude eager to build new things; and (2) based on careful evaluation with an open, scientific mindset.

2. Practical overview

Level: Web Technology is part of the curriculum of the Media Technology MSc programme at Leiden University.

Structure: The course consists of eight lecture sessions. Students form groups of three to report on a web technology of choice. The course is concluded by an exam covering the accumulated lecture sheets and study material.

Grading: The final grade usually is computed simply as (0.5 * grade-for-reporting + 0.5 * grade-for-exam). This may be lowered if an individual's attendance and participation were lacking. Points may also be added, for excellent work.

3. Lectures & presentations

Attendance is mandatory, especially at student presentations.

Wednesday April 8, 10:00    

Lecture 1:   Start-up

Wednesday April 15, 10:00    

Lecture 2:   The Internet: TCP/IP   (part 1)

  • Lecture sheets: Lecture 2a and Lecture 2b.
  • Background material:
  • Required reading:
    • From Chapter 1 of the fourth edition of Computer Networks by Andrew Tanenbaum (VU Amsterdam):
      • Section 1.2.1: Local Area Networks.
      • Section 1.2.4: Wireless networks.
      • Section 1.2.6: Internetworks.
      • Section 1.3.1: Protocol hierarchies.

Wednesday April 22, 10:00    

Lecture 3:   The Internet: TCP/IP   (part 2)

Wednesday May 6, 10:00    

Lecture 4:   The World Wide Web: HTTP & HTML

  • Lecture sheets: Lecture 4a and Lecture 4b.
  • Required reading:
    • The sections Home, Introduction, Editors, Basic, Elements, and Attributes from the W3Schools HTML Tutorial.
    • From Clinton Wong's Web Client Programming with Perl:
      • Chapter 2 Demystifying the browser, subsections (in full):
        • "Behind the scenes of a simple document";
        • "Behind the scenes of an HTML form";
        • "Structure of HTTP transactions".
      • Chapter 3 Learning HTTP, subsections:
        • "Structure of an HTTP transaction";
        • "Client request methods" up to and including "File uploads with POST";
        • "Versions of HTTP" except "Proxies";
        • "Cookies".
  • Background material:

Wednesday May 13, 10:00    

Lecture 5:   Client/server programming: JavaScript & PHP

Wednesday May 20, 10:00    

Lecture 6:   Encrypted and anonymous communication   (part 1)

Wednesday May 27, 10:00    

Lecture 7:   Encrypted and anonymous communication   (part 2)   and   Web Technology Reports 1 - 4

Attendance is mandatory, especially at student presentations.

Wednesday June 3, 10:00        

Lecture 8:   Web Technology Reports 5 - 9

Attendance is mandatory, especially at student presentations. This lecture is followed by a question hour.

  • Deadline for hand-in by email of all Web Technology Reports: June 12.

4. Exam

Exam: Wednesday June 17, 14:00 - 17:00.
Retake: Wednesday August 26, 14:00 - 17:00.

All material to be studied for the exam can be readily found in Section 3, above. It consists of all lecture sheets, plus everything else that is marked as "required reading". Please note the color of links: links which have not yet turned from orange to green may indicate material you still need to look at. Also, when studying for the exam, it might be helpful to print this page, and manually mark the open bullets ° as closed • , to easily keep track of your progress.

  5. Grading


remembering Heike Sperber
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