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Lesson 1

Creating Web Applications

Programmers and developers write the applications that produce interactivity on a Web site.
If you are creating or managing a Web site, you need to be familiar with the development tools that create such Web-based applications. After completing this module, you will be able to:
  1. Describe how programming languages are used
  2. Explain the purpose of client-side scripts and applets
  3. Describe the characteristics of cookies
  4. Explain how cookies are created
  5. Explain the functionality provided by server-side scripts
  6. Define dynamic Web page technologies
  7. Describe architectural considerations of developing Web sites and applications
  8. Describe how Web sites and applications should be tested



Evolving Web Applications

As applications on the Web become larger and larger, how can web developers manage the complexity?
In many ways, we need to turn to some of the same good practices used in other types of software development. Generally speaking, these practices are not yet pervasive in web development.
That is, in software development primarily using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and various server-side scripting languages (we will use PHP for the server-side scripting in this module and will migrate to node in the future, but the same principles apply to many other languages). Furthermore, the uniqueness of these technologies poses a challenge for developers trying to apply good practices in a cohesive way. One of the themes that you will see repeated in this module is the importance of extending modular development practices to web development. This module presents concrete, practical techniques to achieve modularity in large web applications. In the process, we will explore many of the finer aspects of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP and Node. You may find that most of the techniques are relatively simple to apply, and none rely on the use of specific frameworks. That said, it is important to realize that they do not preclude you from using various frameworks, either; to the contrary, these techniques create a better landscape in which to use many frameworks. As a case in point, we will look at several examples that utilize the jQuery JavaScript library. In the next lesson, you will learn how programming languages are used to develop applications for Web sites.