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COMP 307 Assignment 4
Introduction
In this assignment, you will create a simple forum that allows users to create posts. Users can
sign up, log, and create posts under their username. The forum must be implemented using
PHP, with MySQL or MariaDB as the database. I suggest that you use XAMPP, which comes with
Apache, PHP, and MariaDB.
Database Setup
Start by connecting to the database server via the command and running the following
commands.
create database assign4;
use assign4;
create table user(id int primary key auto_increment, username varchar(100)
unique, password varchar(100));
create table post(id int primary key auto_increment, creator int not null,
title varchar(100), content varchar(10000), foreign key(creator)
references user(id));
This will create the database called assign4, as well as a user table and a post table for storing
data. When grading your assignment, we will assume that your PHP code uses a database called
assign4, which contains only these tables with exactly these columns. Note that the post table’s
creator column is a foreign key pointing to the id column of the user table, and “not null” is
used to indicate that the foreign key cannot be NULL. Additionally, the unique keyword is used
for the username column of the user table, to indicate that no two records can have the same
username. I encourage you to try executing SQL statements that violate these restrictions and
see what happens.
We will also assume that your PHP scripts connect to the database server using the default
MySQL port on the localhost as the root user with no password.
PHP Specification
Using PHP, implement the following web pages.
index.php
This is the Home page of your forum. At first, your Home page looks like the following
The 4 links at the top are always shown no matter which page the user is currently on. A user
needs to use the Sign up link at the top to create an account before the user can create posts.
signup.php
The signup page shows the following form, allowing the user to create a username and
password.
Upon submit, a record will be created in the user table, as long as the following criteria are met:
• The specified username and password are not empty strings
• The username does not already exist
If one of these conditions are not met, display an error message and ask the user to try again.
When creating a user record, ensure that the password is not stored in plain text, but rather
hashed as we discussed in the lectured.
login.php
After the user has an account, the user must log in before posts can be created. The login page
is accessed via one of the links at the top of each page. The log in page looks like the following
If the user enters a valid username and password, your website must use the PHP session to
ensure that the user stays logged for subsequent page visits. Use the default session settings so
that if the user closes the browser, the session is terminated.
index.php (after logging in)
Once a user is logged in, the Home page looks like the following. If there are no records in the
post table, it should say “No posts available”.
The user can now create posts as the logged in user. Each post consists of a title and some
content. When the user clicks on submit post, the following this needs to happen:
1. Use JavaScript to check if either title or content is empty. If either is empty, display an
error message and do not proceed to the following steps.
2. Perform an Ajax request using jQuery to save the post in the post table in the database.
Ensure the id of the currently logged in user is saved in the creator column of the post
table. You’ll need to create a PHP script on the server side for this purpose.
3. Update the page using JavaScript (with the help of jQuery) to look like the following.
Namely, the new post (including the title, creator username, and content) now shows
up under Posts, and the title and content fields are cleared. All of this must be achieved
using JavaScript, without refreshing or reloading the web page.
At this point, if the user decides to refresh the page for some reason, or if they navigate away
from the Home page and navigate back to it, the Home page will remain looking like the above.
In other words, all the posts in the post table will show up when the Home page loads.
If the user now clicks the Log out link at the top, and then comes back to the Home page, the
following is shown. The posts that have been created are shown, but the user cannot create
posts without being logged in.
Now suppose a different user comes to your site, creates an account with username andy, logs
in, and creates a post. The Home page should now look like the following.
Additional PHP Scripts
You will almost certainly need to create more PHP scripts (in addition to index.php, signup.php,
and login.php) in order to accomplish all the listed features. Feel free to include additional PHP
files in your site as you see fit.
Security Considerations
Your site must not be vulnerable to XSS or SQL injection attacks.
Path Considerations
When specifying paths in your HTML/JavaScript/CSS files, do not use paths that start with /. For
the href attribute of links, and for Ajax calls, use a relative path that does not start with /. This
will ensure that your site runs correctly regardless of where it is placed within the directory
structure of the document root.
To load external JavaScript of CSS files, you must either use a relative path that does not start
with /, or use a path starting with a protocol and domain name if you are loading them from a
third party. For example, when loading jQuery, you could use one of the following
• <script src=”https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.4.1/jquery.min.js”</script
• <script src=”jquery.min.js”</script
External Libraries
You are required to use jQuery in this assignment to make Ajax calls and manipulate the DOM.
You are not required to use any other front-end libraries or frameworks. However, you are
highly encouraged to try using both Vue.js and Bootstrap.
What to submit
A single zip file containing all the code you wrote for your site. The grader should be able to
extract your zip somewhere in the document root and start using your site.

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