The University of Southampton
Courses

COMP6218 Web Architecture

Module Overview

The World Wide Web is a global information infrastructure that underpins the digital economy, our own social interactions and the world's cultures. It is built on a simple model of information exchange (the original Web architecture) that has evolved and adapted to new technologies and social opportunities, from Web pages of factual and encyclopaedic content to smartphone apps and Instagrammed breakfasts. This module looks at the technical architecture underlying the Web, its subsequent evolution to deal with problems of scale and sustainability, the hypertext research that has informed its development and the ecology of information that has grown up around it.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To explain the underpinning principles of the Web

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The technical architecture of the World Wide Web
  • Principles of Web information design
  • The common standards for identification, representation and interaction on the Web
  • The history of hypertext, its relationship with the Web, and current research issues
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Intellectual property legislation
  • The roles of technical standards bodies
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use common Web analysis technologies; data editors, browser inspectors, protocol analysers
  • Analyse and use RESTful Web applications
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the key characteristics of the Web Architecture
  • Understand and use the Representational State Transfer (REST) architectural style of Web applications and APIs
  • Critically evaluate Web information practices
  • Understand how monetised, scaled information delivery is achieved
  • Understand net neutrality issues

Syllabus

- The Architecture of the World Wide Web - HTTP protocol and Representational State Transfer - Hypertext: fundamentals, pioneers, hyperetxt writing, hypertext fiction, open hypermedia - Data Formats: TXT, HTML, CSS, XML, SVG, MathML, Office Open XML, EPub, PDF, CSV - The Web graph & search engines - Content delivery networks - Web advertising networks - Intellectual property, copyright and licensing - Net neutrality - Standards bodies

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Face-to-face lectures, video lectures and discussions, practical laboratory sessions.

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Follow-up work18
Completion of assessment task2
Revision10
Lecture36
Wider reading or practice66
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

J. Webber, S. Parastatidis and I. Robinson (2010). REST in Practice. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 50%
Exam  (2.5 hours) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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