Final Project Proposal

CSCI E259 XML with J2EE


i. Title

The title of my project is Virtual Personal Trainer.

ii. Author

Nancy Wei

iii. Abstract

The project will serve as an aid to personal trainers and fitness professionals to determine a suitable diet and exercise program for their clients. The program can also be used by non-fitness professionals to guide them in their diet and exercise goals.

iv. What

The project will consist of two parts: a web program which

1. Allows a registered user to view the options for exercises for each muscle group and the approximate number of calories each exercise expends.

2. Allows a registered user to enter the food he/she has eaten (or will eat) and add it to a list of foods eaten so far during the same day, then calculate the total number of calories eaten.

The program will be executed via a query mechanism to an XML database or existing XML-based data from existing sources, primarily the USDA website, NSCA website, ACSM website, and PTontheNet.





(may include other sources, upon further research)

v. Why

The purpose of this project is to solve the problem of how to provide a customized program for diet and exercise. This is a common problem for personal trainers and professionals in the fitness industry. The main goal is to provide a more efficient way for trainers to put together a complete diet and exercise program tailored to each client's fitness goal. My motivation for this choice of project is because as a fitness professional myself, I often encounter individuals who ask me questions about what the best type of exercise or diet program is. Without knowing their current eating or exercise/health history, it is difficult for me to make a suitable recommendation to them. I think that this project will provide a nice example of how XML technology can help the fitness industry - an industry which has a booming market and yet few web technology has been invested to assist in its growth.

vi. How

My plan of attack for this project is to begin searching for suitable XML-based information databases which contain information on the number of calories gained by different foods and the number of calories expended by various exercises. If the information does not exist in XML, I will create an XML database with such information (which is obtainable from the USDA website as well as at my workplace - a major health club in Boston). Then, using the XML-based information database, I will create an HTTP request/response mechanism in which users and their individual diet and exercise information will be stored/added/removed upon user request. The information added/removed will be taking from another XML database which contains information about foods and exercises.

The project will be implemented in XSLT, J2EE, and possibly Javascript and some Flash. New skills which I will need to acquire will include understanding how to code the HTTP request/response mechanism in J3EE, doing more reading on client-server relationships using servlets, perhaps reading about JSP and CGI, as well as gathering information for my XML-based database.

vii. Questions

My questions for the staff are:

1. How will I be able to establish my own tomcat server? Can I use the same method (Catalina) as I have used for Project 3 (Wahoo) to compile and execute my program? How do I set this up myself?

2. If I want to create my own XML database using the information I have researched, can I create this using xmlspy?

3. Any other suggestions or questions about my project?