CS 3214 Exercises and Projects Spring 2014


ID Deliverable Due Date Max Score/Weight Time Left Submission Type


ID Deliverable Due Date Max Score/Weight Time Left Submission Type

The exercises are to be completed individually. The projects require group work.

For the group projects, you should have committed to a group before you start. You may not switch groups during the project for which you have committed without permission from your instructor. The group size for the projects is 2 students.

Here is a small application you can use to find out which students haven't declared that there are in a group. Use your SLO login to get access to this list. When you have found a group, use the application to remove yourself from the availability list.


Project & Exercise Submission Instructions

The instructions below apply to both projects and exercises.

To determine what to include in your submission, read the description of the deliverable. Some deliverables require you to submit a single file in a specific format, some require you to create a compressed tar archive (a .tar.gz file) of multiple files, some may require you to submit multiple items individually under different ids.

If a compressed archive is required, issue the command 'tar czvf filename.tar.gz *' from within the directory to archive its contents into a file called 'filename.tar.gz'.

To upload your submission for grading:

   Upload your file using the submit script from the command line:

   submit.pl <ID> name_of_your_file_or_archive

   This command can be found in ~cs3214/bin.

   Note: The first parameter (ID) of the script is the
    identifier of the deliverable you want to submit. See the column ID above.
    For exercises, this will be 'ex1', 'ex2', etc.

Alternatively, you can submit via the submission web page. To access the submission page, log on with your CS SLO account (that's the same account you use to log on to rlogin.cs.vt.edu).

Please note:

Following these instructions ensures that the GTA's can use scripts to extract, build, and grade your submissions.


Question: Sorry to bother you with yet another e-mail but the submission system keeps rejecting my file. I have been trying to submit my file for the a while now and it's not letting me. I typed my solution in notepad++ with the correct encoding. I tried to switch to notepad but it's still not taking it.

First, run 'file' yourselves:

$ file Exercise\ 4.txt
Exercise 4.txt: Unicode text, UTF-8

(Note the \ is to escape the 'space' in the filename, inserted when using the shell's auto-completion.)

Ok, so it thinks it's Unicode in UTF-8 encoding and, moreover, the set of bytes used in the encoding exceeds ASCII. Let's find the culprit by trying to convert to ASCII:

$ iconv --from=utf8 --to=ascii Exercise\ 4.txt
iconv: illegal input sequence at position 0

Position 0 means the very first byte in the file makes it impossible to convert.  Ok, let's look at the file byte-by-byte:

$ od -t x1 Exercise\ 4.txt | head -2
0000000 ef bb bf 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d
0000020 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d

('od' - octal dump, use -t type hexadecimal byte-by-byte ('x1'), and cut off all lines except the first two (head -2)).

There are non-ASCII bytes at the beginning: EF BB BF. ASCII ends at 0x7F or 127 decimal.   Google EF BB BF.  It's the dreaded BOM, or byte-order-mark, used in Unicode files.

Google how to remove it.

$ vi Exercise\ 4.txt
:set nobomb

and you're done:
$ file Exercise\ 4.txt
Exercise 4.txt: ASCII English text

I've shown the command line way of dealing with this. You can, of course, simply turn off the BOM in your editor (such as Notepad++); and instead of od, iconv, etc. etc. you can probably use Windows tools as well.

The point is that learning how to diagnose character set related issues is a necessary skill if you want to be a practicing computer scientist.

Another hint: I recommend setting your LANG environment variable to C by adding

export LANG=C
to your .bashrc file. This way, gcc will not print fancy Unicode left/right quotes in its error messages.

Lastly, note that 'iconv' with 'iconv --from=ascii --to=ascii' can be used to quickly find out at which offset in a file a non-ASCII character occurs (if you managed to insert one into your files.)

Project 1: Extensible Shell

Please use the grouper app to indicate your groups. This information needs to be provided before SVN groups can be assigned.

Project 2: Thread Pool and Futures

Project 3: Malloc Lab

Project 4: 'sysstatd' Web Service

Example services mentioned in the handout will be up after P3 closes