I’m currently taking an introductory web development course at OSU. Because I’ve already learned many of the concepts being taught in the course, I’m taking it on as an extra challenge to write about each concept in greater detail.

This is mainly a practice to further solidify concepts in my own head, but hopefully some of my writing will be helpful to others along the way.

Introduction to the Web

The first module of our course covers a high-level overview of the basics and history of the web. As a reference, here is a glossary of some of the key concepts and definitions you should know:

What is HTTP and what is its use?

HTTP is the protocol developed in the early 1990s that is the primary means of sharing resources across the Web. HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Understanding how HTTP works is a key component of understanding how modern web development works, since most of the interesting things you can do on the web involve some kind of transfer of information between two or more parties, usually through HTTP.

What is a URL and what is its use?

A URL is essentially the address of a resource on the web. URL simple stands for Uniform Resource Locator. URLs are used to look up different websites and resources on the web.

What is HTML and what is its use?

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is the standard language used to build web pages. Basically, every page on the web (including this one) is comprised of HTML.

What is JavaScript and what is its use?

JavaScript is the primary scripting language of the web. It was developed by Brenden Eich in 1995 and is used to do dynamic things on the web, like change elements on a page or update information without having to reload the page.

What is CSS and what is its use?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is the primary language used to describe how elements in a web page ought to look. It can be used to change the style and display of any element in the web page.

What is a client?

The client is anything in a web application that is displayed in the browser. The client, then, is anything that the end user sees. It is the “front-end” or the display-side of a web application.

What is a server?

The server is the part of the web application that communicates back and forth between the database and the client. It directs the flow of information by handling both the requests sent to the database by the client and the response sent from the database back to the client.