The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. With a Web browser, a user views Web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and navigates between them using hyperlinks.
The World Wide Web was created in 1989 by British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, and released in 1992.
Since then, Berners-Lee has played an active role in guiding the development of Web standards (such as the markup languages in which Web pages are composed), and in recent years has advocated his vision of a Semantic Web.
How it works
Viewing a Web page on the World Wide Web normally begins either by typing the URL of the page into a Web browser, or by following a hyperlink to that page or resource. The Web browser then initiates a series of communication messages, behind the scenes, in order to fetch and display it.
First, the server-name portion of the URL is resolved into an IP address using the global, distributed Internet database known as the domain name system, or DNS. This IP address is necessary to contact and send data packets to the Web server.
The browser then requests the resource by sending an HTTP request to the Web server at that particular address.
In the case of a typical Web page, the HTML text of the page is requested first and parsed immediately by the Web browser, which will then make additional requests for images and any other files that form a part of the page.
Statistics measuring a website's popularity are usually based on the number of 'page views' or associated server 'hits', or file requests, which take place.
Having received the required files from the Web server, the browser then renders the page onto the screen as specified by its HTML, CSS, and other Web languages. Any images and other resources are incorporated to produce the on-screen Web page that the user sees.
Many formal standards and other technical specifications define the operation of different aspects of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and computer information exchange.
Many of the documents are the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), headed by Berners-Lee, but some are produced by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other organizations.
Usually, when Web standards are discussed, the following publications are seen as foundational:
Recommendations for markup languages, especially HTML and XHTML, from the W3C. These define the structure and interpretation of hypertext documents.
Recommendations for stylesheets, especially CSS, from the W3C.
Recommendations for the Document Object Model, from W3C.
Additional publications provide definitions of other essential technologies for the World Wide Web, including, but not limited to, the following:
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), which is a universal system for referencing resources on the Internet, such as hypertext documents and images. URIs, often called URLs, are defined by the IETF's RFC 3986 / STD 66: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax, as well as its predecessors and numerous URI scheme-defining RFCs;
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), especially as defined by RFC 2616:
HTTP/1.1 and RFC 2617: HTTP Authentication, which specify how the browser and server authenticate each other.
A significant advance in Web technology was Sun Microsystems' Java platform. It enables Web pages to embed small programs (called applets) 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 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 installed Java Virtual Machine, 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 content, animation, and some rich GUI features. Java itself has become more widely used as a platform and language for server-side and other programming.
called Dynamic HTML (DHTML), to emphasize a shift away from static HTML displays.
This allows the page to be more responsive, interactive and interesting, without the user having to wait for whole-page reloads. Ajax is seen as an important aspect of what is being called Web 2.0. Examples of Ajax techniques currently in use can be seen in Gmail, Google Maps, and other dynamic Web applications.
Publishing Web pages
Web page production is available to individuals outside the mass media. In order to publish a Web page, one does not have to go through a publisher or other media institution, and potential readers could be found in all corners of the globe.
Many different kinds of information are available on the Web, and for those who wish to know other societies, cultures, and peoples, it has become easier.
The increased opportunity to publish materials is observable in the countless personal and social networking pages, as well as sites by families, small shops, etc., facilitated by the emergence of free Web hosting services
WWW prefix in Web addresses
The letters "www" are commonly found at the beginning of Web addresses because of the long-standing practice of naming Internet hosts (servers) according to the services they provide.
This use of such prefixes is not required by any technical standard; indeed, the first Web server was at "nxoc01.cern.ch", and even today many Web sites exist without a "www" prefix. The "www" prefix has no meaning in the way the main Web site is shown. The "www" prefix is simply one choice for a Web site's host name.
Some Web browsers will automatically try adding "www." to the beginning, and possibly ".com" to the end, of typed URLs if no host is found without them. ll major web browser will also prefix "http://www." and append ".com" to the address bar contents if the Control and Enter keys are pressed simultaneously.
Interface Design Tools
Tools used for designing the interface, development environments for writing code, and toolkits of graphical user interfaces.
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