What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web

The world wide web is a collection of networks that connect computers around the globe. It has radically changed the way that people communicate with each other and access information. It has also made it easier for companies to share information and products.

Internet Protocol Suite

It is based on the Internet protocol suite of protocols and software interfaces. It is a set of technologies that help users to display text, graphics, audio and video on the Internet.

Evolution of Web Browsers

Initially, it was used only to surf the Internet but now, Web browsers are being developed that can be used for different purposes like conducting searches, mail, transferring files and many more.

Birth of the World Wide Web

In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was a scientist at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, when he came up with the idea of using hypertext technology to create a system that would enable scientists to access their information and documentation from anywhere in the world. He outlined his plan in a paper and began working on the project over the following years.

Collaboration and Development

After his proposal was published, Berners-Lee asked other developers to write software that could help him with his project. One of these developers, Robert Calliou, helped him develop the first version of the World Wide Web. He worked on the project for about a decade until it was finalized in 1990. It became a part of the public domain in 1993 and allowed companies and individuals to create their own websites to share information with the world.

Universal Standard and Collaboration

It was designed to have a universal standard for communication, breaking down silos while still allowing diversity to flourish. This was achieved by allowing everyone to contribute to the creation of the standards through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a transparent, democratic process.

Protocols and Functioning

The world wide web uses a number of protocols to allow for its functioning, such as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Every request that is made to a Web page also requires these two protocols to be in place.

Accessing Web Documents

To access a Web document, a client supplies a unique universal identifier called a URL or URI. This identifier is typically a string of letters and numbers, but can be any combination of symbols that are recognized as representing a resource on the Web.

Role of Servers and Clients

A server, which is a computer program, stores and transmits documents on the Web when requested by clients. This server may be a single computer, or an entire network of computers. The server may be accessed from any client that has an Internet connection, but it is usually the client itself that requests information from the server when needed. The client uses a special software interface called a web browser to view the information stored on the server.

E-commerce and Economic Growth

In addition to its function as a communications medium, the Web also enables consumers and businesses to engage in electronic commerce, which has significantly contributed to economic growth over the past two decades. In the United States, e-commerce accounted for one third of real economic growth in the 1990s.

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