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World Wide Web

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The World Wide Web, abbreviated as WWW and commonly known as the Web, is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. With a web browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and navigate between them by using hyperlinks. Using concepts from earlier hypertext systems, English engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, now the Director of the W3C, wrote a proposal in March 1989 for what would eventually become the World Wide Web.


Function

The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used in every-day speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. In contrast, the Web is one of the services that runs on the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. In short, the Web is an application running on the Internet. Viewing a web page on the World Wide Web normally begins either by typing the URL of the page into a web browser, or by following a hyperlink to that page or resource. The web browser then initiates a series of communication messages, behind the scenes, in order to fetch and display it.

First, the server-name portion of the URL is resolved into an IP address using the global, distributed Internet database known as the Domain Name System (DNS). This IP address is necessary to contact the Web server. The browser then requests the resource by sending an HTTP request to the Web server at that particular address. In the case of a typical web page, the HTML text of the page is requested first and parsed immediately by the web browser, which then makes additional requests for images and any other files that complete the page image. Statistics measuring a website's popularity are usually based either on the number of page views or associated server 'hits' (file requests) that take place.

While receiving these files from the web server, browsers may progressively render the page onto the screen as specified by its HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), or other page composition languages. Any images and other resources are incorporated to produce the on-screen web page that the user sees. Most web pages contain hyperlinks to other related pages and perhaps to downloadable files, source documents, definitions and other web resources. Such a collection of useful, related resources, interconnected via hypertext links is dubbed a web of information. Publication on the Internet created what Tim Berners-Lee first called the WorldWideWeb (in its original CamelCase, which was subsequently discarded) in November 1990.


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