World-Wide Web

Computing Dictionary

World-Wide Web definition

World-Wide Web, networking, hypertext
(WWW, W3, The Web) An Internet client-server hypertext distributed information retrieval system which originated from the CERN High-Energy Physics laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland.
An extensive user community has developed on the Web since its public introduction in 1991. In the early 1990s, the developers at CERN spread word of the Web's capabilities to scientific audiences worldwide. By September 1993, the share of Web traffic traversing the NSFNET Internet backbone reached 75 gigabytes per month or one percent. By July 1994 it was one terabyte per month.
On the WWW everything (documents, menus, indices) is represented to the user as a hypertext object in HTML format. Hypertext links refer to other documents by their URLs. These can refer to local or remote resources accessible via FTP, Gopher, Telnet or news, as well as those available via the http protocol used to transfer hypertext documents.
The client program (known as a browser), e.g. NCSA Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, runs on the user's computer and provides two basic navigation operations: to follow a link or to send a query to a server. A variety of client and server software is freely available.
Most clients and servers also support "forms" which allow the user to enter arbitrary text as well as selecting options from customisable menus and on/off switches.
Following the widespread availability of web browsers and servers, many companies from about 1995 realised they could use the same software and protocols on their own private internal TCP/IP networks giving rise to the term "intranet".
The World Wide Web Consortium is the main standards body for the web.
An article by John December (http://sunsite.unc.edu/cmc/mag/1994/oct/webip.html).
A good place to start exploring (http://ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/StartingPoints/NetworkStartingPoints.html).
WWW servers, clients and tools (http://w3.org/hypertext/WWW/Status.html).
Mailing list: .
Usenet newsgroups: news:comp.infosystems.www.misc, news:comp.infosystems.www.providers, news:comp.infosystems.www.users, news:comp.infosystems.announce.
The best way to access this dictionary is via the Web since you will get the latest version and be able to follow cross-references easily. If you are reading a plain text version of this dictionary then you will see lots of curly brackets and strings like
(http://hostname/here/there/page.html).
These are transformed into hypertext links when you access it via the Web.
See also Java, webhead.
(1996-10-28)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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