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This tutorial covers the basics of the World Wide Web, focusing on its technical aspects. After all, the Web is a technological phenomenon. Therefore it's useful to understand some of the fundamentals of how it works. The WORLD WIDE WEB is a system of Internet servers that supports hypertext and multimedia to access several Internet protocols on a single interface. The World Wide Web is often abbreviated as the WEB or WWW. The World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee of the European Particle Physics Lab (CERN) in Switzerland. The initial purpose of the Web was to use networked hypertext to facilitate communication among its members, who were located in several countries. Word was soon spread beyond CERN, and a rapid growth in the number of both developers and users ensued. In addition to hypertext, the Web began to incorporate graphics, video, and sound. The use of the Web has reached global proportions and has become a defining element of human culture in an amazingly short period of time. In order for the Web to be accessible to anyone, certain agreed-upon standards must be followed in the creation and delivery of its content. An organization leading the efforts to standardize the Web is the World Wide Web (W3C) Consortium. Take a look at the W3C Consortium Web site to get an idea of its activities. A lot of the material is technical because, after all, the Web is a technical phenomenon.
Protocols of the Web
The surface simplicity of the Web comes from the fact that many individual protocols can be contained within a single Web site. INTERNET PROTOCOLS are sets of rules that allow for intermachine communication on the Internet. These are a few of the protocols you can experience on the Web: HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol): transmits hyptertext over networks. This is the protocol of the Web.
E-mail (Simple Mail Transport Protocol or SMTP): distributes e-mail messages and attached files to one or more electronic mailboxes.
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command-level environments. Because of this feature. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): allows delivery of voice communications over IP networks. images. for example. and because of the Web's ability to work with multimedia and advanced programming languages. to download software. Hypertext and links: the motion of the Web The operation of the Web relies primarily on HYPERTEXT as its means of information retrieval. for example. words or graphics may serve as links to other documents. This meant you needed to know the text commands and type them out to make things happen. Overall. or HTML.internettutorials. images. it was necessary to know how to use protocols within separate. Links may or may not follow a logical path. These words are called links and are selectable by the user. and sound. Producing hypertext for the Web is accomplished by creating documents with a language called HYPERTEXT MARKUP LANGUAGE. A single hypertext document can contain links to many documents. video. italics and bold. videos. since it gathers these protocols together into a unified graphical system. <strong>This 2 of 8 4/27/2011 6:48 PM . The Web provides a single. In the context of the Web.Understanding the World Wide Web http://www. as each connection is created by the author of the source document.net/www. Once upon a time. graphical interface for accessing these and other protocols. visual features such as font size. The Web is much easier. <p> This is a paragraph that shows the underlying HTML code. tags are placed within the text to accomplish document formatting. the Web contains a complex virtual web of connections among a vast number of documents. and the creation of hypertext links.asp FTP (File Transfer Protocol): transfers files between an FTP server and a computer. and sounds. This creates a convenient and user-friendly environment. HyperText is a document containing words that connect to other documents. the Web is by far the most popular component of the Internet. phone calls. With HTML.
a page will be created containing the results of your search. Doing a search on a search engine to retrieve pages on the topic of your choice (See: The World of Search Engines) 4. design features are often separated from the content of the HTML page and placed into CASCADING STYLE SHEETS (CSS). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).both text and multimedia . taken from the search engine Hakia. For example.</em> </p> HTML is an evolving language.asp sentence is rendered in bold text</strong>. if you visit a Web search engine and enter keywords on the topic of your choice. Nowadays. In fact. led by Web founder Tim Berners-Lee. You can see an example of such a page below. Web pages can be created by user activity. including the fact that an external style sheet can centrally control the design of multiple pages.throughout the Internet. a growing amount of information found on the Web today is served from databases. including: 1. with new tags being added as each upgrade of the language is developed and released. coordinates the efforts of standardizing HTML. Access to Web pages can be accomplished in all sorts of ways. The W3C now calls the language XHTML and considers it to be an application of the XML language standard. creating temporary Web pages "on the fly" in response to user searches.internettutorials. called pages or Web pages. Browsing through sites and selecting links to move from one page to another both within and beyond the site 3.net/www. <em>This sentence is rendered in italic text. This practice has several advantages. Pages on the Web The backbone of the World Wide Web are its files. containing information and links to resources . This page only exists as a result of a search. Entering a Web address into your browser and retrieving a page directly 2.Understanding the World Wide Web http://www. Clicking on links within e-mail messages 3 of 8 4/27/2011 6:48 PM . Searching through directories containing links to organized collections of Web pages (See: The World of Subject Directories) 5.
htm This URL is typical of addresses hosted in domains in the United States. Web browsers use the URL to retrieve the file from the server.htm Note how much information about the content of the file is present in this well-constructed URL. Since numeric strings are difficult for humans to use.46. The DNS is a worldwide system of servers that stores location pointers to Web sites. has a unique URL. the browser can contact the Web server and ask for a specific file located on its site.net/www. alphneumeric addresses are employed by end users.254 is also www. 1. Second-level domain name: senate 4.microsoft. Several top-level domains (TLDs) are common in the United States: 4 of 8 4/27/2011 6:48 PM .Understanding the World Wide Web http://www. The numeric address. Senate of a live video stream sent by a camera pointed at the U.com. Once the translation is made by the DNS. the Web is a CLIENT -SERVER network. no matter what its protocol. URL Every file on the Internet.S. Protocol: http 2. 207. Anatomy of a URL This is the format of the URL: protocol://host/path/filename For example. Because of this relationship between clients and servers.192. this is a URL from the site of the U. Directory name: general 6. Using apps on social networking sites or your mobile phone to access Web and other online content 7. For example. Top-level domain name: gov 5. Host computer name: www 3. This file is downloaded to the user's computer. and displayed on the monitor connected to the machine.internettutorials. Retrieving updates via RSS feeds and clicking on links within these feeds (See: RSS Basics) Retrieving doucuments on the Web: the URL and Domain Name System stands for UNIFORM RESOURCE LOCATOR. connected to the Internet. Capitol: http://www. URLs are translated into numeric addresses using the DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (DNS). The structure of this URL is shown below. is actually the "real" URL.senate.gov/general/capcam. File name: capcam. or CLIENT . or SERVER.asp 6. called the IP (INTERNET PROTOCOL) ADDRESS.S. The URL specifies the Internet address of a file stored on a host computer.
info.pro (for professionals) .htm &SpillLink=8&Subject=Waterway%20Closure%20Map&-SortField=EntryDate& -SortOrder=descend&-SortField=EntryTime&-SortOrder=descend&-Token=8& -Max=20&-Find The first part of this URL looks familiar. is any program designed to process data that conforms to the CGI specification. What follows are search elements that query the database and determine the order of the results. or script. . for example. The resulting URLs can have a variety of elaborate structures. http://spills.internettutorials. It is difficult to talk about these languages without getting into too much technical jargon. military entity network access provder usually nonprofit organizations Additional domain names were approved in November 2000 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): . including C.incidentnews. A CGI program. . unconventional domain names have been marketed outside of the system.asp com edu gov mil net org commercial enterprise educational institution U. dozens of domain names have been assigned to identify and locate files stored on servers in countries around the world. and Visual 5 of 8 4/27/2011 6:48 PM . The program can be written in any programming language. for example. government entity U. and .museum. In the meantime. Programming languages and environments The use of programming languages beyond HTML extend the capabilities of the Web.biz. and perform all kinds of advanced functions. Perl. URLs have become more complex. these types of URLs are appearing more commonly in your browser's address window. fetch and display data. These are referred to as COUNTRY CODES.aero (for the aerospace industry).coop (for cooperatives). .name (for individuals). In addition.tv for sites that offer content similar to television broadcasts.gov/incidentnews/FMPro?-db=images&-Format=maps. What follows is a brief guide to some of the more common languages in use on the Web today.S. For example: ch de jp uk Switzerland Germany Japan United Kingdom As the technology of the Web evolves. CGI (Common Gateway Interface) refers to a specification by which programs can communicate with a Web server.Understanding the World Wide Web http://www. They are used to write software. As a growing number of databases serve content to the Web. ICANN continues to investigate proposals for addding additional domain names and new ones are on the way. process Web forms. but here is an attempt. . This is especially the case when content is retrieved from databases and served onto Web pages. . and have been standardized by the International Standards Organization as ISO 3166.net/www.S.
net 8 of 8 4/27/2011 6:48 PM . Cohen ~ Some rights reserved ~ Site updated: 21 April 2011 ~ www.internettutorials.Understanding the World Wide Web http://www.asp Laura B.internettutorials.net/www.
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