Dynamic Web-Based Student Management (thesis abstract)

For a post-graduate project in university, I developed a prototype web-based student information exchange system using Linux, Perl, it's associated modules, Ajax and SQLite. At my university, there was a bit of inefficiency in the exchange of student information which I set out to prove could be alleviated with a tailored minimalist web application written in Perl. This was achieved using the Catalyst framework and it's AutoCRUD plugin, written by Oliver Gorwits, for performing CRUD (create, read, update, delete) functions on most modern databases. I'd also like to thank Mr. Gorwits and Dr. Damian Conway for taking time to review the thesis.

The following is an abstract of the final thesis. Following posts will describe the steps followed in developing the prototype as well as code snippets.


Sufficient information is crucial for accurate decision making in any organisation . This can be seen in a University situation where many students are enrolled and correct decisions need to made on their progress conditions. These decisions need to be made swiftly to meet the tight schedule of a University academic year. The University Of Papua New Guinea registers thousands of students each year. Each of these students are required to consult a designated course advisor in order to sign up for courses. Much of the data required for this is transferred around on paper before it is entered into a student database by data entry clerks. This poses a few potential issues; there is a lot of time wasted in queues, excessive man-hours lost in course advising and human error in decision making as well as in data entry to name a few. These processes can be aided by implementing an electronic student information system to enhance the transfer of data, maintain data integrity and reduce human error, hence improving efficiency. Delivering this via web technology ensures that the system is accessible to the vast array of computers, devices and their operating software available today without the the need for a specific client software . Open source technologies were utilised in implementation for their flexibility and economy. A prototype was created using an SQLite database and the Perl based Catalyst web framework. Upon completion, fast retrieval and update of required data was achieved via only a web browser. Hypothetically, this will improve the current process, reducing error as well as saving time and money which can be better utilised.


Very cool! Are the thesis and/or the code available online somewhere?

Nice. Has it been accepted and deployed yet?

The last comment you thanked was actually comment spam. You will recognise these by the fact that the link entered in the link field of the comment form points to a product or company page rather than some personal homepage or blog, esp if the name entered in the comment form is not the (nick)name of a person, as in this case where it was “Abstract Management” – even if the body of the content is “signed” with a person’s name. That is a dead giveaway that someone is leaving the comment in order to communicate with Google’s crawler rather than with the author of the blog post – which signals comment spam regardless of how obviously commercial the linked page is.

Some cases are borderline: if the same link was just part of the body of a comment signed by a person, it would constitute a legitimate contribution to the discussion. But in this case the linked page shills a product that only has a tenuous keywordy connection to the content of your own post, which makes it obvious and unsubtle spam.

There are bots that search for blog posts with certain keywords in order to spam them with comments that aren’t completely unrelated to the content of the post, in the hope that they will appear relevant at a glance and thus survive a cursory check. (This one slipped even past me, initially; only your reply to it woke me up.) And since some comment forms filter out link tags, in order to maximise chances with a carpet-bombing approach, the comment contains the link in both the body and the link field of the form (hopefully at least one of those will work) – with a name added to the comment body to distract from the name the comment is actually signed with.

Anyway, I marked the comment as spam. I hope you don’t mind that I also deleted your “thank you” reply to it.

Leave a comment

About Kasek Galgal

user-pic I work in academia and I blog about Perl from a developing country's perspective. Papua New Guinean.