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Important notice following the death of our web server administrator: new student accounts are not currently being created on the student web server, and no one is maintaining existing accounts. We are working as fast as possible on a solution but, until this is fixed, we do not require you to upload your site to the student server (though, if you do still have access, we highly recommend doing so). See Running a web server on your local machine for details of how to meet the requirements for the final unit, and my posts on the subject in the discussion forum for further information about the problem.

Prerequisites for COMP 266: Revision

Last updated December 8, 2015 - 4:51pm by Jon Dron

I often receive applications for COMP 266 from those that have not taken either COMP 200 or COMP 210 (technically not prerequisites as such, but one or other is highly recommended). This page is mainly for them, so that I do not need to re-type the same things each time I am asked.

We recommend these courses because they should give you a grounding in some of the basics needed for COMP 266, but it is quite OK to do without them if you have the general computing competences listed below.


You must be able to:

  • effectively manage files and directories/folders on your computer, including to be able to copy, delete, rename and move files, and to create, rename, copy and move directories/folders.
  • use a compression utility to zip and unzip files and folders, preserving the directory structure.
  • install applications and utilities on your computer.
  • use a text editor, including to save a file with a non-standard file extension.
  • browse the web, including use of browser features like direct entry of URLs into the address bar, copying and pasting of URLs or shortcuts, use of bookmarks/shortcuts, filling in of forms (including file uploads), and viewing the source of a page.
  • proficiently use the user interface, including resizing of windows, copy and paste, file opening and closing, application opening and closing, switching between open applications or windows, etc.
  • manage your own computer effectively, including network setup and management, backups and file transfers (e.g. to a USB drive), disk repair, starting and shutting down, managing disk space, dealing with common problems, and so on.

Very highly recommended

You should be able to:

  • upload and manage files and folders on a remote file system via FTP, SFTP or SCP
  • create a web page (perhaps using a WYSIWYG editor) and upload it and its supporting files to a web server
  • create and manipulate images using an image editor, especially to resize, change file format, alter compression, or adjust the colour palette of an image
  • Use styling features of a WYSIWYG editor (e.g. a word processor or the comment form on this page) including proper use of heading styles, aligning text, emphasizing words or phrases with italic, bold or underline, creating bulleted or numbered lists, inserting images and tables, etc.
  • explain and use client/server concepts, especially to recognize the differences between and typical uses of file servers and web servers

If you lack any essential competences, please ensure that you gain them before applying for COMP 266. If you don't have these skills you will be confused, you may make unnecessary demands of your tutor, and you will struggle to succeed. There are plenty of free online tutorials available, lots of 'getting started with computers' books and websites, as well as paid-for classes, online and not. An acceptable level of proficiency in these skills can be gained in just a few hours. The course is agnostic to which of the major operating systems - Windows, Mac, or Linux - that you use. If you use anything else, the chances are that you already know enough!

If you lack any of the very highly recommended competences, try to learn them before starting the course. It will save you a lot of time later and you will have more control over what you do during the course.

If you have any further questions or if any of this is confusing, feel free to mail me at for clarification or more information.

Jon Dron (course coordinator)

COMP 266

COMP 266

COMP 266: Introduction to Web Programming