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Beginning Python®: Using Python 2.6 and Python 3.1 by James Payne

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Chapter 20. Web Applications and Web Services

If you've ever surfed the Web, you've probably used web applications: to do research, to pay your bills, to send e-mail, or to buy from an online store. As a programmer, you may even have written web applications in other languages. If you have, you'll find the experience of doing so in Python comfortingly familiar, and probably easier. If you're just starting out, rest assured that there's no better way to enter this field than with Python.

When the World Wide Web was invented in the early 1990s, the Internet was used mainly by university students, researchers, and employees of technology companies. Within a few years, the Web had brought the Internet into popular use and culture, co-opting proprietary online services or driving them into bankruptcy. Its triumph is so complete that for many people, the Web is synonymous with the Internet, a technology that predates it by more than 20 years.

Our culture became dependent on the Web so quickly that it hardly seems necessary to evangelize the benefits for the user of web applications over traditional client-server or standalone applications. Web applications are accessible from almost anywhere in the world. Installing one piece of software on your computer — a web browser — gives you access to all of them. Web applications present a simple user interface using a limited set of widgets. They are (usually) platform independent, usable from any web browser on any operating system — including ...

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