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SDP Show # 2 : Web Basics That Every Student and Web Developer Should Know

Web Basics that every Student & Web Developer should know.

As a student and a developer we usually browse the web all the time. But do we really know how the Web works under the hood or what are the pieces of technology that makes the web so easy to use and consume the oceanic information from it.

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SDP Episode # 2: Web Basics that every Student & Web Developer should know

As a student and a developer we usually browse the web all the time. But do we really know how the Web works under the hood or what are the pieces of technology that makes the web so easy to use and consume the oceanic information from it.

WWW, Internet, Net, the Web, Web Pages, Web Browser?

Tim Berners Lee, a British computer scientist invented the web in 1989.

The World Wide Web is an information system or interlinked hypertext documents that are accessed via the Internet and built on top of the Domain Name System.

Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard TCP/IP to link several billion devices worldwide.

The term TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol. Internet Protocol (IP) is used by TCP to transport data from one network to another and it’s job is to find a way to connect with other computer in a network and transport the data using the Transmission Control Protocol i.e. TCP.

TCP is a transport protocol used by other protocols like HTTP for web, FTP for file transfer, SMTP for sending and receiving emails.

Benefit of using TCP to transport data is that the data is safely transferred without errors from one point to another. We’ll talk about HTTP towards the end of this podcast.

What is a web page and a web browser?

Individual document pages on the WWW are called Web Pages and are accessed with a Software application running on the user’s computer commonly called a Web Browser. Web Browser is one of the most complicated piece of software that every individuals use every day without knowing it. Why complicated? Because it lets you play videos, music, movies, games, display images, show animations, chatting, video chatting and hell lot of other stuffs. There are a lot browsers out there and the most popular ones are Chrome, Firefox, IE and Safari on a MAC and also lets include the latest up-coming browser in the list called Microsoft Edge which will be shipped with the Latest Windows OS i.e. Windows 10.

What is DNS, Domain Name?

DNS is a distributed naming system for computers, services connected to the internet or a private network.

Its job is to translate the domain name which can be easily memorized by humans, to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of computer services and devices worldwide.

The internet maintains two principal namespaces the Domain Name hierarchy and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses

the domain name system maintains the domain name hierarchy and provides translating services between it and the addresses spaces.

Every website is exposed to the internet through IP addresses and not domain name at least technically. It’s the job of the Domain Name system to maintain a list of corresponding records of IP addresses with their corresponding domain names. For example visit this IP address http://216.58.196.4/ see Google Yes its Google India IP address. As we browse hundreds of websites everyday it becomes difficult to remember so many IP addresses and that’s where a Domain Name comes into the picture. Domain Names are website names for example www.google.com provided by Domain Name providers like Namecheap.com hostgator.com blue host and many others. So now when you enter www.google.com into your web browser you are actually requesting data from the web server which is having an IP address of http://216.58.196.4/. That’s how the web works. Phewww.

What is a Web Server and Web Hosting?

Web Servers are computers that deliver web pages. Every web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name associated with it for the world to consume the service by the web server or view web pages served by the web server for a particular domain name or website.

Let’s look at how a web server works. When we browse a website through a URL for example www.google.com this URL sends a request to the web server and then the server fetches the page named index.html and sends it to our browser. That’s how a web server responds to our page request and sends us the page in HTML format as a response which is then rendered out by the browser.

Any computer can be turned into a web server by installing server software and connecting the machine to the internet. Web servers are provided by a web hosting provider. There are many web hosting provider out there, but you should be very careful when selecting a hosting provider.

There many types of web hosting for example: Shared, Dedicated, VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and Cloud hosting also known as Cloud Computing.

what is Cloud Hosting? Lately cloud hosting has become the buzz word. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Rack space, Heroku and many other provide servers with high computing resources for end users and developers to run their websites and applications on. Cloud hosting companies provide many types of services which includes Robust computing, CDN support, Database support, Mobile services, Email services, Machine Learning and Internet of things, Deployment , Management and Analytics services and many more services. Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are very famous cloud computing platforms used by developers worldwide including me. :)

What is HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol?

HTTP is a protocol that utilizes TCP to transfer its information between computers in this case between Web server and clients.

HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. Hypertext is structured text that uses logical links (Hyperlinks) between nodes containing text. HTTP is the protocol to exchange or transfer hypertext.

HTTP functions as a request/response protocol in the client-server computing model. The client submits an HTTP request message to the server by clicking on a hyperlink on a web page. The server then returns an HTTP response message to the client.

The response contains completion status information about the request and may also contain requested content in its message body.

IP is required to connect all networks and TCP is a mechanism that allows us to transfer data safely and is used by Web servers and clients.

HTTP Methods

HTTP defines methods (also known as verbs) to indicate the desired actions to be performed on the identified resource for example like Page.

Get Method: To request the whole content

Head Method: To request meta-information written in response headers for example like cache-control, expires, date, server, HTTP version and many more.

POST: To post data on a page

Delete: To delete some data from a database through a page.

Options: Returns HTTP methods that the server supports for the specified URL.

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