FIT3044 Advanced Website Authoring , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Philip Xue
Berwick : Philip Xue

ASCED Discipline Group classification: 020103 Computer Science Programming

This unit extends the website authoring concepts taught in FIT1012 by looking at more advanced techniques which are available to web site developers in publishing rich media/multimedia content. The structure of an XML document is investigated and the manner in which such a document can be converted to HTML or other formats. Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), a form of XML, will be investigated as a technique for authoring interactive audiovisual presentations. In addition the unit introduces Macromedia Flash remoting as a client for web services, php's multimedia capabilities and the requirements/standards for web audio/video streaming.

Objectives Knowledge and Understanding

At the completion of this unit students will have a theoretical and conceptual understanding of:

  • the fundamental elements of an XML document's structure and the processes involved in reading and handling such a document;
  • the features and applicability of a range of software tools which are used in the development of websites;
  • the advantages and limitations of XML in comparison to other formats such as HTML, EDI, Flat files etc;
  • the role of the XML Schema Definition Language and its relationship to Document Type Definitions (DTDs);
  • the role of XML Stylesheet Language (XSL) in document publishing; 


Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

At the completion of this unit students will have developed attitudes that enable them to:

  • adopt a flexible approach towards application development by consideration of the wide range of XML approaches available;
  • appreciate the importance of systematic and structured approaches to program development.
  • appreciate the flexibility required in dealing with clients in a variety of situations encountered in the tendering/authoring process


Practical Skills

At the completion of this unit students will have the skills to:

  • create an XML document and its associated Document Type Definition (DTD;) 
  • create an XSL style sheet and use it to convert XML into HTML or other XML formats;
  • make use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to add style to web documents; 
  • be able to create an XML document and it's associated Document Type Definition (DTD) 
  • be able to create an XSL style sheet and use it to convert XML into HTML or other XML formats 
  • use JavaScript to add interactivity to HTML pages; 
  • write HTML embedded script code (Perl, PhP) to produce dynamic database driven web documents and produce design specification documents applicable to a web site authoring task.


Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

At the completion of this unit students will have further developed the teamwork skills needed to:

  • work as a member of a project team.


Prerequisites FIT3044 Advanced Website Authoring requires that you have already completed FIT1012 Website Authoring (or an approved equivalent). This prerequisite is necessary in order to provide a basic knowledge of web programming and coding constructs which will be used within this unit.
You should have a solid database and programming background before attempting this unit. Although many tools are available which will allow you to automate the creation of code for web applications (eg. Macromedia Dreamweaver), this unit will concentrate on the actual code itself rather than these tools - many of our code will be created via a text editor.

Unit relationships FIT3044 is a unit in the Multimedia major of the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems. This unit extends the website authoring concepts taught in FIT1012 by looking at more advanced techniques. Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1012 Website Authoring (or an approved equivalent). You may not study this unit and GCO2811, GCO3823, CPE3002, CSE2030, MMS2802 in your degree.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

New Perspectives on XML - Comprehensive’ (2004) by Carey, P. This is a Thomson – Course Technology publication, ISBN 0-619-10188-1. 

'Programming the World Wide Web', Second Edition (2003) by Robert Sebesta. This is an Addison-Wesley (Pearson) publication, ISBN 0-321-14945-9. The third edition of this book is also acceptable.

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

  • Oracle (8.1.7)
  • ChilliSource Database Design Studio (DDS-Lite 2.10)
  • ActiveState Perl
  • PHP 5
  • Monash VPN Client

All the above items of software may be accessed from several of the on-campus student PC labs. In addition, if you wish, a copy of Oracle 8 Personal Edition can be supplied to you on a CD for
installation on your own home PC, at no charge - if you do not already have one from MMS2801.
This software remains the property of SMS; before obtaining a copy you must sign an Oracle/Monash University agreement, which includes removal of the software from your computer at the conclusion of the unit and return of the software to SMS. Database Design Studio for use on your home PC can be purchased from the University Bookshop or directly from the supplier ChilliSource (based in Singapore) at

Anyone who wants to take advantage of the faculty server will be required to download the VPN
client, as this server is located on a secure subnet. The VPN client, and all information regarding the VPN and installation, can be downloaded from


The unit textbook is supplied with a 120 day copy of XMLSpy version 4.3 produced by Altova or its alternative (to be advised). Although we will examine the use of XMLSpy you should concentrate on the use of NetBeans – NetBeans will be supplied for your unit exam.  

This unit will make extensive use of NetBeans available from: or its alternative (to be advised);
Please be aware that your lecturer may recommend the use of some other software tools from time to time during the semester.

Please note that you are not required to download, purchase or install any software to complete this unit. All software is installed on the faculty server that we will be using this semester, and can be used without any disadvantage.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for FIT3044 are:

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Unit Introduction and XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)
2 Fundamentals of XML
3 DTD’s (Document Type Definitions)
4 XML Schemas and Namespaces
5 Formatting XML with CSS
6 Transforming XML with XSL
7 Introductory Javascript (selfstudy)
8 Further Javascript Assignment 1 Due
9 Introductory Perl: CGI
10 Further Perl: DBI/DBD Reporting / Maintenance
11 Introductory PHP
12 Object-oriented PHP Assignment 2 Due
13 Revision

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


This unit's assessment consists of two major components
1.    1. Two assignments and
2.    2. A final examination.

The assignments will contribute 40% toward your final result and will be graded using a mark expressed as a percentage. An assignment will be graded as a fail if it does not satisfy the assignment criteria or plagiarises another person's work.

Students should note that they are, at all times, responsible for their work. All relevant material should be backed up on a regular basis to CD or Zip disks. Loss of assignment work due to hardware failure, virus or theft will not be accepted as reasons for late or non-submission of work. Students must hold an exact copy of all work which they submit for assessment; this copy should be held until your final result for the unit is released.

Assessment for the unit consists of n assignments with a weighting of x% and an examination with a weighting of y%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

To be eligible to sit for the examination at the end of the semester you must attend 80% of your lectures and tutorials. If you are absent for more than two lectures and/or two tutorials you must supply a medical certificate or other appropriate documentation otherwise you will be excluded from the examination. If you are finding problems with this requirement please ensure you speak to your unit adviser as early as possible.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Final grade = (R*A*E)/(((R-1)*A)+E)

Where A = overall assignment percentage

E = examination percentage

R = 100/assignment weighting (100/40 = 2.5)

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Assignment 1 Creation and Manipulation of Static XML documents 5pm Friday 28th April 2006 20 %
Assignment 2 Database-linked website authoring using script languages 5pm Friday 2nd June 2006 20 %
Examination 2 hour(s), open/closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available . Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Details of the assignments submission procedure will be supplied via the unit MUSO pages. Where assignments (or parts of an assignment) are submitted in person (ie. hard copy) an 'Assignment Cover Sheet' with appropriate signature/s must be attached. Do not email submissions. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

At the discretion of the unit adviser, students may be permitted to resubmit assignments which have not met the requirements for a passing grade. This is not an automatic right.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Penalties are incurred from the due date at the rate of a 10 % reduction in grade for each day (including weekends) the assignment is late.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Students requesting an extension must apply, using the standard 'Extension Request' or via email to the Unit Adviser prior to the due date. Extensions will only be granted for medical or personal reasons supported by appropriate documentary evidence. Students will be provided with a reply slip/email documenting the extension, a copy of which must be submitted with the assignment.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


You may communicate with the staff involved in this unit during your scheduled tutorial time, by speaking to the lecturer at the end of the lecture, by attending your tutors or lecturers consultation times or by making an appointment outside these times to talk to the staff member. MUSO discussion groups are also available for student-student and student-staff contact. As on-campus students you are encouraged to use these resources, please only use email as a last resort (we are unable to guarantee a given turn around time if you commmunicate via email).


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Consultation times will be published on the FIT3044 MUSO site

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr Philip Xue
Assistant Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 47164

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Mar 13, 2006