Designing Interactive Systems II SS 2008 (Bonn)


Course schedule is tentative and subject to change. Links to lecture notes and assignments will be posted as the semester progresses.
Note: You must be registered with the class to download the lecture notes and assignments.


  • Oct 16: The final table of the course grades is online. Sorry for the delay, a deadline came in between.
  • Aug 15: The updated results of the second chance final exam are online. Just click on the link in the table.
  • Jul 25: The date of the second chance exam changed again: Now it is Monday, August 11th, 10:30am, room 2010. You can take this exam only if you failed the final exam and are a BA or MA student. You have to register for it by sending a mail to gero(at)!
  • Jul 23: The updated results of the final exam are online. Just click on the link in the table.
  • Jul 18: The results of the final exam are online. Just click on the link in the table. You can inspect your exam paper on Tuesday, Jul 22, 2:15pm, Room 2.1.
  • The LAST b-it Mac lab will be held this Wednesday, July 9 during the usual hours 13:0019:00.
  • The b-it Mac lab will not be open on Monday, June 30.
  • Jun 11: The updated results of the midterm exam are online. Just click on the link in the table.
  • Tuesday lab hours are now being shifted to Monday. The new lab hours are therefore:
    • Monday 13:0016:00
    • Wednesday 13:0019:00
  • There won't be a lecture/lab on Jun 3 due to the midterm exam.
  • The b-it Mac lab will not be open on May 27, Jun 10 and Jul 8 (when lectures are held in Aachen).
  • May 27: For those who have problems with the Motif assignment:
    • OpenMotif and X11 have to be installed on your system. If you don't know what either is, you must have slept through the last two lectures. (:wink:)
    • If you cannot install both on your system you can use the Macs in our mac lab. In this case you have to first edit makeconfig.cfg and replace /sw/ by /opt/local/ since we switched from fink to Darwin Ports.
  • The lectures on May 27, Jun 10, and Jul 8 will be held in Aachen - transport will be provided.
  • May 19: Despite anything that parts of this website or the assignment sheets say - we are not accepting late submissions of assignments any more!
  • The b-it Mac lab will not be open on Jul 15.
  • Please notice that next week's lecture will be held in Aachen. Transport from b-it to RWTH and back will be provided: a bus will leave at 2.15pm from b-it and return there around 9pm. You need to register for that tour by writing an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Lab hours will be offered even if there is no formal lab session (e.g. on 13.05.08)
  • Lab hours at b-it are now officially fixed to
    • Tuesday 15:4519:00
    • Wednesday 13:0019:00
  • Apr 15: Welcome to this year's DIS2 course! (:cool:) The teaching schedule is still preliminary and will be subject to changes (this might be true for the exam dates, too!).

Teaching Schedule

Lecture Notes
Video Recordings (Right click and save)
Required Reading
Recommended Reading
15.04.08 Introduction, Taxonomy of Input Devices 1-up 4-up   Input devices (Card) Labs intro
22.04.08 Window Systems Architecture, Graphics Event Library 1-up 4-up   Window System Architecture (Gosling) none
29.04.08 Base Window System 1-up 4-up   none none
06.05.08 Window Manager, User Interface Toolkit Layer 1up 4-up   none none
13.05.08 no lecture/lab - Exkursionswoche in AC        
20.05.08 Smalltalk, MVC, Macintosh Toolbox (in Aachen, see announcements) 1-up 4-up   Smalltalk-80 user manual, Morphic User Interface (Maloney), Squeak pp. 20-35 (Maloney) none
27.05.08 X Window System, OSF/Motif (in Aachen, see announcements) 1-up 4-up   The X Window System (Scheifler) none
03.06.08 no lecture/lab because of midterm exam        
04.06.08 Midterm Exam, 10:00 - 11:00, seminar room 2.1      
10.06.08 Mac OS X (in Aachen, see announcements) 1-up 4-up   none none
17.06.08 Windows (and Stever Ballmer videos) 1-up 4-up   none none
24.06.08 Web 2.0 1-up 4-up   What is Web 2.0, Emotionally-centered Design none
01.07.08 Java AWT, Swing, iPhone 1-up 4-up   none none
08.07.08 Interactive Multimedia: Audio Input and Output, Visual Output, Displays & Course Evaluation (in Aachen, see announcements) 1-up 4-up   Sonic Finder (Gaver), ARKola (Gaver) none
15.07.08 no lecture because of final exam        
17.07.08 Final Exam      
11.08.08 Second Chance Final Exam      


No.TopicMaterialsDue Date
1 Hello GUI none 22.04.08
2 Input Devices Data Points 29.04.08
3 In deep GEL GEL class 06.05.08
4 Windows none 20.05.08
5 Managing Windows none 27.05.08
6 The X Factor Sample Code, XmTutor 10.06.08
7 X-Squared none 17.06.08
8 BUT: A Basic User Interface Toolkit none 24.06.08
9 Google Web Toolkit none 08.07.08


  • Midterm Exam: Jun 4, 10:00-11:30, Seminar room 2.1
  • Final Exam: July 17, 10:00-11:00, Marschallsaal

Important: Please note the date of the midterm exam and final exam. In the event that you cannot make it on those dates, it is your responsibility to notify us by May 1 for the midterm exam and by Jul 1 for the final exam, or you will receive a grade of zero.

Grading Policy

If you wish to take the course for credit, you must complete all assignments, lab exercises and exams. You will receive a schein upon successful completion of the course with a grade. The grade will be calculated as follows:

  • 25% - lab exercises, assignments
  • 25% - midterm exam
  • 50% - final exam

Note that you must achieve a cumulative score above 4.0 and pass the final exam to pass the course.

Assignments and Lab Exercises

Assignments/lab exercises will be assigned weekly. They are to be completed in groups of 2 or 3. If you do not complete the lab exercise during the scheduled lab section, you must complete it on your own time and submit it the following week together with the assignment for that week. Lab exercises and assignments will be graded on the following scale:

  • 1.0 - exceptional work that clearly went above and beyond what was given on the exercise
  • 2.0 - exercise was completed satisfactorily as per the assignment specification
  • 3.0 - exercise was completed, but has some problems
  • 4.0 - incomplete exercise
  • 5.0 - little or no effort was put into the exercise

The assignments are designed to be completed in the new Mac lab in the B-IT building, consisting of Apple PowerMac G5 machines. However, many of the tools we will be using are cross-platform you are welcome to complete the assignment on your platform of choice. However, it will be your responsibility to ensure your program(s) run on the machines in the lab. Programs that do not run correctly on the lab machines will be graded as incomplete. We will be able to provide technical support for the lab machines only. Please note that submissions with a written component that do not meet the basic standards of university-level English will not be graded (example). They will be returned to you, and you will have the option of resubmitting the assignment with the usual late penalty.

Late Policy

Late assignments will be graded with a penalty of 0.5 grade points per 24 hour period after the due date. Exceptions will be granted only for valid (i.e. medical) reasons.

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