What is the World Wide Web? Well, the World Wide Web, or WWW, is one of the coolest parts of the Internet. When most people say "Internet," they usually mean the World Wide Web. The WWW is the section of the Internet that contains all of the web pages. By reading this, you guys are all in the World Wide Web! That's because this web page is merely one of millions of web pages found on the WWW!
So, what can you do on the World Wide Web?
Well, one of the most common reasons why people use the WWW is to do research- research for a history report, research for an analytical essay on The Odyssey, research about animals, about people, research on every imaginable topic! The World Wide Web holds thousands of web pages created about all sorts of people. People usually create informative web sites about the topics they are interested in. For example, we were interested in computers, so, why not create a web site teaching others about computers? With access to the World Wide Web, information is at your fingertips. After all, it is not without reason that the Internet is often nicknamed the "Information Superhighway."
Another reason for accessing the World Wide Web is for commercial purposes. As the Internet and the WWW has been gaining popularity, businesses have found it extremely beneficial to create web sites. On many of these websites, people can purchase items online, then have the products mailed to them; people can find information about the store, like where it's located, etc.; people can find information about the products and prices! Now, there are even on-line auctions!
The World Wide Web is also often used for entertainment. Just head over to http://games.yahoo.com and you'll realize how many thousands of people go online just to play games! In addition to games, the WWW gives you access to all sorts of music and other multimedia devices!
Finally, the World Wide Web can also be used for personal reasons. Many people put up personal websites about themselves and their interests. They create personal sites for fun and to become more involved in the comings and goings of the Internet!
Now, how does all of this work? How do web pages work?
If you were browsing through the WWW, you would realize that there's a wide variety of web pages. Some are fairly simple, containing text and a few pictures. Some are extremely colorful and exciting, with tons of images, sounds, and cool effects. Some webpages use frames; others use tables. Some have java applets, some have forms and quizzes. The variety is astounding!
In general, web pages consist of a combination of text and images. Also, they can have links to other sites. For example, this would be a link. If you click on it, you will be brought to the Cyber-Club main page.
As you might know, all web pages have a unique address. When you type in this address at the top of your Internet browser, the designated site will pop up in the Internet browser. These addressees are called URLs, or Uniform Resource Locators. A typical URL looks something like this:
Now, let's break it apart. The "http://" part of the URL tells the web browser that the site you are about to access is a Web site.
The "www" represents the name of the organization's web server. Typically, web servers are named "www."
The "thinkquest" represents the name of the host or the organization.
The ".org" indicates the type of organization. For example, .org designates a non-profit organization, while .com means that the organization is for commercial purposes.
The "/home.html" indicates the file or directory that you want to open. In this example, you want to go to the server called "www.thinkquest.org" and access the file in the server called home.html.
For more information about URLs, check out this next section on domain names.
All webpages are a special type of document called hypertext documents. Hypertext means that the website can contain links to other websites and other parts of the World Wide Web. Most website are written in the language called HTML. HTML will be discussed in a later section.
In addition to HTML, another language that is commonly found on the World Wide Web is a programming language called Java. Java is what makes it possible to create on-line games and other cool on-line applications. Java will also be discussed later.
Finally, a web site is viewed using a Web Browser. So what's a web browser?
Basically, a web browser is a tool that lets you view web pages, just as
word processors let you view text documents. Right now, you are using a web
browser to view this website! Web browsers have now evolved to contain tons
of special features and tools to make your life easier! Today, the two most
commonly used web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
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