Today’s Goal is to …
Become familiar with the World Wide Web
Become familiar with the Web’s structure and how the Web works
Learn about its genesis, its evolution, and its future
About its impact on computing, society, commerce
A browser is an application program that provides a way to look at and
interact with all the information
on the World Wide Web. The word "browser" seems to have originated prior
to the Web as a generic
term for user interfaces that let you browse (navigate through and read)
text files online. By the time the
first Web browser with a graphical user interface was generally
available (Mosaic, in 1993), the term
seemed to apply to Web content, too. Technically, a Web browser is a
client program that uses the
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to make requests of Web servers
throughout the Internet on behalf
of the browser user.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator, previously Universal Resource Locator) -
or, in some quarters, UHRL - is the address of a file (resource)
accessible on the Internet. The type of
file or resource depends on the Internet application protocol. Using the
World Wide Web's protocol, the
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the resource can be an HTML page
(like the one you're reading),
an image file, or any other file supported by HTTP. The URL contains the
name of the protocol required
to access the resource, a domain name that identifies a specific
computer on the Internet, and a
pathname (hierarchical description of a file location) on the computer.
On the Web (which uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol), an example of a
Which describes a Web page to be accessed with an HTTP (Web browser)
application that is located on
a computer named www.ietf.org. The pathname for the specific file in
that computer is /rfc/rfc2396.txt.
An HTTP URL can be for any Web page, not just a home page, or any
What is a Web site?
A Web site is a related collection of World Wide Web (WWW) files that
includes a beginning file
called a home page. A company or an individual tells you how to get to
their Web site by giving you the
address of their home page. From the home page, you can get to all the
other pages on their site. For
example, the Web site for IBM has the home page address of
http://www.ibm.com. IBM's home page
address leads to thousands of pages but a web site can also be just of
What is Home Page of a web site?
1) For a Web user, the home page is the first Web page that is displayed
after starting a Web browser
like Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The browser
is usually preset so that the
home page is the first page of the browser manufacturer. However, you
can set it to open to any Web
site. For example, you can specify that "http://www.yahoo.com" or
"http://whatis.com" be your home
page. You can also specify that there be no home page (a blank space
will be displayed) in which case
you choose the first page from your bookmark list or enter a Web
2) For a Web site developer, a home page is the first page presented
when a user selects a site or
presence on the World Wide Web. The usual address for a Web site is the
home page address, although
you can enter the address (Uniform Resource Locator) of any page and
have that page sent to you.
3.5 Who invented the Web & Why?
"CERN is a meeting place for physicists from all over the world, who
collaborate on complex physics,
engineering and information handling projects. Thus, the need for the
WWW system arose "from the
geographical dispersion of large collaborations, and the fast turnover
of fellows, students, and visiting
scientists," who had to get "up to speed on projects and leave a lasting
contribution before leaving."
CERN possessed both the financial and computing resources necessary to
start the project. In the
original proposal, Berners-Lee outlined two phases of the project:
First, CERN would "make use of existing software and hardware as well as
browsers for the user's workstations, based on an analysis of the
requirements for information access
needs by experiments."
Second, they would "extend the application area by also allowing the
users to add new material."
Berners-Lee expected each phase to take three months "with the full
manpower complement": he was
asking for four software engineers and a programmer. The proposal talked
about "a simple scheme to
incorporate several different servers of machine-stored information
already available at CERN."
Set off in 1989, the WWW quickly gained great popularity among Internet
users. For instance, at 11:22
am of April 12, 1995, the WWW server at the SEAS of the University of
Pennsylvania "responded to
128 requests in one minute. Between 10:00 and 11:00
3.6 Future of the Web: Semantic Web
The Semantic Web is an idea of World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee
that the Web as a whole
can be made more intelligent and perhaps even intuitive about how to
serve a user's needs. Berners-Lee
observes that although search engines index much of the Web's content,
they have little ability to select
the pages that a user really wants or needs. He foresees a number of
ways in which developers and
authors, singly or in collaborations, can use self-descriptions and
other techniques so that contextunderstanding
programs can selectively find what users want.
What have we learnt today?
What is the World Wide Web?
How does it work?
About its expected evolution into the Semantic Web
The impact of the Web on computing, society, and commerce