The World Wide Web (abbreviated as the Web or WWW) is a system of Internet servers that supports hypertext to access several Internet protocols on a single interface. Almost every protocol type available on the Internet is accessible on the Web. This includes e- mail, FTP, Telnet, and Usenet News. In addition to these, the World Wide Web has its own protocol: HyperText Transfer Protocol, or HTTP. These protocols will be explained below.
The World Wide Web provides a single interface for accessing all these protocols. This
creates a convenient and user-friendly environment. It is not necessary to be conversant
in these protocols within separate, command-level environments, as was typical in the
early days of the Internet. The Web gathers together these protocols into a single system.
Because of this feature, and because of the Web's ability to work with multimedia and
advanced programming languages, the Web is the most popular component of the
The operation of the Web relies primarily on hypertext as its means of information
retrieval. HyperText is a document containing words that connect to other documents.
These words are called links and are selectable by the user. A single hypertext document
can contain links to many documents. In the context of the Web, words or graphics may
serve as links to other documents, images, video, and sound. Links may or may not
follow a logical path, as each connection is programmed by the creator of the source
document. Overall, the Web contains a complex virtual web of connections among a vast
number of documents, graphics, videos, and sounds.
Producing hypertext for the Web is accomplished by creating documents with a language called HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. With HTML, tags are placed within the text to accomplish document formatting, visual features such as font size, italics and bold, and the creation of hypertext links. Graphics and multimedia may also be incorporated into an HTML document.
HTML is an evolving language, with new tags being added as each upgrade of the
language is developed and released. For example, visual formatting features are now
often separated from the HTML document and placed into Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
This has several advantages, including the fact that an external style sheet can centrally
control the formatting of multiple documents. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C),
led by Web founder Tim Berners-Lee, coordinates the efforts of standardizing HTML.
The W3C now calls the language XHTML and considers it to be an application of the
XML language standard.
The Web provides a vast array of experiences including multimedia presentations, real-
time collaboration, interactive pages, radio and television broadcasts, and the automatic
"push" of information to a client computer or to an RSS reader. Programming languages
the Web. Much information on the Web is served dynamically from content stored in
databases. The Web is therefore not a fixed entity, but one that is in a constant state of
development and flux.
The World Wide Web (or the "Web") is a system of interlinked,h ypert ext
documents accessed via theInternet. With a Web browser, a user views Web pages
that may containtext,images, and othermult imed ia and navigates between them
usingh yperl inks. The Web was created around 1990 by the Englishman Sir Tim
Viewing a Web page or other resource on the World Wide Web normally begins either by typing theURL of the page into a Web browser, or by following ah ypert ext link to that page or resource. The first step, behind the scenes, is for the server-name part of the URL to be resolved into an IP address by the global, distributedIntern et database known as the
The next step is for anHTTP request to be sent to the Web server, requesting the
resource. In the case of a typical Web page, theHTML text is first requested andparsed
by the browser, which then makes additional requests for graphics and any other files that
form a part of the page in quick succession. When considering web site popularity
statistics, these additional file requests give rise to the difference between one single
'page view' and an associated number of server 'hits'.
The Web browser thenrenders the page as described by theHTML,CSS and other files received, incorporating the images and other resources as necessary. This produces the on-screen page that the viewer sees.
If the user returns to a page fairly soon, it is likely that the data will not be retrieved from the source Web server, as above, again. By default, browserscache all web resources on the local hard drive. AnHTTP request will be sent by the browser that asks for the data
dynamic content, many of the basic resources are only supplied once per session or less.
site-wide files so that they can be downloaded into users' caches and reduce page
download times and demands on the server.
There are other components of the Internet that can cache Web content. The most
common in practice are often built into corporate and academicfirewa lls where they
cache web resources requested by one user for the benefit of all. Some search engines
such asGoogle orYah o o ! also store cached content from Web sites.
Apart from the facilities built into Web servers that can ascertain when physical files have
been updated, it is possible for designers of dynamically generated web pages to control
the HTTP headers sent back to requesting users, so that pages are not cached when they
should not be \u2014 for example Internet banking and news pages.
This helps with understanding the difference between the HTTP 'GET' and 'POST' verbs -
data requested with a GET may be cached, if other conditions are met, whereas data
obtained after POSTing information to the server usually will not.
) directly into the view. These
applets run on the end-user's computer, providing a richer user interface than simple web
pages. Java client-side applets never gained the popularity that Sun had hoped for, for a
variety of reasons including lack of integration with other content (applets were confined
to small boxes within the rendered page) and the fact that many computers at the time
were supplied to end users without a suitably installedJVM, and so required a download
by the user before applets would appear. Adobe Flash now performs many of the
functions that were originally envisioned for Java applets including the playing of video
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