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The Tangled Web by Michal Zalewski

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Chapter 3. Hypertext Transfer Protocol

The next essential concept we need to discuss is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): the core transfer mechanism of the Web and the preferred method for exchanging URL-referenced documents between servers and clients. Despite having hypertext in its name, HTTP and the actual hypertext content (the HTML language) often exist independent of each other. That said, they are intertwined in sometimes surprising ways.

The history of HTTP offers interesting insight into its authors’ ambitions and the growing relevance of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee’s earliest 1991 draft of the protocol (HTTP/0.9[112]) was barely one and a half pages long, and it failed to account for even the most intuitive future needs, such ...

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