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COMPSCI 326 Web Programming

Fall 2020

Professor Emery Berger

UMass Web Programming

Course Overview

The web is arguably today’s most important application platform. Web browsers run on practically every device, and even many phone applications are in fact web applications under the covers. This course will cover a broad range of client-side web technologies, including HTTP itself, HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript; it will additionally cover key concepts for the server side of web applications, including key value stores and SQL servers. This course will also cover key concepts and technologies including AJAX, JavaScript libraries (e.g., jQuery), and web security. This course is hands-on and heavily project-based; students will construct a substantial dynamic web application based on the concepts, technologies, and techniques presented during lectures and in readings. This course satisfies the IE Requirement.

Required Text

There is no required text.

Course Development Environment

Given that this is a programming intensive course, it is important to highlight the development environment! Generally, most of what we cover in this course is available on all the typical operating systems. However, the team project allows you to explore additional environments that may have specific OS requirements. You are welcome to use those additional libraries/tools; however, you will not receive direct support for what you use. It is your responsibility for the installation, setup, and use of those additional components. You are welcome to use any editor, IDE, or tools to explore this material.

We strongly recommend that you use Visual Studio Code. We have also purchased a subscription for this class (link distributed on Slack).

Other Material

It is assumed that you have a computer to use for assignments in this course. You should make sure to commit your work frequently to GitHub. We will not accept excuses for missing or accidental deletion of work.

Note: you may only use GitHub for storing your work on individual assignments if you are using a private repository. Use of public repositories to store assignment solutions on GitHub is considered cheating and will result in a failure for this course.

You are welcome to store and share your team project work on a public repo!


Lecture Exercise
Intro/Refresher on JavaScript [PDF] Letter frequency / palindromes
JavaScript Objects, Arrays, Functions, Iteration [PDF] Letter histogram
JavaScript Objects [PDF] decoder ring
JavaScript Classes [PDF] decoder ring class
JavaScript Modules, HTML, the DOM [PDF] decoder web page
JavaScript DOM events [PDF] interactive decoder web page
Basic CSS and Grids [PDF] 2x2 checkerboard
More CSS and DOM surgery [PDF] basic 8x8 chessboard
Browser local storage [PDF] persistent encoder
Networking and HTTP, get and post [PDF] N/A
Asynchrony & the JavaScript event model [PDF] N/A
REST & fetch [PDF] starman.js
CRUD [PDF] persistent key-value store
Regexes & Routing  
Authentication TBD
Passwords & Secure Authentication TBD
Advanced Web Development TBD


Project milestones are due on Fridays.

NOTE: Dates are currently tentative.

Milestone Date
Full project overview N/A
Milestone 0: Project Ideas October 9
Milestone 1: Project Wireframes (HTML/CSS) October 23 26
Milestone 2: Front-end JavaScript November 6 9
Milestone 3: Back-end Node.js and integration November 20
Final: Public site + video December 4


Lab notes


Individual homeworks are assigned every Sunday and due the following Monday.

Scrabble board

  1. Scrabble Starter
  2. Scrabble Utilities
  3. Scrabble Game & Rack
  4. Scrabble Renderer
  5. Scrabble Save Game & Refactor
  6. Scrabble Fetch & Rack
  7. Scrabble Server Starter
  8. Scrabble Multiplayer
  9. Scrabble Rules & Fetch
  10. Scrabble DBMS & Heroku


Thanks to Joseph Spitzer and Nicolas van Kempen (Fall 2020), and Ziwei (William) He and Ishan Khatri (Spring 2020) for their help in developing and curating these materials.