World Wide Web Terminology

The WWW is the most widely used part of the Internet. It is based on URL's and http, and allows dynamic links to an incredible amount of information.

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A global network connecting millions computers. As of 1998, the Internet has more than 100 million users worldwide, and that number is growing rapidly. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services, such as America Online, offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP). For most of its existence the Internet was primarily a research and academic network. More recently, commercial enterprises and a vast number of consumers have come to recognize the Internet's potential. Today people and businesses around the world can use the Internet to retrieve information, communicate and conduct business globally, and access a vast array of services and resources on-line.
Short for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service provider gives you a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log on to the Internet and browse the World Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive e-mail. In addition to serving individuals, ISPs also serve large companies, providing a direct connection from the company's networks to the Internet. ISPs themselves are connected to one another through Network Access Points (NAPs). ISPs are also called IAPs (Internet Access Providers).
Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages. The two most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Both of these are graphical browsers, which means that they can display graphics as well as text. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video, though they require plug-ins for some formats.
URLs make it possible to direct both people and software applications to a variety of information, available from a number of different Internet protocols. Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located. protocol://domain_name.organization_type/full-path-of-file how://where/what As an exercise, let's look at this file's URL: The scheme for this URL is "http" for the HyperText Transfer Protocol. The Internet address of the machine is "", and the path to the file is "users/dwb/www-authoring.html". When working with the WWW, most URLs will appear very similar to this one's overall structure. Note that when using FTP, HTTP, and Gopher URLs, the "full-path-of-file" will sometimes end in a slash. This indicates that the URL is pointing not to a specific file, but a directory. In this case, the server generally returns the "default index" of that directory. This might be just a listing of the files available within that directory, or a default file that the server automatically looks for in the directory. With HTTP servers, this default index file is generally called "index.html", but is frequently seen as "homepage.html", "home.html", "welcome.html", or "default.html".
A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. This means you can jump from one document to another simply by clicking on hot spots. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide Web. Short for World Wide Web Consortium, an international consortium of companies involved with the Internet and the Web. The W3C was founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the original architect of the World Wide Web. The organization's purpose is to develop open standards so that the Web evolves in a single direction rather than being splintered among competing factions. The W3C is the chief standards body for HTTP and HTML.
Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page. HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement Web sites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies. Currently, most Web browsers and servers support HTTP 1.1. One of the main features of HTTP 1.1 is that it supports persistent connections. This means that once a browser connects to a Web server, it can receive multiple files through the same connection. This should improve performance by as much as 20%.
Hypertext simply means non linear text. A novel or magazine article is an example of linear text because it is meant to be read from beginning to end. Non linear communication is much harder to create because you must allow for the possibility of each reader accessing the material in a different order.
Short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. Hypertext, for easy navigation among resources (e.g. HyperText Markup Language or HTML, a standard format for describing the structure of documents for transmission of hypermedia documents). HTML documents are ASCII files with embedded codes for logical markup, format (text styles, document titles, paragraphs, tables) and hyperlinks. Hypertext, for easy navigation among resources (e.g. HyperText Markup Language or HTML, a standard format for describing the structure of documents for transmission of hypermedia documents). HTML documents are ASCII files with embedded codes for logical markup, format (text styles, document titles, paragraphs, tables) and hyperlinks.
markup tags
The components of HTML.
web page
A document on the WWW. Every web page is identified by a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
web site
A site (location) on the World Wide Web. Each Web site contains a home page, which is the first document users see when they enter the site. The site might also contain additional documents and files. Each site is owned and managed by an individual, company or organization.
home page
The main page of a Web site. Typically, the home page serves as an index or table of contents to other documents stored at the site.