The Web: Definitions

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The World Wide Web is a vast collection of pages transmitted via the Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP); if you look at the address bar of your web browser, you almost always see http:// at the beginning. The earliest web pages were encoded using a language called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language—click the image on the right to see an example). "Hypertext" refers to the ability to create links from one page to another (or from one part of a page to another); all of this linking produces a "web" of interconnected pages and websites. HTML is now just one of many languages used to create Web pages, and the Web can carry all sorts of material in addition to text, including images, streaming audio and video, and data visualizations.

To navigate the Web, we use a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome. You should become familiar with the basic functions of browsers: opening new windows or tabs, saving or e-mailing links, saving pages to disc, bookmarking sites, moving backwards and forwards.