Web servers and Web browsers

The Web server serves up the Web pages, and the Web browser downloads them and displays them to the user. That's pretty much the story with these two cooperating software packages that make the Web work.

In a typical scenario, the user sits in front of a computer that's connected to the Internet and runs a Web browser. When the user clicks a link or types a URL into the Web browser, the browser connects to the Web server and requests a document from the server. The Web server sends the document (usually in HTML format) and ends the connection. The Web browser interprets and displays the HTML document with text and graphics. Figure 2-3 illustrates this typical scenario of a user browsing the Web.

Web Server

Web server sends back the requested Web page.

Figure 2-3:

The Web browser requests documents and the Web server sends them.

Web server sends back the requested Web page.

Figure 2-3:

The Web browser requests documents and the Web server sends them.

Web browser connects to the server and requests a Web page.

User

Web browser connects to the server and requests a Web page.

User

The Web browser's connection to the Web server ends after the server sends the document. When the user browses through the downloaded document and clicks another hypertext link, the Web browser again connects to the Web server named in the hypertext link, downloads the document, ends the connection, and displays the new document. That's how the user can move from one document to another with ease.

A Web browser can do more than simply "talk" HTTP with the Web server — in fact, Web browsers can also download documents using FTP and many have integrated mail and newsreaders as well.

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