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TRINITY CSCI 3294 - Syllabus

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CSCI 3294 (Unix Power Tools), Spring 2006Syllabus1 Course descriptionIn CSCI 1320 (PAD I) we introduce students to the basics of traditional UNIX command-line tools.These tools may seem clunky and primitive compared to the GUI-based tools students are more aptto be familiar with. But behind the clunky-seeming interface there is a lot of power and flexibility,in part because this traditional environment includes a number of “power tools” that can be greattimesavers for the not-so-novice user. In this course we will look at some of these tools and also atthe underlying UNIX philosophy/culture.The following are some topics we will discuss; others will be included as time and students’ interestspermit.• Command shells and shell scripts — timesaving interactive features, scripting, pipes and I/Oredirection, and how I/O redirection meshes with standard I/O in programming languages.• The make utility.• Text-based utilities (grep, sed, etc.).• Text editors. (vi can do a lot more than you might think.)• Text formatting with latex (the UNIX enthusiast’s alternative to word processing).2 Basic informationClass meeting times and location• MW 11:30am – 12:20pm, Halsell 340.Prerequisites• CSCI 1320 or equivalent.Instructor and contact information• Dr. Berna Massingill.• Office: Halsell 201L.• Office phone: (210) 999-8138.• E-mail: [email protected] (Often e-mail is the best way to reach me.)• Office hours:– Monday 1:30pm – 4:30pm1CSCI 3294 Syllabus Spring 2006– Tuesday/Thursday 1:30pm – 5pmIn addition to these scheduled office hours, you are welcome to drop by and see if I am in myoffice and free to talk, or you can make an appointment by calling me or sending me e-mail.If I am not in my office during scheduled office hours, I should be somewhere in the building(perhaps in one of the labs helping another student), and there will usually be a note on mydoor saying where to find me.3 Course materialsTextbookThere is no required textbook for this course. The course Web page will have links to some usefulon-line reading, parts of which you will be expected to read/skim/consult. If you want somethinghardcopy, the bookstore should have copies of a suitable book:• Shelley Powers, Jerry Peek, Tim O’Reilly, and Mike Loukides. Unix Power Tools. O’Reilly,3rd edition, 2003.It’s listed as “recommended” rather than “required”; it would be useful to have a copy, but it isnot required.Web pageMost course-related information (this syllabus, homework and reading assignments, etc.) will bemade available via the World Wide Web. The course Web page is a starting point for Web-accessible course material; you can find it linked from my home page ( or directly at referencesAny bookstore with a sizable technical-reference section will likely have many introductory bookson UNIX or Linux, such as the two mentioned as optional textbooks for the course. The list ofreferences below includes another such book (UNIX for the Impatient), plus an assortment of booksabout Unix philosophy/culture that make for interesting reading. If you like the O’Reilly “In aNutshell” books, you may want to acquire UNIX in a Nutshell or Linux in a Nutshell. O’Reillyalso publishes many books on UNIX-related tools, which are good to have on one’s bookshelf asone’s interests and finances dictate.• Paul W. Abrahams and Bruce R. Larson. UNIX for the Impatient. Addison-Wesley, 1995.• Mike Gancarz. The Unix Philosophy. Digital Press, 1995.• Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike. The UNIX Programming Environment. Prentice-Hall,1984.• Jon Lasser. Think UNIX. QUE, 2000.• Eric S. Raymond. The Art of UNIX Programming. Addison-Wesley, 2003.2CSCI 3294 Syllabus Spring 20064 Course requirementsGradingGrades in this course will be determined on the basis of class attendance/participation and severalhomework assignments, weighted as follows.Component Maximum pointsHomework about 200Project 50Class participation 50Numeric grades will be calculated as a simple percentage, by dividing total points earned on theabove components by total maximum points. These numeric grades will then be converted to lettergrades based on a curve, but in no case will the resulting letter grades be worse than studentswould receive based on the following scheme.Numeric grade Letter grade90 – 100 A80 – 89 B70 – 79 C60 – 69 D0 – 59 FHomework assignmentsThere will be frequent short homework assignments. Detailed requirements will be provided as partof each assignment, and due dates will be announced via the course Web page.ProjectAs part of the course, students must also complete a significant project approved by the instructorand present it to the class. Detailed requirements for the project will be described separately andwill include program code (or scripts, makefiles, etc.), a short written report, and a presentationto the class.Notice that although there are no exams in this course, we will use the time scheduled for a final(May 5 at 2pm) for project presentations. Please plan accordingly (i.e., please plan to be presentthen).AttendanceRegular class attendance is strongly encouraged; class participation grades will be based largely onattendance.E-mailCourse-related announcements will sometimes be made by sending e-mail to the Trinity e-mailaddresses of all registered students. Students are strongly encouraged to read mail sent to theirTrinity addresses frequently.3CSCI 3294 Syllabus Spring 2006Late and missed workUnless otherwise stated for a particular assignment, homework will be accepted up to one classperiod late, but no more, at a penalty of 10 percent off per working day. This penalty may bewaived or additional time allowed at the instructor’s discretion in cases of illness or conflict with auniversity-sponsored activity or religious holiday.If you have unusual circumstances (as we all sometimes do), please discuss these with theinstructor as far in advance as possible.Collaboration and academic integrityUnless otherwise specified, all work submitted for a grade (homework assignments and projects)must represent the student’s own individual effort. For students covered by the Academic HonorCode, unless otherwise stated all submitted work (homework and projects) will be consideredpledged work. Discussion of homework assignments and course material among students is

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