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CSc 4370/6370: Web Programming


Internet Growth. throughout the 70's, the size of the ARPANET doubled every year. e-mail introduced in 1972. decentralization made adding new computers easy – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CSc 4370/6370: Web Programming

CSc 4370/6370 Web Programming
  • Course goals
  • understand the technology and protocols
    underlying the World Wide Web
  • become familiar with common tools and techniques
    for developing Web-based applications, both
    client-side and server-side
  • develop a working knowledge of HTML, JavaScript,
    PHP, and XML as languages for developing Web

Reasonable Questions
  • What is the World Wide Web?
  • Is it the same thing as the Internet?
  • Who invented it?
  • How old is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What kinds of things can it do?
  • What does it have to do with programming?

Web ? Internet
  • Internet a physical network connecting millions
    of computers using the same protocols for
    sharing/transmitting information (TCP/IP)
  • in reality, the Internet is a network of smaller
  • World Wide Web a collection of interlinked
    multimedia documents that are stored on the
    Internet and accessed using a common protocol

Key distinction Internet is hardware Web is
software along with data, documents, and other
Many other Internet-based applications
exist e.g., email, telnet, ftp, usenet, instant
messenging services, file-sharing services,
(A Very Brief) History of the Internet
  • the idea of a long-distance computer network
    traces back to early 60's
  • Joseph Licklider at M.I.T. (a time-sharing
    network of computers)
  • Paul Baran at Rand (tasked with designing a
    survivable communications system that could
    maintain communication between end points even
    after damage from a nuclear attack)
  • Donald Davies at National Physics Laboratory in
  • in particular, the US Department of Defense was
    interested in the development of distributed,
    decentralized networks
  • survivability (i.e., network still functions
    despite a local attack)
  • fault-tolerance (i.e., network still functions
    despite local failure)
  • contrast with phone system, electrical system
    which are highly centralized services
  • in 1969, Advanced Research Project Agency funded
    the ARPANET
  • connected computers at UC Los Angeles, UC Santa
    Barbara, Stanford Research Institute, and
    University of Utah
  • allowed researchers to share data, communicate
  • 56Kb/sec communications lines (vs. 110 b/sec over
    phone lines)

Internet Growth
  • throughout the 70's, the size of the ARPANET
    doubled every year
  • e-mail introduced in 1972
  • decentralization made adding new computers easy
  • TCP/IP developed in the mid 1970s for more
    efficient packet routing
  • migration of ARPANET to TCP/IP completed 1
    January, 1983
  • 1000 military academic host computers
    connected by 1984
  • in 80s, U.S. government took a larger role in
    Internet development
  • created NSFNET for academic research in 1986
  • ARPANET was retained for military government
  • by 90's, Internet connected virtually all
    colleges universities
  • businesses and individuals also connecting as
    computing costs fell
  • 1,000,000 computers by 1992
  • in 1992, control of the Internet was transferred
    to a non-profit org
  • Internet Society Internet Engineering Task
  • Internet Architecture Board
  • Internet Assigned Number Authority
  • World-Wide-Web Consortium (W3C)
  • . . .

Internet Growth (cont.)

Year Computers on the Internet (at any one time?)
2011 605,000,000
2006 439,286,364
2004 285,139,107
2002 162,128,493
2000 93,047,785
1998 36,739,000
1996 12,881,000
1994 3,212,000
1992 992,000
1990 313,000
1988 56,000
1986 5,089
1984 1,024
1982 235
Internet has exhibited exponential growth,
doubling in size every 1-2 years (stats from
Internet Software Consortium) 2,110,765,810
Internet users (approx. 30.5 of the worlds
population) (http//
20.htm) (June 30, 2011) United Kingdom
has 51.4 million users (approx. 82 of the
(A Very Brief) History of the Web
  • the idea of hypertext (cross-linked and
    inter-linked documents) traces back to Vannevar
    Bush in the 1940's
  • online hypertext systems began to be developed in
  • e.g., Ted Nelson and Andy van Dam's Hypertext
    Editing System (HES), Doug Englebert's NLS
    (oN-Line System)
  • in 1987, Apple introduced HyperCard (a hypermedia
    system that predated the WWW)
  • in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee at the European Particle
    Physics Laboratory (CERN) designed a hypertext
    system for linking documents over the Internet
  • designed a (Non-WYSIWYG) language for specifying
    document content
  • evolved into HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
  • designed a protocol for downloading documents and
    interpreting the content
  • evolved into HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
  • implemented the first browser -- text-based, no
    embedded media
  • the Web was born!

History of the Web (cont.)
  • the Web was an obscure, European research tool
    until 1993
  • in 1993, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina (at the
    National Center for Supercomputing Applications,
    a unit of the University of Illinois) developed
    Mosaic, one of the early graphical Web browsers
    that popularized the WWW for the general public
    (Erwise was the first one, ViolaWWW the second)
  • the intuitive, clickable interface helped make
    hypertext accessible to the masses
  • made the integration of multimedia (images,
    video, sound, ) much easier
  • Andreessen left NCSA to found Netscape in 1994
  • cheap/free browser further popularized the Web
    (75 market share in 1996)
  • in 1995, Microsoft came out with Internet
  • Opera web browser released in 1996
  • Netscape bought by AOL in 1998 for US4.2 billion
    in stock
  • Firefox web browser, version 1.0, released in
  • Google Chrome released in 2008
  • today, the Web is the most visible aspect of the

Web Growth
  • Stats from
  • Netcraft Web Server Survey.

Year Computers on the Internet Web Servers on the Internet
2011 605,000,000 250,000,000
2008 ?????? 172,338,726
2006 439,286,364 85,541,228
2004 285,139,107 56,923,737
2002 162,128,493 33,082,657
2000 93,047,785 18,169,498
1998 36,739,000 4,279,000
1996 12,881,000 300,000
1994 3,212,000 3,000
1992 992,000 50
A 2011 estimate suggested at 12-15 billion Web
pages! (
Web growth (cont.)
  • Internet addresses are used to identify computers
    on the internet.
  • Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) was first
    defined in 1981 and is still in use today, but
    this uses a 32-bit number to specify addresses.
  • Projections indicate that the number of IP
    addresses under IPv4 is due to run out in 2011,
    meaning that there will be more than 4.29 billion
    addresses that are in use (or reserved).
  • IPv6 had been deployed since the mid-2000s and
    uses 128 bit addresses, but also redesigned to
    allow more efficient routing, network
    aggregation, and ease of network reconfiguration.

  • Protocol for communication between computers is
    called TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol /
    Internet Protocol.
  • Information is transmitted by packet switching
    data is broken up into packets, which are then
    passed from one computer to the next until they
    reach their destination.
  • This is in contrast to the phone system, which
    creates a temporary direct link between
    communicating parties.
  • Packet switching is robust since it can route
    around disabled nodes and use multiple paths.
    But there is no guarantee packets will be
    delivered within any given time.

IP Address
  • IP requires each connected computer to have a
    unique address a number such as
  • Clients such as home computers are generally
    assigned IP addresses dynamically (by DHCP) from
    a pool of available numbers upon connecting to
    the Internet.
  • Server computers have static IP addresses.
  • Computers can also be identified by names.
    Domain Name Service (DNS) translates between name
    and number.
  • Internet names have two parts a host name (the
    first component) and a domain (everything else).

TCP/IP cont
  • Various protocols are built on top of TCP/IP
  • E-mail (SMTP)
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Drive and printer sharing protocols, e.g. NetBIOS
  • Network Time Protocol (NTP) for setting
    computers' clocks.
  • Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) the
    World-Wide Web
  • TCP requires computers to connect via numbered
    ports defined by the network software
    applications. Each protocol uses a different
    port. For instance, Web transactions usually use
    port 80.
  • Note that the Web is just one of many protocols
    using the Internet.

Static vs. Dynamic pages
  • most Web pages are static
  • contents (text/links/images) are the same each
    time it is accessed
  • e.g., online documents, most homepages
  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is used to
    specify text/image format
  • as the Web continues to move towards more and
    more online services and e-commerce continues to
    grow, Web pages must also provide dynamic content
  • pages can be fluid, changeable (e.g., rotating
  • must be able to react to the user's actions,
    request and process info, tailor services
  • e.g.,
  • this course is about applying your programming
    skills to the development of dynamic Web pages
    and applications

Client Server
  • Invented around 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, a
    programmer at CERN (a physics lab in Geneva) to
    simplify sharing of information between research
  • Designed to be easy to program, easy to use,
    flexible and decentralized.
  • Based on client-server model
  • client computer runs a browser (e.g. Internet
    Explorer or Netscape) that requests information
    from a server
  • server computer runs a web server (e.g. Microsoft
    Internet Information Server or Apache Web Server)
    that listens for requests and sends back

Client-Side Programming
  • can download program with Web page, execute on
    client machine
  • simple, generic, but sometimes insecure
  • JavaScript
  • a scripting language for Web pages, developed by
    Netscape in 1995
  • uses a C/Java-like syntax, so familiar to
    programmers, but simpler
  • good for adding dynamic features to Web page,
    controlling forms and GUI
  • requires users to have this technology enabled on
    their browsers
  • see http//
  • Java applets
  • can define small, special-purpose programs in
    Java called applets
  • provides (almost) full expressive power of Java
    (but with more overhead)
  • good for more complex tasks or data heavy tasks,
    such as graphics
  • see http//

Client-Server Model
Server-Side Programming
  • can store and execute program on Web server, link
    from Web page
  • more complex, requires server privileges, but can
    still be (mostly) secure
  • Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programming
  • programs can be written to conform to the CGI
  • when a Web page submits, data from the page is
    sent as input to the CGI program
  • CGI program executes on server, sends its results
    back to browser as a Web page
  • good if computation is large/complex or requires
    access to private data
  • Active Server Pages (ASP), Java Servlets, PHP,
    Server Side Includes, Ajax
  • some of these are vendor-specific alternatives to
    CGI (such as Microsofts ASP)
  • provide many of the same capabilities as CGI
    programs but using HTML-like tags
  • some of these technologies might require
    functionality to be enabled in the clients
    browser (e.g. Ajax generally requires the use of
    Javascript combined with PHP or some other
    server-based programming component)

Web Programming Elements
  • HTML Hyper-Text Markup Language. Provides
    formatting of text and graphics, as well as links
    between documents.
  • CSS Cascading Style Sheets. Provide more
    powerful and detailed control of style and
  • JavaScript a programming language for
    client-side scripting, to provide dynamically
    changing content.
  • Java a more powerful programming language for
    web applications on the client that can also run
    independently of the browser.
  • Server-side scripting and programming (SHTML,
    ASP, PHP, CGI). These permit access to databases
    and other information located on the server.

  • pick some of your favorite Web sites and try to
  • static components?
  • dynamic components?
  • client-side? JavaScript? Java applet?
  • server-side? CGI? ASP?
  • e.g.,
  • , http//
  • FYI gmail (uses Ajax for lots of its
    dynamic functions)
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