Mean Stack

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Module 7 builds upon the JavaScript skills you learned in Module 6.


The following articles on the online class wiki textbook contain information that will help you complete the assignments.

Individual Assignments

Install Node.JS and Socket.IO

Install Node.JS from Apt or Yum according to the instructions in the Node.JS guide.

Also install Socket.IO globally (using the -g option).

Static File Server in Node.JS

The individual portion of Module 7 is short in order to give you enough time to complete the group portion.

  1. Copy the example code from the Node.JS guide into a file called static_server.js or something of that nature. Save it on your EC2 instance (but not in a place that Apache can serve!).
    Ensure that you understand what the static file server script is doing… this might show up on a quiz!
  2. Make a directory parallel to static_server.js named static.
  3. Change "<STATIC DIRECTORY NAME>" on line 11 of the static fileserver example code to reflect the name of the directory you just made.
  4. Save the following files in your static directory:
    <?php   phpinfo();   ?>
  5. Boot up your Node.JS static fileserver, and from your browser, load all four of the files you created in step 4.
    Which ones work and which ones don't? Why might this be the case?

Group Project

In the group portion of Module 7, you will be building a multiplayer Pong game using Node.JS and Socket.IO.

If you want to reminisce and play some Pong on the command line before building it in Node.JS, here is the command, assuming you have emacs installed:

$ emacs -q --no-splash -f pong

Press C-x C-c to exit emacs.

Socket.IO Pong Game

First thing first: set up a static file server running Node.JS. We will need it in order to serve up our HTML and JavaScript content.

To start, download this file and save it in your static directory:

About the Pong-Game.JS File

We created the pong-game.js file for you to save you time and so that you can focus on the Node.JS and Socket.IO aspects of this module. This file contains the core Pong engine, but it does not establish communication between users of any kind.

If you are curious, we used the LimeJS framework as the backbone of pong-game.js. You can find the pre-compiled source code for the Pong game here:

We then used the Google Closure Compiler to compile all of the libraries you need into the one modular JavaScript file.

Just to be clear, for the purposes of Module 7, you do not need to bother with either LimeJS or Google Closure.

todo: finish


We will be grading the following aspects of your work. There are 100 points total.

  1. Individual Portion (20 Points):
    • Node.JS and Socket.IO are installed on your EC2 instance (5 points)
    • The hello.txt, brookings.jpg, and city.html files all load successfully (3 points each)
    • Visiting a file that does not exist inside the static directory results in a 404 (3 points)
    • You can explain to the TA why phpinfo.php behaves the way it does when loaded through Node.JS (3 points)
  1. File Sharing Site (40 Points):
    • File Management (15 Points):
      • Users can upload and delete files (4 points)
      • If a file is "deleted", it should actually be removed from the filesystem (3 points)
      • Existing files can be viewed (5 points)
      • The directory structure is hidden (3 points)
    • Image Groups (10 Points):
      • An image may be associated with a group (5 points)
      • All groups are listed on the home page (5 points)
    • Best Practices (10 Points):
      • Code is well formatted and easy to read (3 points)
      • All pages pass the W3C validator (3 points)
      • CSRF tokens are passed when uploading, re-categorizing, and deleting images (4 points)
    • Usability (5 Points):
      • Site is intuitive to use and navigate (4 points)
      • Site is visually appealing (1 point)
  2. Creative Portion (15 Points) (see below)

Creative Portion

This module, and all future modules, will require that you invest some time into creating additional features for your group project. Plan to invest at least 60 minutes of your time into the creative portion.

  • The creative portion is an opportunity for you to learn material of your own interest.
  • You will not earn credit for a creative-portion feature that simply rehashes something you've already done in a previous module.

If you need ideas for a creative portion, or if you want to know whether or not your creative portion idea is "hard enough", ask a TA.