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Introducing Computer Science. CSCI N341: Client-Side Programming. Goals. By the end of this lecture you should … … understand Computer Science as the study of algorithms … recognize HIPO charts as one of several tools available for problem analysis

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introducing computer science

Introducing Computer Science

CSCI N341: Client-Side Programming


By the end of this lecture you should …

… understand Computer Science as the study of algorithms

… recognize HIPO charts as one of several tools available for problem analysis

… understand how programming languages work in general

… recognize different categories of programming languages

… understand the program development cycle

one dimension of web programming
One Dimension of Web Programming

Personal Computer - a computer operated by one person at a time, i.e. “Client” computer. N341 focuses on Client-Side computing

Server – a computer whose resources and processors are shared by multiple users. N342 focuses on Server-Side programming

what is computer science
What is Computer Science?
  • NOT about coding or hardware or software!
  • Computer Science is about PROBLEM SOLVING
  • Computer Science is about DEVELOPING ALGORITHMS to solve complex problems
  • Computers are merely tools for solving problems!
  • Well-developed, organized approaches to solving complex problems
  • Test of a good algorithm:
    • Does the algorithm solve the stated problem?
    • Is the algorithm well-defined?
    • Does the algorithm produce an output?
    • Does the algorithm end in a reasonable length of time?
developing an algorithm
Developing an Algorithm
  • Identify the Inputs
    • What data do I need?
    • How will I get the data?
    • In what format will the data be?
  • Identify the Processes:
    • How can I manipulate data to produce meaningful results?
  • Identify Outputs:
    • What outputs do I need to return to the user?
    • What format should the outputs take?
developing an algorithm2
Developing an Algorithm
  • Identify relevant modules
    • How can I break larger problems into smaller, more manageable pieces?
    • What inputs do the modules need?
    • What processes need to happen in the modules?
    • What outputs are produced by the modules?
  • Sets of instructions that get the computer to do something
  • Instructions are translated, eventually, to machine language using an interpreter or a compiler (or both!). You can think of an interpreter as translating one “line” of code at a time, while a compiler translates an entire program before executing it
  • Programs may be a few lines or millions of lines of code
programming tasks
Programming Tasks
  • All computer programs are written so they can take data, manipulate and then produce a result.
  • This process uses three distinct tasks:
    • INPUT – getting data from an external source (the user, a database, a file, etc.)
    • PROCESSING – actual manipulation of the data
    • OUTPUT – reporting the results of data manipulation back (using the monitor, writing information to a database, etc.)
categories of languages
Categories of Languages
  • Machine Language
    • Binary digits (bits – 1s and 0s) which are translated to electrical impulses that get the computer to do something
    • “Native” language of computers
  • Assembly Languages
    • Group of basic commands, written as mnemonics, ie, jmp, hlt, etc.
    • Tied to specific processors
    • Still need to be translated to machine language
categories of languages1
Categories of Languages
  • High Level Languages
    • In terms of syntax, very close to human language (mostly English)
    • Lower error rate than writing machine language or assembly language programs
    • Need to be translated to machine language before execution
      • Compilers
      • Interpreters
more on high level languages
More on High-Level Languages
  • Features common to all HL languages:
    • Sequential Operations – Operations in which lines of code execute in order, one right after another
    • Control Structures
      • Conditional Operations – Operations in which execution depends on the outcome of a previous condition (usually evaluated to be TRUE or FALSE)
      • Looping Operations – Operations designed to repeat until a given condition is satisfied.
      • Branching Operations – Operations designed to identify mutually exclusive sections of code
    • Data Structures – allow programming optimization, ie, arrays, linked lists, etc.
more features
More Features
  • Variables – named storage locations for data
  • Data types – integers, strings, boolean, etc.
  • Delimiters – symbols that designate beginning and endings of programming structure, ie, “;”, “{“, etc.
  • Modularity – section of code that performs a task
  • Comments – Information for programmers for better code maintenance
  • Input and output – mechanisms for moving information in and out of a program
  • Key reserved words – words with predefined meaning within a language
levels of high level languages
Levels of High-Level Languages
  • Procedural Languages
    • Early high level languages
    • Focus on structures
    • Examples include QuickBasic, Fortran, Pascal, Visual Basic (early versions)
  • Object-Oriented languages (OOP)
    • More recent development
    • Focus on data, not structures (Primacy of Data)
    • Examples include Java, C#, C++, Visual Basic.Net
the programming development cycle
The Programming Development Cycle
  • Done after identifying inputs, processing & outputs
  • Steps
    • Analyze the problem using customer input and technical training
    • Plan a solution to the problem (algorithm)
    • Design the user interface
    • Prototype design to customer
    • Revise design based on customer feedback
    • Iterate and test to product release
    • Maintenance cycle
    • Product Obsolescence
notes on development cycle
Notes on Development Cycle
  • 1. Analyze the Problem: Questions to ask:
    • Who is my intended audience?
    • What SPECIFIC outcomes does my audience expect?
    • What business rules do my audience expect to have incorporated into the solution?
    • What is the SCOPE of the problem?
2 plan a solution algorithm
2. Plan a Solution (Algorithm)
  • What types of programming structures are needed?
    • Sequential structures
    • Conditional structures
    • Looping structures
  • What data structures are needed?
    • Variables
    • Lists
    • Arrays
3 design the user interface
3. Design the User Interface
  • i.e. , The “UI”
  • Is the UI “learnable”?
  • Is it simple? (Limit user choices)
  • Does the UI promote error-proof use?
  • Is the layout of the UI arranged in a fashion conducive to the user’s culture and expectations?
4 code the solution
4. Code the Solution
  • Develop an actual program from an algorithm
  • Should be the “easiest” part of the process – all the work should already be done!
5 test debug the solution
5. Test & Debug the Solution
  • Alpha Testing – Internal testing done with expected client data (NOT LIVE DATA)
  • Beta Testing – Testing done at the client site with their data (USUALLY LIVE DATA)
  • Try to predict common user errors
  • Test subjects should be Power Users, Normal Users and Neophytes
6 make sure documentation is complete
6. Make Sure Documentation is Complete
  • User Documentation:
    • User Manual
    • Technical Documentation (for System Administrators)
  • Internal Documentation:
    • Documentation comments
    • Code comments
    • Procedural comments
    • Should be done while coding!
7 plan next release
7. Plan Next Release
  • What bugs need to be fixed?
    • Are bugs “critical”? (Need to be fixed in a minor release)
    • If bugs are not critical, they can be fixed in next major release
  • What product enhancements do the users want for the next release?
internal commenting
Internal Commenting
  • Comments are non-executable lines (the computer ignores them) which are used to communicate valuable information about code to others
  • Types of Internal Commenting:
    • Documentation Comments
    • Code Comments
    • Procedural Comments
  • Comment Syntax:
    • C-like Syntax (C, C++, Java, JavaScript):

/* This will work for multi-line comments */

// This is a single-line comment

documentation comments
Documentation Comments
  • Used to given specific information about a program
  • Usually found at the beginning of a code window
  • Include information about the author, creation date, purpose, modification date & modification history
documentation comment
Documentation Comment


  • TITLE: Hello World, v2.0* AUTHOR: Susie Student* PURPOSE: To demonstrate changing of textbox properties using event procedures.* CREATED ON: 09.10.2002* LAST MODIFIED ON: 09.18.2002* LAST MODIFIED BY: RSM* MODIFICATION HISTORY:* 08.12.2009 - Renamed form to frmMain to conform with accepted naming standards (MJK) *11.18.2008 - Created a Clear Button enabling users to clear output (RSM)


code comments
Code Comments
  • “Tell the story” of the code, in English
  • For this class, you should use code comments to indicate what lines of code do
    • Define how variables are being used
    • Describe sections of code
code comments1
Code Comments

/* Initialize loop counter to 1 */var counter = 1;/* Set loop to repeat 10 times */while(counter <= 10){ /* Display loop number*/alert(“You are on loop number” + counter);

/* update counter*/counter++;

} /* end while */

procedural comments
Procedural Comments
  • Identify purpose, arguments & return values for procedures
  • Can be used in:
    • Event Procedures
    • Sub-Procedures
    • Function Procedures
procedural comments1
Procedural Comments

/* Function touchRock

Used to capture user name and produce custom greeting. If name is provided, upon image mouse click change image to happy rock


Function touchRock(){

varuserName = prompt(“What is your name?”, “Enter your name here.”);

if (userName) {

alert(“It is good to meet you, “ + userName + “.”);

document.getElementById(“rockImg”).src = “rock_happy.png”;

} //end if

} // end function touchRock