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RESTful Rails Development by Silvia Puglisi

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Appendix A. HTTP Quick Reference

Everything Started with Hypertext

The term hypertext was first  defined in 1965 by Ted Nelson, as text containing links to other text. The World Wide Web Consortium defines hypertext as “text that is not constrained to be linear.”

Generally speaking, we can think of hypertext as text displayed on electronic devices that references or links to other text.

The term hypermedia is an extension of this term. Generally speaking, hypermedia means hypertext that includes images, videos, and sounds. Ted Nelson was again the first to use the term.

REST is an architectural style introduced by Roy Thomas Fielding in 2000, which has been at the core of web design and development ever since.

REST actually defines the architecture of the Web: the way clients and servers communicate on the Web nowadays is dictated by REST principles.

REST principles emphasize scalability, both of components and of interactions between them. REST advocates for generality of interfaces and protocols and independent deployment of components. Furthermore, REST architectures make use of intermediary blocks, to reduce latency, enforce security, or simply encapsulate legacy systems.

Ted Nelson’s idea of hypertext was a little bit different from what we know today. He envisioned the possibility not only of tracking links, but also of versioning of documents. His vision was translated into Xanadu, a software system that was meant to be a universal library (like Wikipedia), a worldwide ...

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