Minimum requirements

The minimum requirements for the system side of this project were laid out earlier:

  • A usable web interface for browsing news groups
  • Ability to post to news groups via the interface (including followup)
  • Identification of individual users within the School of Computing

Each of these minimum requirements has been met within the system. To further ensure that the necessary requirements have been met, let us consider the user requirements.

Meeting user requirements

Earlier the following user requirements were decided on and discussed:

  • Read articles
  • Post articles
  • Follow-up to articles
  • Browse news groups

The system has the functionality available to cover each of the above requirements.




Further enhancements

There were many ideas and functionality suggestions made by both the focus group and myself. Due to the limited time available to develop the software not all of the ideas could be implemented. Instead, the focus group prioritised the suggestions made and they were developed in order of priority until there was no more development time available. The priority list is available below.

  • HTML escaping
  • Threaded article view
  • Threaded article navigation
  • Individual user preferences
  • Import & export newsrc
  • Multiple style sheet support
  • Postscript or PDF output of articles
  • RDF/RSS (XML) feeds
  • Interface templating

“HTML escaping” was forced to be priority number 1 as it was a security considering and as such should be implemented if development time permitted.


The following suggestions were implemented within the time allocated for system development.

HTML escaping: As previously mentioned, HTML escaping is a vital security consideration as without it a dynamic Web page may be vulnerable to Cross Site Scripting attacks. XSS attacks occur when a user provides malicious data to a Web page which the Web page’s processing script fails to check for validity and outputs the data verbatim. While thorough checking of any data provided by the usercan help lower the chances of this occurring it also helps if all user provided data, such as the text for an article body, is HTML escaped prior to usage.

Threaded article view: By threading the list of articles available a user can easily identify the articles which are part of the same thread or discussion. This makes the job of filtering through the available articles considerably easier for the user as there is no need to search for replies to particular articles that the user is interested in or to locate parent articles within the thread.



  Web Based News Reader Home Page

   Previous    Next  

Produced by: