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World Wide Web System Concepts and Components
(Page 2 of 3)
Major Functional Components of the Web
We know that equating the Web to
the entire Internet is not a precise use of terms, but it shows how
important the Web is and how closely it is tied to the Internet. Still,
while the Internet and TCP/IP are obviously important parts of the Web's
success, they are generic in nature. When it comes to defining the World
Wide Web system itself more specifically, three particular components
are usually considered most essential:
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML): A text
language used to define hypertext documents. The idea behind HTML was
to add simple constructs, called tags, to regular text documents,
to enable the linking of one document to another, as well as to allow
special data formatting and the combining of different types of media.
HTML has become the standard language for implementing information in
hypertext, and has spawned the creation of numerous other related languages.
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): The
TCP/IP application-layer protocol that implements the World Wide Web,
by enabling the transfer of hypertext documents and other files between
a client and server. HTTP began as a very crude protocol for transferring
HTML documents between computers, and has evolved to a full-featured
and sophisticated messaging protocol. It supports transfers of many
different kinds of documents, streaming of multiple files on a connection,
and various advanced features including caching, proxying and authentication.
- Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs): A
method of defining labels that identify resources on an internet so
that they can be easily found and referenced. URIs were originally developed
to provide a means by which the users of the Web could locate hypertext
documents so they could be retrieved. URIs are actually not specific
to the Web, though they are most often associated with the Web and HTTP.
All three of these were created and
developed at around the same time, and taken together represent the
key technologies that define the World Wide Web. The next two topics
in this section describe HTML
use of URIs in the context of the World
Wide Web. HTTP is really the heart of the Web and is covered extensively
own section later in this Guide.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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