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TCP/IP World Wide Web (WWW, "The Web") and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
So finally, we come to the Big Kahuna.
J In my overview
of file and message transfer protocols,
I said that the World Wide Web was almost certainly the
most important TCP/IP application. If anything, I was probably understating
the case. The Web is not only quite clearly the most important TCP/IP
application today, it is arguably the single most important application
in the history of networking, and perhaps even computing as a whole.
Does this sound a little melodramatic?
More than a little? Perhaps, but consider what the Web has done in the
decade or so that it has been around. It has transformed not only how
internetworks are used, but in many ways, has changed society itself.
The Web put the Internet on the map, so to speak, moving
it from the realm of technicians and academics and making it a big part
of the mainstream world.
In this section I describe the World
Wide Web in two subsections. The first discusses the Web and the concepts
behind hypertext and hypertext documents in general terms. The second
explains the operation of the all-important Hypertext Transfer Protocol
(HTTP), the TCP/IP application layer protocol that makes the Web
Note: As I've said in many other section headers, I simply cannot do complete justice here to a topic as large as the World Wide Web. There have not only been whole books written about the Web, there are shelves full of such books. Due to the already large size of this Guide, and its overall focus on how protocols and technologies work, I must contain my enthusiasm and limit my scope to providing an overview of what the Web is all about, while focusing on the nuts and bolts of HTTP itself.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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