6.171 Spring 2002

(Software Engineering for Internet Applications)

led by Philip Greenspun, Hal Abelson, and Andrew Grumet

Meetings: TR 1-2:30 in 26-152

Prerequisites: 6.001, 6.170 (or equivalent software development experience)

Calendar: Grading and Required Work Note that this is the page for information about this particular semester's offering of 6.171. For background on the course, please see http://philip.greenspun.com/teaching/one-term-web.

One of the good things about 6.171 is that students are free to use tools of their choosing in completing the coursework. The upside of this is that if you've had a summer job in which you used Postgres and PHP (for example), you won't be distracted during the semester by having to learn new syntax. The downside is that we, the teaching staff, can't help you very much with setup and administration of tools. Each student is expected to set up and maintain his or her environment, on his or her own computer, ideally a couple of weeks before the start of the semester.

What if you don't own a PC? Does that mean you can't take 6.171? No. We can lend you a computer for the semester, just as you were lent a lab kit when you took 6.111 or 6.004. Unless you're going to maintain the box remotely, you'll need to find a monitor for the machine.

If you have not done any Web development already and therefore aren't familiar with any of the standard tools, we can suggest some ways to configure your development server based on our past experience. The first chapter of the course text, http://philip.greenspun.com/internet-application-workbook/, discusses tool options. If you decide to follow our advice and install Microsoft .NET, you can get CD-ROMs and some help from David Mitchell, Microsoft's on-campus representative: davidmit@microsoft.com. If you decide to follow our alternative advice and install Oracle and AOLserver on Linux, you can download the software from www.oracle.com and www.aolserver.com. If you're stuck on the Oracle install, you can get help from technet.oracle.com. If you're stuck plugging Oracle and AOLserver together, good sources of advice are the forums at http://www.openacs.org/bboard/ and http://www.arsdigita.com/bboard/.

In choosing tools, please note that 6.171 requires the use of an ACID-compliant relational database management system. You'll learn the definition of "ACID" during the semester. But for now suffice it to say that MySQL is out; Microsoft SQL Server, Postgres, and Oracle are in.

More: see the syllabus towards the bottom of http://philip.greenspun.com/teaching/one-term-web