O'Reilly logo

Introducing Python by Bill Lubanovic

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 9. The Web, Untangled

Straddling the French-Swiss border is CERN—a particle physics research institute that would seem a good lair for a Bond villain. Luckily, its quest is not world domination but to understand how the universe works. This has always led CERN to generate prodigious amounts of data, challenging physicists and computer scientists just to keep up.

In 1989, the English scientist Tim Berners-Lee first circulated a proposal to help disseminate information within CERN and the research community. He called it the World Wide Web, and soon distilled its design into three simple ideas:

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
A specification for web clients and servers to interchange requests and responses
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
A presentation format for results
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A way to uniquely represent a server and a resource on that server

In its simplest usage, a web client (I think Berners-Lee was the first to use the term browser) connected to a web server with HTTP, requested a URL, and received HTML.

He wrote the first web browser and server on a NeXT computer, invented by a short-lived company Steve Jobs founded during his hiatus from Apple Computer. Web awareness really expanded in 1993, when a group of students at the University of Illinois released the Mosaic web browser (for Windows, the Macintosh, and Unix) and NCSA httpd server. When I downloaded these and started building sites, I had no idea that the Web and the Internet would ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required