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By Sunil Kumar

Let’s talk about the web, something that most of us use on a daily basis. A system of Internet servers that supports hypertext and multimedia to access several Internet protocols on a single interface, the Web is one of the most interesting things to happen in a very long time.

It has provided us access to instant noodle gratification, and so good to understand its origins. Tim-Berners Lee developed the World Wide Web in the European Particle Physics Lab(CERN) in Switzerland. One of the initial purpose of the Web was to use networked hypertext to help communication among its members located in several countries. It soon became more popular all over, and with growth in users and the development environment, it became the mass phenomenon that we see today.

A brief synopsis of some of the protocols:

HTTP(Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol): Generates hypertext over networks. It is the web’s most commonly known protocol

SMTP(Simple Mail Transport Protocol) or SMTP: This distributes e-mail messages and attached files to one or more electronic mailboxes.

FTP(File Transfer Protocol): It transfers files between an FTP server and a computer, to download software.

VoIP(Voice Over Internet Protocol): It also allows delivery of voice communications over IP networks, for example, phone calls.

The Web also provides a single, graphical interface to access all of these and other protocols. This helps create a user-friendly, interesting environment. The operation of the web is accomplished by creating documents with a language called hypertext markup language or HTML.

Design features distinctively from HTML are put in Cascading Style Sheets(CSS). This helps an external style sheet control the design of the web pages.

Web Pages

Many web pages are also created as a result of searches. They are served up by databases. A lot of us have heard about web URLs(Uniform Resource Locators).

Underlying the functionality of a URL is a base numeric address that points to the computer that hosts the file. This numeric address is called the IP (INTERNET PROTOCOL) ADDRESS. The host portion of a URL is translated into its corresponding IP address using the DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (DNS).

The DNS is a worldwide system of servers that stores location pointers to the computers that host networked files. Since numeric strings are difficult for humans to use, alphneumeric addresses are employed by users. Once the translation is made by the DNS, the browser can contact the server and ask for the specific file designated in the URL. So, that’s that with the nuts and bolts of the tech behind tech.

Let me talk about programming frameworks and the World Wide Web:

The use of these languages extends the capabilities of the internet. They are done to write software, process Web forms, fetch and display data, and perform all kinds of advanced functions.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface): This refers to a specification by which programs can communicate with a Web server. A CGI program, or script, is any program designed to process data that conforms to the CGI specification.

The program can be written in any programming language, including C, Perl, and Visual Basic Script (VBScript). In the early days of the Web, CGI scripts were commonly used to process a form on a Web page. Perl is popular with Google, and is also the language of the Movable Type blog platform.

Active Server Pages (ASP): Developed by Microsoft, ASP is a programming environment that processes scripts on a Web server. The programming language VBScript is often used for scripting. Lightweight programs can be written with this language. Active Server Pages end in the file extension .asp. For an example, check out Databases and Indexes at the University at Albany Libraries.

.NET framework: Also developed by Microsoft, this development framework is a more powerful one than ASP for writing applications for the Web. Programming languages for this include C+ and VB.Net. ASP.Net is a related environment, producing pages with the file extensions .aspx. The Microsoft site is a good example of a site created with the .NET framework.

PHP : This is another server-based language. It is frequently the language used to write open source (e.g., nonprofit, community-created) programs found on the Web, including MediaWiki (the software that runs the Wikipedia), as well as the popular blog software WordPress. While PHP functionality can be installed on Windows servers, it is native to the Linux server environment and commonly used there.

Java/Java Applets : Java is a programming language similar to C++. Developed by Sun Microsystems, the aim of Java is to create programs that will be platform independent. Also apps are programs that run in various online environments. We have seen them designed for Facebook, Android etc.

The Java motto is, “Write once, run anywhere.” A perfect Java program should work equally well on a Windows, Apple, Unix, or Linux server, and so on, without any additional programming.

Javascript : Examples of JavaScript include drop-down menus, image displays, and mouse-over interactions.

XML : XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a mark-up language that enables the creation of customized tags to provide functionality not available with HTML alone. XML is a language of data structure and exchange, and allows developers to separate form from content. The framework can help the same content to be used for different applications.In May 1999, the W3 consortium announced that HTML 4.0 had been recast as an XML application.

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML: This langauge is used to create interactive Web applications. Its premise is that it sends data to the browser behind the scenes, so that when it is time to view the information, it is already “there.”
Google Maps is a well-known example of AJAX. A different kind of example can be found with SurfWax LookAhead, an RSS search tool that retrieves feeds as you type your search.

SQL (Structured Query Language): This is a language to focus on extracting data from databases. Programmers write statements called queries that retrieve data from tables in the database.

Some Web sites are created extensively or entirely from data stored in database tables. You can often tell that a SQL query has produced data on a page by the presence of a question mark (?) and a record number in the URL. There are numerous examples all over the web.

Mashups

Programs on the Web can be flexible. Sometimes they are combined with each other to form enhanced presentations. These are known as MASHUPS.

It also combines data from two or more external sources. Mashups give you access in one place to information available in multiple places. Another example is Mashpedia.

 Coding Frameworks and The World Wide Web
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