Understanding The World Wide Web

Everyday we log on and​ get into this strange online world called the​ web. Now many of​ us believe that the​ Internet and​ web are the​ same, but though they are related, they are not quite the​ same thing. the​ Internet or​ the​ Net as​ we all call it​ now, is​ a​ worldwide system of​ interconnected computer networks. it​ transmits data using the​ Internet protocol. the​ net has many networks all tied together, carrying out many functions. These functions may be as​ different as​ email or​ pages of​ information, or​ even online chat. the​ Web is​ a​ read-write information space. it​ has resources like text documents, images and​ multimedia.

It is​ interesting to​ see how the​ web works. Anyone accessing the​ web will use a​ web browser like the​ Internet Explorer or​ Mozilla Firefox and​ the​ hypertext link to​ the​ page or​ resource is​ typed in. the​ address would read like this ‘http://www.example.com/mypage.html'. This address is​ given by the​ global, distributed Internet database known as​ the​ Domain Name System or​ DNS. to​ make this sound easier, in​ the​ above example, the​ address of​ the​ server is​ `http://www.example.com` and​ there, a​ request to​ view “mypage” is​ being made. HTTP or​ Hypertext Transfer Protocol helps in​ accessing the​ server. the​ DNS then turns all this into an​ individualized IP or​ Internet Protocol address. This will look like a​ phone number with four numbers between 0 and​ 255. the​ IP is​ a​ procedure set up by the​ Internet to​ find a​ server anywhere in​ the​ world. in​ fact once the​ IP address is​ known, the​ server can be located through the​ ISP or​ Internet Service Provider.

Once the​ IP address is​ reached, the​ web site and​ all its content becomes available to​ the​ user. Almost immediately the​ html or​ hypertext markup language code is​ sent back and​ the​ text and​ graphics are available to​ the​ browser. This happens fairly quickly, taking just a​ few seconds, helping us make the​ most optimum use of​ the​ web.

If things do not go as​ planned, the​ viewer will get an​ error message stating 'the page cannot be displayed'. This could mean that there is​ an​ error in​ the​ server name or​ the​ page being searched for​ does not exist. Sometimes the​ server could be busy or​ the​ page being searched has moved. it​ is​ best to​ follow the​ instructions given and​ continue.

All this sounds very simple, but today there is​ high degree of​ sophistication in​ the​ programming and​ solutions offered by a​ web page. the​ credit for​ designing the​ concept of​ the​ web goes to​ Tim Berners-Lee, when he built the​ "ENQUIRE". On August 6, 1991, he posted a​ short summary of​ the​ World Wide Web project on the​ alt.hypertext newsgroup, using the​ concept of​ HTML. This was the​ debut of​ the​ Web as​ a​ service on the​ Internet. He applied the​ idea of​ links to​ the​ Internet. This meant that the​ web became an​ accumulation of​ pages that could be accessed by clicking on links. Today we have benefited so much from this new communication system which makes the​ world so much smaller than before and​ has linked its many peoples as​ no other means could have ever done.

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