CS4173 > Course > About CS4173 > Goals

J. Blustein

Web-centric Computing

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Goals of Jamie's CS4173

Students who successfully complete this course will be equipped to understand a wide range of WWW-based technologies including those that we will not be discussing in class.

We will examine exemplars of certain types of WWW-based technologies but we will not use everything. If you only want to learn a particular technology (ASP for example) then you should read a book or online tutorial and write some code yourself rather than taking this course. However if you want to understand the wide range of WWW-based technologies (server-side programming languages in the case of ASP), standards and their capabilities and limitations, and be ready to usefully apply ones that have not been invented yet, then this course will benefit you.

To begin we must understand in what way the WWW is a type of heterogeneous distributed system. Then we can answer the following questions:

The WWW is not exactly like any other system. Sometimes it is used to present information to people and sometimes it is used to present information to computer programs (e.g. agents and search engines).

As students of computer science we often think of the WWW as only a tool for providing information, sharing resources (e.g. recordings of TV programmes and music), or supporting electronic commerce (buying and selling goods and services). One common characteristic of all of those applications of the WWW is that they are webpages (or websites) produced by a single entity (i.e. one person or organization).

The WWW supports those activities and more. It also enables collaborative work. An interesting example of collaborative Wikis. Students will understand at least the technology necessary to make such tools function.

Unlike most programs we write for people to use, we do not know how people will get access to the documents (and program output) we produce on the WWW. Someone may view our webpage on a large desktop computer screen while someone else may hear it read to them as they drive a car. How can we use the technologies of the WWW so that people who use our webpages directly and those who use search engines, etc. can all get what we want them to get from our webpages.

See Also

Lists of topics, reference books, examples, and lectures

19 July 2002
CS 4173 Prof:
J. Blustein <jamie@cs.dal.ca>

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