Governor's Career & Technical Academy Arlington

Introduction to Computer Science: Week 3

This week we continue with our investigation of web services in Python for Everybody, learning about how to exchange data between computers using JSON.

I mentioned in class on Friday that I would assign videos due before class on Wednesday. On further reflection, I have decided not to do this, so when you come to class on Wednesday, I will give an introduction to the topic, and give you an assignment answering questions about the video lectures which will be due by midnight on Thursday.

Then you will be given an assignment similar to the one we had last week using XML, which will be due by mindnight on Monday, giving you the opportunity to meet with me during the 3 hours (7:30 to 10:30 am) that I am available that day.

Friday, February 19th


As we discussed on Tuesday, we will meet briefly today to answer any questions on your build your own JSON program assignment, and allow you to begin working on it.

You should come to class Tuesday prepared to for a Show-and-Tell in which you share:

  1. a JSON file with data of your own design, with at least two levels of objects (an object with an object value) and at least one array (list) value.
  2. a small Python program which reads your JSON file and displays it in a nice way.


This project will comprise 1/2 your grade for next week.

Wednesday, February 17th


Today we will continue watching the video lectures in Lesson 14: Using Web Services. I will share a bit more information about the context of Douglas Crockford's contribution to the development of JavaScript as a serious programming language and the impact it had on the development of the contemporary web, before letting you work on the homework assignment. We'll watch a very funny short talk by Gary Bernhardt that shows off some of the bad parts of JavaScript, and I'll mention a blog post I found by T.J. DeGroat titled The History of JavaScript: Everything You Need to Know, the discusses much of what I'll be sharing in class.

I'll also explain what the emails that mistakenly were sent to our class email list from STEM+ are all about, and share the rather exciting possibilities that may be ahead for us related to them.

JS Good and Bad


Watch the following videos in the Using Web Services lesson: Web Services - JSON (Part 4), Worked Example: JSON, and Discovering JSON - Douglas Crockford, answer the following questions in a document you will submit on our Canvass website:

  1. Why does Dr. Chuck say you will encounter more JSON than XML as you go out there, and what does he say each of these notations are best used for?
  2. At the beginning of class today, I talked to you about the image Dr. Chuck shows us of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide next to Douglas Crockford's famous JavaScript: The Good Parts. Why is this funny and how does it relate to the history of JavaScript and its emergence as serious programming language?
  3. What does JSON stand for and where does it come from?
  4. Which two Python data types correspond to the data representation of JSON?
  5. Douglas Crockford begins his interview by saying that JSON is .... Complete this sentence.
  6. When did Douglas Crockford discover JSON?
  7. What is AJAX, and how does it relate to the history of JSON presented in this interview? Do a bit of web research on this one.
  8. How did Douglas Crockford make JSON into a standard?
  9. What does Douglas Crockford say was his boldest design decision in creating JSON? Why does he say this is its best feature?


Your grade for this week will be determined by the completeness and thoughfulness of your JSON Questions assignment submitted on Canvass.