CSCIE259 Project Proposal
Brian S. Hughes
Alternative Medicine Survey
Brian S. Hughes
The Alternative Medicine Survey will survey web respondants on their
experiences with alternative medicines. Survey results will be recorded in a
database that is browsable by survey administrators, and possibly summarized
to all web browsers.
Develop an on-line survey of respondants' experiences with
alternative medicines. Survey to be served to anonymous respondents' browsers
over the web. Questions will be dynamically generated; that is, later questions
and pages displays will be dependent upon earlier responses.
The field of alternative medicine has received little rigorous attention, but
has accumulated many anecdoctal reports of success from laypeople along
with much scorn from health professionals. Collecting the self-reported results
from as many respondents as possible, in a non-threatening manner, may help
illuminate areas that show promise for further in-depth study for either
positive or negative results.
These results are not projected to constitute a rigorous study of
alternative medicine's results; rather, they may help other workers
to focus on areas that may produce fruitful results.
The survey will run on Tomcat based servlets. The survey's static form
definitions will be stored in XML; any dynamically generated forms will also be created as
XML by the servlets. The servelts will convert these XML based forms into HTML
for display on browsers by translating the XML using XSLT, and also by
use of FO, and JSP. Survey results will be stored in either a JDBC accessible
SQL database or in an XML database. Access to Web services may be included if
there are available web service(s) that will help support the survey or the
later analysis/result displays. The servlets will drop cookie(s) onto the
respondants' browsers to a)store respondant's survey state and b)attempt to
prevent some spamming respondants from flooding the results with multiple
- XML versus SQL DB? Any short term advantage (short term == project delivery
date) to using one or the other? XML feels more accessible. If so, what might
I think about to aid conversion to SQL later. Do I ever need to actually
convert to SQL if I'm orders of magnitude smaller than, e.g., Amazon?
- Do you know of any Web services out there whose benefits for this
application warrant the time needed to add Web service access to the project (doing WSDL parsing,