October 29, 2002
Understanding How the Web Works: O'Reilly Releases "HTTP: The Definitive Guide"
Sebastopol, CA--Behind every successful web transaction lurks the
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the language by which web clients
and servers exchange documents and information. While the average web
user can remain blissfully unaware of the dozens of HTTP transactions
required to download a web page, understanding HTTP is essential for
practically all web-based programming and administration. And now,
with the increasing emphasis on web services, which depend heavily on
HTTP for interapplication communication, a firm understanding of HTTP
is absolutely indispensable. To help those who need to understand this
versatile and universal protocol, O'Reilly's latest release, HTTP: The
Definitive Guide (Gourley, Totty, Sayer, Reddy, and Aggarwal, US
$44.95), gives a complete and detailed description of HTTP and how it
shapes the landscape of the Web.
"The Web is no longer just for browsing," says coauthor David Gourley.
"Web technology is a foundation for all sorts of critical networked
applications. This book should be an excellent, widely accessible guide
to HTTP and the internals of web systems for internet professionals of
all flavors--including engineering, marketing, technical support,
technical writing--students, and hobbyists."
"Our book isn't just an HTTP header reference manual," adds coauthor
Brian Totty. "It's a veritable bible of web architecture. It
illustrates common misconceptions, advises on 'tricks of the trade,'
provides convenient reference material, and serves as a readable
introduction to dry and confusing standards specifications. In a single
book, we have detailed the essential and inter-related technologies
that make the Web work."
As the title suggests, "HTTP: The Definitive Guide" explains the HTTP
protocol: how it works and how to use it to develop web-based
applications. However, the book is not just about HTTP; it's also about
the other core internet technologies that HTTP depends on to work
effectively. Although HTTP is at the center of the book, the essence of
"HTTP: The Definitive Guide" is in understanding how the Web works and
how to apply that knowledge to web programming and administration. The
book explains the technical workings, motivations, performance
considerations, and objectives of the HTTP and the technologies around
which it revolves.
Topics in the book include:
- HTTP methods, headers, and status code
- Optimizing proxies and caches
- Strategies for designing web robots and crawlers
- Cookies, authentication, and secure HTTP
- Internationalization and content negotiation
- Redirection and load-balancing strategies
Technical professionals doing internet software development and
architecture, IT professionals who need to understand internet
architectural components and interactions, technical marketing
professionals who need a clear picture of core web architectures and
protocols, as well as untold numbers of students and hobbyists will all
benefit from the knowledge packed in this volume. "HTTP: The Definitive
Guide" is an essential toolkit that no technically inclined member of
the internet community should be without.
HTTP: The Definitive Guide
David Gourley and Brian Totty
with Marjorie Sayer, Sailu Reddy, and Anshu Aggarwal
ISBN 1-56592-509-2, 635 pages, $44.95 (US), $69.95 (CAN)
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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