Active Web Site Architecture


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Course Description

This course focuses on the construction of active web sites. Such web sites change contents depending on what the user does with them. Many times, such sites involve users filling in a form, which is then processed. For an example, think of a query in a web-based library catalog. But active sites may also be as simple as saying "Merry Xmas" before 25 December, and leave it out afterwards. Students will learn how build simple active web sites. Students will be provided with free web space where they can design their own active sites. This web space will continue to be available after the course ends.

There are two aspects to this architecture. The first is the information itself. It is usually held in relational databases. The course therefore studies relational databases. It introduces the mySQL database software. The secord aspect is the interface between the data in the database and the web. This is achieved with any computing language. The course studies PHP, a purpose-built language for active web sites.

Course objectives

After taking this course the stundents

Finally, in the last class, students will build their own Linux servers on machines that they may bring along.


Student normally must have passed LIS650 before taking this course. Students who wish to qualify for an exepetion should contact the instructor prior to registering.


Thomas Krichel
Palmer School of Library and Information Science
C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548–1300
work phone: +1–(516)299–2843

Private contact details may be obtained from the online CV.

Class structure

Classes will be held in room 125 of the Westchester graduate campus of LIU, between 11:00 and 16:00. The instructor will be there shortly after 10:00. Each class will have a lengthy presentation by the instructor. For some small part of class time the students will work directly with their computers under the supervision of the instructor. However, give the hefty weight of the class material, students are expected to do much of the work on the web site at home.

Class details:

0 2005–03–12 PHP introduction, HTML forms and setting up a shop
1 2005–03–19 basic PHP
2 2005–04–02 more PHP
3 2005–04–09 introducing mSQL
4 2005–04–16 PHP sessions
5 2005–04–30 Debian install fest

To print the slides in Microsoft powerpoint, press control-p to print, then under "Print what" choose "Handouts", and under "Color/grayscale" choose "Pure Black and White". You can also use openoffice to print the slides.


PHP is documented on its web site at that students will probably find all gobbledigook when they first look at it. Most books on PHP also cover some relational database theory and practice. Students may find Ullman (2004) as reasonably priced introductory books on the topics of the course.

The instructor found that Lea et al. (2001) is an intoduction that is probably suitably paced for the beginner. Meloni (2000) receives favorable reviews as a beginners' book.


Before each class except the first and second, there will be a quiz on the issued covered in the previous class. The average of all the quiz results will count for 40% of the assessment. For the third class meeting, the students will prepare a one-page web site that will state web site that they want to build. This statement should cover both the purpose of the web site and the site's architecture. The assessment of this statement will not count for assessment. The remaining 60% will be assessed through the final web site.

Mailing list

There is a mailing list for the course at All students are encouraged to subscribe. As a rule, answers to email sent to the instructor will be copied to the list. There are exceptions to this rule

John Sillari
Stephanie Rubino
Amanda Fair
Brenda Burroughs
Izumi Sakaguchi
William J. Lundmark Jr

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