MMS2802 Internet programming - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Lindsay Smith


Berwick : Lindsay Smith


ASCED Discipline Group classification: 020103 Computer Science Programming

This unit will build on database knowledge that students have previously developed to investigate the various approachs to creating web based database applications. The unit will examine the available web server technologies on which such applications can be mounted and compare the strengths and weakness of the different technologies. The CGI/perl approach to development will be investigated. Application creation via scripting will also be examined through a range of current scripting languages such as ASP, PHP and Cold Fusion. Hybrid application development in which scripts call stored database procedures and functions will be investigated. Client side scripting using Javascript will also be introduced as a way of enforcing some integrity rules.

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 Adobe Flex as development platform for creating Rich Internet Applications. The unit also introduces the requirements/standards for web audio/video streaming.


Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the technology on which web based applications are operated
  • good application design principles in the client/server environment
  • the components of a client-server database application system, the different server platforms which may be utilised and the protocols used to communicate within such systems
  • the special issues for database applications as they relate to the Internet
  • the manner in which HTTP and CGI are used to process a HTML forms request
  • the fundamental principles of web scripting languages
  • 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 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:

  • appreciation for the power and flexibility of web application approaches
  • flexibility toward selection of scripting languages for a particular situation, rather than viewing them as 'separate' languages
  • 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:

  • evaluating a suitable web server/language platform for a particular application requirement
  • designing, coding and testing web based applications using a variety of scripting approaches for reporting and maintaining data stored in a database
  • managing the 'stateless' nature of web interactions via common approaches such as cookies and server side storage of session information
  • 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 Adobe Flex applications to produce RIA 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.



MMS2802 Internet Programming requires that you have already completed MMS2801 Database Management Systems (or an approved equivalent). This prerequisite is necessary in order to provide a basic knowledge of database and coding constructs which will be used within this unit.

Unit relationships

MMS2802 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Multimedia Systems, Enterprise major and is also taught with the Bachelor of Business and Commerce ECommerce major. Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed MMS2802 (or an approved equivalent). You may not study this unit and GCO2811, GCO3823, CPE3002, CSE2030 or  FIT3044 in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)


Textbook availability

Not Applicable

Software requirements

The software required will be available in the university on-campus labs. Some items of software will be available from MUSO for student download.

The unit will make extensive use of Eclipse, the open source development platform available from:

and Adobe Flex 2 available from:


Hardware requirements

Students 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 8 hours per week for use of a computer.

Recommended reading

Carey, P.,New Perspectives on XML - Comprehensive, 1st Edition, Thomson – Course Technology, 2004, ISBN 0-619-10188-1


Carey, P.,New Perspectives on XML, Second Edition—Comprehensive, 2nd Edition, Thomson – Course Technology, 2006, ISBN 1-4188-6064-6


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 MMS2802 are:

The MMS2802 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, laboratory exercises and assignment details will be posted.

Structure and organisation

Week Topics Key Dates
1 Fundamentals of XML
2 Document Type Definitions (DTDs)
3 XML Schemas and Namespaces
4 Formatting XML for the web with CSS
5 Transforming XML via eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)
6 XML applications SMIL, SVG, DocBook, XHTML, WAP and SOAP
Non teaching week
7 Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) Assignment 1 Due
8 Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)
9 Flex and MXML introduction
10 Flex and ColdFusion
11 MXML and Actionscript
12 Web audio/video streaming Assignment 2 Due
13 Revision


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


Assessment weighting

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 letter grade according to the University standard grading system. An assignment will be graded as a fail (N) if it does not satisfy the assignment criteria or plagiaries 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 appropriate media. 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 2 assignments with a weighting of 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%. Please 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 tutorials. If you are absent for more than 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 chief examiner as early as possible.

To pass this unit you must:

  1. obtain an overall unit result of at least 50%, and
  2. achieve no less than 40% of the marks available for practical work AND no less than 40% of the marks available in the examination.


Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Assignment result + Exam result = Final Unit Score

where assignment result and exam result are marks out of 40 and 60 respectively.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 Creation and Manipulation of Static XML documents 10pm Friday 20th April 2007 20%
Assignment 2 Database-linked website using Adobe FLEX 10pm Friday 25th May 2007 20 %
Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the MMS2802 MUSO Unit Site.

Assignment Submission

Refer to the MMS2802 MUSO Unit site for assignment submission details.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% per day. Assignments received later than one week (seven days) after the due date will not normally be accepted. In some cases, this period may be shorter if there is a need to release sample solutions.

The only exception to this is in the case of illness or other serious cause. In any such cases, proper third party documentation (e.g. a doctor's certificate) will have to be supplied.

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. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached/included to/with the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

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

Grade Percentage/description
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%.

Assignment return

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


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.

Unit improvements

This unit has been updated for this offering to reflect the important role of Adobe Flex in building RIAs.

Student feedback from the 2007 Unit Evaluation survey is important in helping us to improve the unit. Please be sure to complete the survey at the end of the semester.

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.


Communication methods

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.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit MUSO 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 MMS2802 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 Lindsay Smith
Deputy Head of School
Phone +61 3 990 47201
Fax +61 3 990 47089

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 21, 2007