Advanced Web Authoring Portfolio Michael Wojcik

This is a collection of materials I've created for WRA 410, Advanced Web Authoring, taught by Mike McLeod at Michigan State University in Spring 2008.

Major Projects

The first significant project for this class is Module 2, a series of design documents for a PHP / MySQL application. I'm implementing a multiuser bibliography.

There's one small update to Module 2 for the final WRA 410 portfolio: the Database Design has been updated to reflect the current database structure used by this release of the application. Additional information is available in a headnote in that document.

The other major class project is Module 3 — the actual implementation of the application described in Module 2 (or some approximation thereof).

My final essay, Deliberate Design and the Web, explores the connection between user experience design for the web, rhetoric, and professional writing.

Session Exercises

The Session 3 Exercise was the first XHTML / CSS document I produced in class. It has some layout and presentation experiments that were later incorporated into the site.

In Session 5 we started working with Javascript, and this was the result.

Session 6, with special guest instructor Bill, featured a text transformation exercise. Find a review for a film suitable for both children and adults; isolate semantic objects in the review; and create two stylesheets that will render it differently for the two audiences. The result can be viewed in its various forms using Firefox and its View | Page Style menu. Note this makes use of the XHTML 1 / HTML 4 alternate style sheet mechanism.

The Wonderful World of PHP beckons in Session 7. Tremendous! The source is available here, as plain text (to prevent the PHP handler from processing it, or the user agent from trying to interpret the PHP processing instructions). Incidentally, I notice that PHP chokes on any document which contains an XML declaration, because it interprets the declaration as a PI. Dumb, but probably impossible to fix, as it would break pre-XHTML PHP pages. Instead, use a trivial bit of PHP to insert the XML declaration when the page is generated; see the first line of the source.

There's some very basic use of PHP and MySQL in Session 8. Nothing of tremendous interest here. It got a bit further with Session 10, in which a useful application was implemented: it lists people from a database in last-name order, with their first names scrambled. I can't imagine why everyone isn't running one of these.

Module 2 is the first stage of my major class project, the Multiuser Bibliography (MultiBib). Module 2 contains the design packet, including architecture, information design, user experience design, and so on.

We returned to class exercises after break with Session 16, which began Module 3, hosted on a WIDE server. This session's work involved an introduction to HTML forms and simple PHP processing of them.

The implementation phase of MultiBib began in mid-March with the assignment for Session 18: implementation of the various forms for MultiBib and PHP back ends that demonstrated form data was being received successfully.

In-class Writing

The portfolio now includes copies of my in-class writings, done in response to daily prompts, which were originally posted to Angel.

Other Coursework

Of course, the portfolio page and for that matter the entire site should really be treated as part of the portfolio. So feel free to look at the home page and its page-specific style sheet, the site's main style sheet, and everything linked from there. Remember to limit your personal maximum recursion depth to avoid stack overflow.