The intent of FTP

While FTP is optimized for a file transfer between hosts, I'd wager every dollar I have that there isn't a single reader of this book who hasn't transferred files over a network as an attachment of their email. The same task is accomplished, namely, a file was transferred from one host on a network to another, over that network, but it was accomplished using a different application-layer protocol (SMTP instead of FTP). Indeed, the versatility of the specification for HTTP has allowed it to grow well beyond the task for which it was optimized (transferring hypertext documents) and into a general-purpose workhorse of web communication.

In fact, there are countless applications that transfer files directly over HTTP. There's ...

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