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ITECH3108 Dynamic Web Programming
Assignment 2 – Waterski Prattle
“It’s like Yik Yak, but for opinions about Waterskis”
This is an individual assignment in which you will explore the use of data interchange between web servers
Important: This assignment specification is generated just for you. Do not distribute this specification.
Timelines and Expectations
Percentage value of task: 20%
Due: Refer to Course Description
Learning Outcomes Assessed
The following course learning outcomes are assessed by completing this assessment:
K2. Contrast the capabilities and limitations of client-side and server-side web code
K3. Detect opportunities for increasing security and privacy of web applications
S1. Develop client/server web applications using client-side and server-side code
S2. Connect to and manipulate a database management system programmatically using server-side
S3. Design and implement a RESTful web application programming interface (API)
S4. Implement a client-side web application which uses a client-side programming language to access a
A1. Design, develop, test, and debug client/server web applications to provided specifications
Waterski Prattle is a single-page web app that allows users to post their opinions about waterskis online,
and reply to other people’s opinions.
Users can post new opinions, which include some review text and, optionally, their name. Opinions
submitted without a name are labelled “anonymous” and should have distinct formatting.
Users can additionally “like” other opinion posts.
A simple database with one table is sufficient to model the database requirements for this assignment,
however you may if you wish extend and/or normalize this database.
The database has the following structure:
WaterskiPost ( id, name, text, post_date, likes, reply_to )
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Each record in the WaterskiPost table represents a single opinion post.
The post_date field should be a MySQL TIMESTAMP field, and contains the date and time that the post was
created. You may achieve this using the DEFAULT CURRENT_TIMESTAMP declaration in your CREATE
The likes field is an integer value indicating how many people have “liked” the opinion.
The reply_to field is a nullable foreign key, which indicates which post, if any, each post is a reply to. A
NULL reply_to indicates that the post is not a reply.
The assignment tasks are closely associated with the lab work of topics 7 to 10. Code and examples from
lectures and labs should be a useful guide throughout this assignment. The assignment requires a number
of files and a report to be produced. The report should respond to written tasks that are included below
Create the above database using your existing SQL skills. You will need at least eight opinions about
waterskis. At least three posts should be replies.
At least one of the posts should be written by somebody called user30356745.
Invent or discover your own data. Cite data sources appropriately in your report, or alternatively include a
source field in your database.
Submit your SQL file as part of your assignment.
Mark up the complete data using JSON and save it as a .json file. Check that the file is valid JSON and
report the method used to validate.
Submit this file as part of your assignment.
Create a RESTful JSON API using PHP, implementing at least the following functionality:
List all top-level opinion posts (GET)
Should include id, name, text, likes for posts with a NULL reply_to value.
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Use an optional querystring/GET parameter to allow sorting by post_date and likes.
Retrieve all details for a particular post (GET)
Create a new post (POST)
Increment the likes value for an opinion (POST)
Decrement the likes value for an opinion (POST)
Note that it is ok to unlike a post that you never liked – this may result in the likes field being negative.
The Like and Unlike methods are not strictly following RESTful practices, as they are not
implemented by transferring state. You may choose to use the PUT method instead.
Follow HATEOAS (Hypermedia as the Engine of Application State) practices. Include a note in your report
about how you have followed HATEOAS.
Under Apache, this step will require configuring a .htaccess file to allow using clean URLs (without a .php
Display a global timeline of all top level waterski opinion posts. Sort the list by date, with the most recent
Allow the user to submit a new top-level post, which will be displayed immediately in the review list.
Display the details of an individual post when clicked, including all direct replies.
Allow the user to reply to a top-level post. The reply should be displayed immediately.
Allow the user to “like” a post by clicking on a link or button.
Periodically (every 5 seconds), update the page with new posts or replies and updated “like” counts. This
should not remove any text currently being entered in any forms.
The last requirement can be tested by opening your site in multiple browser tabs at the same time
reloading/refreshing the browser page.
Bonus tasks (Completely optional!)
These tasks are 100% optional, and you can receive full marks without attempting or completing them.
They are intended to be a challenge if you are interested in such things, and the marks available do not
reflect the significant research and effort required to implement them correctly.
Bonus task one: WebSockets
Instead of polling every 5 seconds, use WebSockets to notify browsers when the content they are viewing
Implement your WebSocket server using either Python or Node.js. You may use an existing WebSocket
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Bonus task two: Token-based authentication
Implement optional signup/login, also using AJAX techniques, which allows deleting posts and remembering
Use JWT token-based authentication, rather than cookies / PHP sessions.
Bonus task three: GraphQL in Python
Using Python and the Graphene and SQLAlchemy libraries, implement a new API using GraphQL.
Create a variant of your front-end that uses your new GraphQL API instead of REST.
Please note that there are no marks for aesthetics, so please spend your time appropriately. It is acceptable
to use third-party CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap, Skeleton, Bourbon or similar if you wish, as long as
through online Q&A sites such as StackOverflow.
Include a written report containing:
A statement of completion;
Details of specific assistance you received from people other than your lecturer or tutor, and the names
of those assisting;
References to any third-party CSS frameworks if applicable;
Anything interesting or cool you’d like to draw to your marker’s attention.
All files should be submitted to Moodle by the due date and time. Check with your tutor as to whether a
hard copy is required in addition to the electronic submission.
Refer to the attached marking guide.
Feedback will be supplied through Moodle. Authoritative marks will be published through fdlMarks
Plagiarism is the presentation of the expressed thought or work of another person as though it is one’s own
without properly acknowledging that person. You must not allow other students to copy your work and must
take care to safeguard against this happening. More information about the plagiarism policy and procedure
for the university can be found at
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Marking Guide: Assignment 2
Feature Criteria Maximum Obtained
SQL file Requirements satisfied 1
Data Interchange JSON is accurate, well-structured and syntactically
RESTful (resource-based) design 2
Uses HATEOAS approach 1
List and details (GET) 2
New post (POST) 2
Like and Unlike 1
Sort based on query parameter 1
Global timeline 1
Details page, including replies and likes 2
Submit a new post 1
Submit a reply 1
Automatic data reload on interval 2
WebSocket update channel (+1)
JWT token-based authentication and admin (+2)
GraphQL API (+2)
Description of JSON validation approaches 1
Description of HATEOAS approach 1
Completion of tasks, Assistance statement (lose 1
mark each if not included) (-2)
Quality of code (lose
marks if criteria not
Layout, structure, indentation (-1)
Appropriate and consistent naming scheme (-1)
Appropriate use of comments, including quality
and accuracy. Comments do not simply narrate
code but illuminate intent and design decisions. No
Valid HTML5 (-1)
ITECH3108 Dynamic Web Programming Assignment
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