Emergent Web Technologies Spring 2009

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With a title like "Emergent Web Technologies", I was tempted to make this class focus on the most cutting edge web technologies I could think of. Unfortunately, when I looked around for what was at the bleeding edge today in the web world, I realized that I have no idea what's going to be relevant a year, 5 years or ten years from now.

So, instead of making this class about the latest buzzwords, I've decided to focus on some of the more exciting things that are happening as standardized and open source web technologies continue to evolve and solidify.

The undercurrent of this class will be sustainability and standardization. We will discuss web technologies that not only are moving in some exciting directions, but are also developing in a way that insures they will be relevant in the future.

Who's teaching this class?

My name is Matt Ephraim. I am a web developer at Webitects and I'm currently working on a Master's degree in Information Architecture at IIT.

Tools for This Class

This is a list of tools that may come in handy for this class. I will be updating it as we go along.

Web Development

  • Firebug (Amazing Firefox Extension that will make your life easier)
  • Web Developer Toolbar (Another Firefox Extension that will make your life easier)

Local Web Servers

  • MAMP (Develop with Apache, MySQL and PHP locally in OS X)
  • XAMPP (Develop with Apache, MySQL and PHP locally in Windows)

Validation and Good Style

  • W3C Markup Validator (Make sure your sites validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict)
  • JSLint (Check your JavaScript code for common errors and bad coding style)


Model View Controller

Command Line Tutorials

Ruby on Rails

Class Schedule

Project 1

Due Date

Due Friday April 3rd 11:59PM


The goal of this project is to take your locations page and build a small RESTful site out of it. You site should have the following:

  • A list of all locations that have been added to your database
  • A page for creating a new location
  • A page for editing an existing location
  • A detail page for each location with the following
    • The location name, address and description
    • A Google Map with a pin for the location
    • The Flickr images that have been found for the location
  • An XML feed for the list of locations and for each individual location

Don't worry about authentication or a homepage for the site. If you use the Rails scaffolding that was demonstrated in Class 6 most of the requirements should be taken care of for you. You should be able to scaffold a site and import parts from your existing location assignments into it. Be sure to email me if you have any questions. I want to make sure everyone gets this done. I only require that you get the site working locally. You don't need to deploy the code to a live site.

Turning it in

If you know how to use subversion, let me know and I can give you your account id. That is the best way (in my opinion) to turn it in.

Otherwise, zip your files and provide me with a link to that so that I can download your assignment.