C H A P T E R  2

How Web Sites Work

Why is it that the simplest of questions have hideously complicated answers? On the surface, the Web is quite simple—at least in how it is actually used. Under the covers, though, the systems that work together to make the World Wide Web possible are complex and they interact in various interesting (and often frustrating) ways. We’re not kidding when we say that it took about six drafts of this chapter before we had something we were reasonably confident addressed this question sufficiently!

In most cases, we can get away with saying that the Web is simply a collection of documents that link to each other. If pressed further, we might mention web servers, dynamic and static content, HTML and JSON, and other ...

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