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WWW - The World-Wide Web

What is the WWW ?

The Internet is at least doubling every year by every measure you can describe: The number of people connected, the number of machines linked together, the amount of data moved per day, etc. For the vast majority of Internet users today, the Internet consists of electronic mail, and WWW. Yet, the WWW is a newcomer. Invented only in 1992, it took a couple of years, before it edged out FTP (file transfer protocol), USEnet News, and TELNET (remote login) as a major network application.

WWW began as a way to link the helpfiles from a wide variety of different computer systems at CERN, but even though technologists admired the simple, yet general linking mechanism, it did not take off until NCSA released MOSAIC, the first browser that could display pictures on the page ... and gave it away for free.

How do I use the WWW ?

If you are able to read this on-line, you obviously know how to use the WWW (or you are in the company of someone who does, and can teach you). But just in case you are reading this on paper that someone else printed out, here is the most basic explanation.
  1. First you need a computer. You will not be happy with less than a 14-inch color display with at least 480 x 400 bits of resolution, 16 MB of memory and either an ethernet connection or a modem.
  2. Second, you need a network connection, either a connection to a local area network at work (or school) that is permanently connected, or a dial-up account from an internet service provider, along with a modem and a telephone line to plug it into.
  3. Third, you need a browser program, such as Internet Explorer (from Microsoft) or Netscape Navigator/Communicator.
  4. Get your computer connected to the internet.
  5. Start the browser program. You should now see a "start page" which has stuff to look at and read, as well as some words that are shown in blue and underlined. When you click on the underlined blue words, you are taken to new places.

How do I build a simple Web site ?

Building a website is almost as simple as writing a document with a word processing program: You write a few pages of text with the right "code words" inserted in the right places, and store them in the right place on your internet service provider's machine.

If you get your web access at work, you need to find out what the local rules are about web publishing. You will probably find that they encourage you to publish things that are helpful to your co-workers, adamantly do not want you to publish anything to the outside world. Talk to your boss and your computer help people to find out what the rules are.

Most internet service providers, including Earthlink, AOL and CompuServe allow you to publish a moderate amount of information. They will tell you where to put it and how to get it there. On most locally owned internet services, the files will go in a folder called "public_html", and you will use the FTP program to put them there. But first, you need to write the files, and you can do this in a folder on your own machine first, them move them up, when they look good to you.

Your first Web page

On your hard disk, make a folder called "myweb". Using a simple text editor (MacIntosh Simple Text or Windows NotePad) create in that folder a file named "index.htm" containing exactly the following:
	<TITLE>My First Page<TITLE>
	<H1>Start Page</H1>
	Go to <A HREF=>some jokes</A>.
	My first page !!
Now start the browser program, pull down the file menu and select "Open page" then select the file you just created.

You are now ready to admire what you just did, and to start reading the following articles:

Documentation for html and WWW

Professional Web Design &amper; Tutorials
A set of four tutorials: Basic, Tables, Forms and Frames.
Also has how-to articles on more advanced things like GateKeeper, a JavaScript password protection for web pages.
Reference for HTML source language
A fairly simple introduction to HTML.
NCSA Primer
Easy Introduction from Mosaic's home
W3C Specs
The reference manuals at the WWW Consortium's website

Links to Online WWW Resources

Revision history:
	$Log: index.htm,v $
	Revision 1.8  2001/10/26 13:28:29  lars
	Replaced CMC -> Beagle-Ears
	Revision 1.7  2001/01/15 07:06:31  lars
	*** empty log message ***
	Revision 1.6  2000/08/25 19:26:58  lars
	Add reference to article about cookies.
	Remove bad link on "spectacular websites" page.
	Revision 1.5  2000/02/28 05:43:46  lars
	*** empty log message ***
	Revision 1.4  1999/11/08 16:48:56  lars
	Added links to index.htm files.
	Revision 1.3  1999/09/23 06:58:20  lars
	Moved links from bookmark file to links page adn subject areas.
	Revision 1.2  1999/06/26 22:17:46  lars
	Site re-organization.
Updated 98-09-20 by lars@silcom.COM