IFD:Vague but Exciting-SoS16

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Vague, but Exciting: An Introduction to Web Technologies
Instructor: Jason Reizner
Credits: 6 ECTS, 4 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students
Language: English
Date: Mondays, 13:30 to 16:45

Location: Marienstr. 7b, Room 105

First Meeting: 18 April 2016, 13:30


"Vague, but exciting."

Writing these three words on the cover of Sir Tim Berners-Lee's first draft of "Information Management: A Proposal" in 1989, CERN supervisor Mike Sendell approved work on the research project that became the starting point for what we now know as the World Wide Web. Over the span of 25 years, the web has emerged from its roots as a hypertext experiment to help physicists flexibly mediate large amounts of information, becoming the killer app that brought the Internet into mainstream use and popular consciousness.

Today the web is no longer itself just an application: it is both the fundamental architecture underpinning the largest structured collection of human content ever assembled, as well as the core technology central to the emergence and maturation of mobile and pervasive computing. In this module, participants are offered the opportunity to get acquainted with the technical fundamentals of contemporary web technology, and to develop the requisite skills necessary to creating and working with web content in artistic, professional and research contexts.

Course Topics include:

Internet Architecture
Client-Server Model
OSI Stack Model
HTTP & the Application Layer

HTML: Syntax and Elements
Document Object Model (DOM)
Aesthetics & Usability

XML/Semantic Web

Server Side Scripting (PHP, Perl et al.)

Admission requirements

This is an introductory course with no technical pre-requisites. Concurrent enrollment in another IFD course offering is strongly encouraged.

Registration procedure

Registration for Summer Semester 2016 is now closed.


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of weekly assignments and delivery of a relevant semester project. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFA Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture

Syllabus (subject to change)

18 April
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Semester Evaluation Rubric

25 April
How does this work?
How did we get here?
A brief history of networked computing
Client/Server Relationship
OSI Stack Model

Sources and Links from the Lecture
Semester Project Overview

2 May
What is HTTP?
What is HTML?
Abstraction of Content and Presentation Layers
What is CSS?

Sources and Links from the Lecture

9 May
A Crash Course in Web Design
Designing for the Screen vs. Designing for the Page
Responsive Design
Using CSS

Sources and Links from the Lecture

16 May
No Class - Pfingstmontag

23 May
Usability and UX Design
UX Evaluation Techniques

HTML/CSS Hands-on Demo

Sources and Links from the Lecture

30 May
What is DOM?
What is Javascript?
What is XML?

Sources and Links from the Lecture

6 June
Midterm Presentations

13 June
No Class - IFD Doktorkolloq

For next week, please review the following text:

20 June
AJAX and the Second Coming of the Web
A Survey of HTML5 Frameworks
Under the Hood with Bootstrap

Sources and Links from the Lecture

27 June
The Semantic Web
Web of Things

Sources and Links from the Lecture

4 July
No Class - xCoAx2016 Bergamo

11 July
Preparations for summaery16
Note: Final Project Presentations will be postponed until 18-19 July
Further information regarding time and location will be emailed shortly

18-19 July
Final Presentations

Please select a timeslot for your presentation on the Doodle here:
Presentation sessions will take place on both Monday and Tuesday (not exclusive or!)
You should be prepared to remain for the entire session (13:30-17:30) on the day that you choose.

Further Reading