CSC325 2010F Web and Databases

Warning! The Web site for this class is in beta form.

Front Door

Welcome to the Fall 2010 session of Grinnell College's CSC 325, Databases and Web Application Design. This course serves many purposes: It lets you tie together concepts from across your career; it gives you the opportunity to learn a number of technologies, including HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and Drupal; and it helps give you a particularly hands-on perspectives on computer science.

In an attempt to provide up-to-date information, and to spare a few trees, I am making this as much of a paperless course as I can. Hence, materials will be in a course web.

Warning! Computers are sentient, stupid, and malicious. When things go wrong, don't blame yourself. Ask me for help.


Meets: MWF, 10:00-10:50, Science 3819

Instructor: Samuel A. Rebelsky (, Science 3824. Office hours: MTuWF 1:15-1:50, 2:15-2:55. I also tend to follow an open door policy: Feel free to stop by when my door is open or to make an appointment for another time. Check my schedule for more details.

Grading (subject to change):

Late Assignments: Assignments are generally due on Wednesday evenings at 11 p.m.

My experience shows that students who turn in work late learn significantly less than students who turn material in on time. (I'm not sure about cause and effect.) Hence, I strongly discourage late assignments. Unless prior arrangements have been made, assignments are due within five minutes of the start of class. After that they are considered late. Late assignments are penalized one letter grade per day late (or fraction thereof).

Because I am concerned about your health and well being, I will waive the late penalty if (1) you start the assignment at least three days in advance of the due date; (2) you get to sleep by midnight the night before the assignment is due; (3) you expend a reasonable amount of effort to complete the assignment by midnight; (4) you turn in a form attesting to facts (1), (2), and (3) when the assignment is due; and (5) you talk to me ASAP about any problems you've had on the assignment.

In addition, every student will be granted two grace days that can be used for any homework assignment, for any reason. A grace day is an automatic extension until the next class period. Please use your grace days wisely: you may need them more later than you do now! I would appreciate hearing in advance by email if you intend to use a grace day on a particular assignment since this makes my bookkeeping easier. However, any assignment submitted late will automatically use a grace day, if you still have one to use.

Extra Credit: Throughout the term, I may suggest forms of extra credit.

Required Books

I've tried to choose books that are written for professionals, rather than as textbooks. My experience suggests that treating you like adult programmers reaps many benefits.

Beck, Kent (1999). Extreme Programming Explained, 1st Edition. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Bowman, Judith S., Emerson, Sandra L., & Darnovsky, Marcy (1997). The Practical SQL Handbook: Using Structured Query Language. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesely.

Tomlinson, Todd & VanDyk, John (2010). Pro Drupal Development, 3rd Edition. Apress.

Zandstra, Matt (2010). PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice, 3rd Edition. Apress.



Saturday, 14 August 2010 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]

  • Created.
  • Grace day policy taken from Marge Coahran.


Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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The source to the document was last modified on Sun Sep 12 14:11:51 2010.
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Samuel A. Rebelsky,