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The Internet is a network of computer networks. It makes it possible for any computer connected to it to send and receive data from any other computer connected to it.

America Online, Comcast, Earthlink, etc. are examples of Internet service providers. They make it physically possible for you to send and access data from the Internet. They allow you to send and receive data to and from their computers or routers which are connected to the Internet.

World Wide Web is an example of an information protocol/service that can be used to send and receive information over the Internet. It supports:

Multimedia Information (text, movies, pictures, sound, programs . . . ). HyperText Information (information that contains links to other information resources). Graphic User Interface (so users can point and click to request information instead of typing in text commands). The World Wide Web is an example of an information protocol/service that works using a Client/Server software design. (Client/Server is an ADJECTIVE that describes the software, not a noun!) A service that uses Client/Server design requires two pieces of software to work: Client software which you use to request information, and Server software which an Information Provider (like Fermilab or a museum) uses to answer requests and provide their information. Most Internet information protocol/services are designed this way.

The Client/Server relationship is similar to the relationship between the TV in your house and the TV stations you can select. Your TV acts as a client by tuning in (requesting information) from a TV station which acts as a server by broadcasting (serving) the information.

This means that if you encounter an error while using your Web browser, this may be due to a problem with the Web server you are contacting for information. It does not necessarily mean that your browser isn't working, or that you installed something improperly. Just like in the case of the TV and the TV

station, sometimes problems are due to a bad TV, and other times they are caused by a problem at the TV station.

The server software for the World Wide Web is called an HTTP server (or informally a Web server). Examples are Apache and IIS. The client software for World Wide Web is called a Web browser. Examples are: Netscape, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Mozilla. These examples are particular "brands" of software that have a similar function, just like Lotus 123 and Excel are both spreadsheet software packages.

There are many different information protocols/services besides HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol).

Some of these are:

E-mail (SMTP) - for sending electronic mail messages. Usenet News (NNTP) - for having electronic group discussions. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - for transferring files between computers. Telnet - for running programs on remote computers. Various Others . . . Each of these works in a client/server manner by having a "language" defined that allows the client and server to communicate with each other in order to give users the information they request. These different languages have different purposes, capabilities, and advantages.

One of the nicest things about the World Wide Web is that it provides "one-stop shopping" for getting information over the Internet. In the past, you would have needed to learn how to use many different software applications in order to use all these services. Now you can use E-mail, News, FTP, Telnet, WAIS, Gopher, and HTTP services all through your favorite Web browser. II. World Wide Web basics

World Wide Web (or WWW) is in essence an electronic publishing and distribution mechanism. It is an application of the Internet used to distribute units of information called pages.

Each page usually consists of both text and images together with metatextual declarations and formatting instructions written in the Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML). Related pages are normally connected together by means of HTML hyperlinks, which cause the referenced page to be displayed when you click on the link; a set of such pages is known as a Web-site. Effective Web pages combine skills of both content and design. A successful design recognises the characteristics of the electronic medium and takes advantage of them rather than attempts to imitate print publication. A page may consist of text, graphics (including photographic images and animations), sound, links to other pages and on occasion programming code for specialised actions. Pages are composed offline, using one of many programs. A specialized program is not necessary: a simple text-editor will suffice. They must then be uploaded to an existing Web site. Once there they may be viewed from anywhere in the world. The viewing software is called a browser. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox. Both are provided free of charge. When a browser accesses a page, the server sends it the mixture of text and metatext that the author of the page has composed and uploaded. The browser then interprets the metatextual declarations and instructions, assembling any referenced parts (such as images, which are in separate files) from their source location(s). It then produces the resulting effects on your screen. How the page appears is always to some degree a function of the settings in the browser. Images tend significantly to increase the amount of time required to download a page to the reader. Therefore it is wise to keep images and image-size to a reasonable minimum. Because your potential audience may consist of individuals who do not have equipment as up-to-date as your own, and some of whom may be blind or visually impaired, it is also wise to provide the essential information in a way accessible in a text-only environment.