Characteristics of the Web
1) Grew out of the need of scientists who wanted to share information and to collaborate from geographically dispersed locations.
2) Is a client/server system. The Web is a collection of electronic sites stored on many thousands of serves all over the world. Each site consists of a home page and often other pages stored with it. Pages contain hyperlinks to related pages, usually stored on other sites.
3) Access to the Web is through a client program, known as a browser. The browser sends out for the needed page into the internet, interprets the formatting directions on the retrieved page, and displays the page accordingly on the screen.
4) To access a Web site, you provide the browser with the site’s identifier, known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
5) A search engine is a Web facility that maintains its own information about the documents available on the Web.
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Although many consider the internet a recent phenomenon, in reality it has existed and grown since the early 1980s. Above all, the internet is a communications medium. It has transformed the way information is disseminated or exchanged, is changing the way we do business, access information, and view entertainment today, and holds the promise of becoming as indispensable as the telephone network.
Over 100 million hosts are connected to this network. The internet is a constantly growing, evolving, and changing network. It is extremely difficult to define the structure of the internet or explain its characteristics. Some have even referred to it as a living organism that constantly keeps growing at its edges, and as such has a life of its own.
There is little historical precedent for the swift and dramatic growth of the internet, which was originally a limited scientific communication network developed by the U.S. government to facilitate cooperation among federal researchers and the university research community. With its rapid adoption by the private sector, the internet has remained an important research tool, and it is also becoming a vital ingredient in maintaining and increasing the scientific and commercial leadership of the United States.
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Internet and WWW Acronyms. People that communicate with each other electronically may not have the same “platform”. “Cross-platform” means that people do not have to use the same kind of operating system to access files on a remote system. In order to access the Web there are two basic mechanisms:
1) Using the telephone system to link to another computer or network that is connected to the internet, and
2) Connecting to a network; and from there into the Internet. An internet service provider (ISP) may be required to access the internet. An important factor regarding internet access is bandwidth, which determines how much data a connection can accommodate and the speed at which data can be accessed.
Information on the Web is generally written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which is a text-based markup language that describes the structure of a Web document’s content and some of its properties. It can also be viewed as a files, graphic files, still or dynamic images files, and sound files. HTML contains the information or text to be displayed and the control needed for its display or playback.